Guyana cannot prevent countries advertising for teachers - Bisnauth

Stabroek News
August 1, 1999

Guyana cannot prevent its Commonwealth and CARICOM partners from advertising here for teachers, due to an informal agreement among them.

Education Minister, Dr Dale Bisnauth, said that he had raised the matter with his Cabinet colleagues, particularly with the loss of so many teachers to places like Botswana and the Turks and Caicos. The Bahamas is the latest country for which advertisements have appeared seeking to recruit teachers.

Dr Bisnauth pointed out that without minimising the problem, Guyana was not the only country in the region faced with this problem. He explained that Trinidad and Tobago loses more teachers than we do to the Turks and Caicos, while Jamaica loses teachers regularly to North America. Barbados loses its teachers to China.

Dr Bisnauth observed that while the country's training programmes produce enough teachers to fill the positions vacated, the teachers who leave are the experienced ones who have satisfied the terms of their contract to serve the country for a number of years after being trained.

He stressed too that no strides could be made in education if, in the final analysis, the country did not have a viable teaching staff to deliver the curriculum.

The minister conceded that there were irritants in the system which would make teachers seek greener pastures and observed that it was no longer sufficient to appeal to a person's patriotism given the increasing importance of the bread and butter issues.

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