Teachers union worried over indiscipline in schools
Urges return of welfare officers

Stabroek News
May 13, 2000

The Guyana Teachers' Union (GTU) is calling for the reintroduction of guidance and counselling officers in the Ministry of Education because problems of indiscipline have risen in the schools.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference held at the GTU Hall on Woolford Avenue on Thursday, GTU President Bertram Hamilton said the union was urging the return of schools' welfare officers to the Ministry of Education from the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security into which the schools' welfare department had been incorporated.

Noting that students were being found with weapons in schools and were injuring each other, Hamilton said that this was due to high stress resulting from economic hardships within the home environment and the community which affect not only the students but the teachers as well.

Indiscipline in some schools, he said, had reached a stage where children were getting into physical fights, using cutlasses and issuing threats with guns. The union was not happy with teachers having to operate under these conditions, he added.

Noting that not all teachers were equipped with the skills to guide and counsel troubled students, especially teachers who might be experiencing problems themselves, Hamilton said that it was imperative that a school's welfare department staffed with trained welfare officers be reintroduced in the Ministry of Education.

Once this could be done, he said, the Ministry of Education could then work with other government ministries and other non-governmental organisations which share the same concerns. (Miranda La Rose)