Some 100 more teachers for greener pastures

By Miranda La Rose
Stabroek News
September 1 , 1999

Some 100 more trained and experienced teachers and educators will not be at their posts when schools reopen for this academic year in just over a week.

Reliable sources have told Stabroek News that about 60 teachers have been hired to fill vacancies in Botswana, south central Africa. This newspaper learnt yesterday that some 50 had already uplifted their airline tickets.

The teachers have been offered attractive packages ranging from US$900 to US$1,600 a month depending on the scale they have been accepted on. In all cases, their passage to and from the country is being paid by the Government of Botswana.

The teachers are from some of the leading secondary schools including Queen's College, Bishops' High, North Georgetown Secondary, Berbice High and from the National Centre for Educational Resource Development. Primary schools are also affected and teachers have been recruited from West Demerara and Linden as well.

Stabroek News learnt that over 300 teachers were interviewed for the vacancies. Many who have been offered positions, have opted to remain in the country for a while longer and may take up their posts later in the year or early next year. Some teachers are due to leave the country later this week and during next week. The mainly specialist teachers are also taking their families along, but some have told this newspaper that they would first like to see what the situation in Botswana was before encouraging their spouses to join them.

This batch of teachers is in addition to 80 which left the country in February this year. This newspaper has learnt, however, that since then some teachers have returned because of unfavourable conditions and other commitments back home.

From August 23, some 18 teachers responded to offers to fill posts in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Educators knowledgeable about the situation in the Turks and Caicos have told this newspaper that the there are only two secondary schools in the islands. They said that Guyana already has over 20 teachers there. An additional 18 means that Guyanese will virtually be running that nation's secondary education system.

Another batch of highly qualified staff was recruited for the Bahamas. Among those who left was a senior University of Guyana lecturer.

Personnel from the Bahamas, who were recruiting teachers early last month, had told this newspaper then that the Bahamas already had a number of Guyanese teachers there. However, there was need for about 15 persons skilled in special fields.

Schools reopen in the Turks and Caicos and in the Bahamas on Monday. In Guyana, school will reopen on September 13. Some heads of schools and heads of departments in a number of schools have been accepted overseas. Ministry of Education officials have said that they would not know how many teachers would have left until schools reopened. And even then they might not have an accurate figure, because the teachers do not resign; some just leave the job, while others are on leave.

Apart from teachers, advertisements were out to fill other posts in the public service in the Caribbean and Africa.

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Guyana: Land of Six Peoples