Migrating teachers a serious blow to education sector - Ally

Stabroek News
September 10, 1999

The teachers who are leaving for Botswana and islands in the Caribbean are not making formal applications for leave to the Ministry of Education and as such their actions must be considered as voluntary termination of services.

This was the view of Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Hydar Ally, who described the situation as "a serious blow to the education sector."

While he said he was unsure of the exact numbers of teachers leaving, it was not reasonable to assume that just because a teacher did not show up for classes he or she had left the system.

About 60 teachers have been hired to fill vacancies in Botswana at salaries ranging from US$900 to US$1,600 per month. He did advise those teachers that have accepted positions overseas that the ministry would likely recommend their reinstatement should they return to Guyana, but that it would not be automatic for them to assume the same position as before as this would be unfair to the teachers who stayed.

Ally stated that the current demand for teachers in Botswana was because many teachers there had died of complications related to AIDS and it was estimated that 45% of the remaining teachers are HIV positive.

In the meantime, the permanent secretary said, there will soon be meetings with the Guyana Teachers Union to discuss fringe benefits in respect to encouraging teachers to stay within the system.

Ally said that there was a record number of 600 graduates from the Cyril Potter College of Education this year and the ministry hoped that this and other measures would ease the shortfall created by the exodus.

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