Emigration of teachers to New York is a catastrophe
Stabroek News
January 23, 2002

Dear Editor,

I write with urgency bordering on desperation. Guyana is about to be stripped of its academic assets.

Our teachers our treasured preceptors our most valuable possessions are on the verge of deserting us in droves and taking up pedagogic assignments in New York City at a better wage than the Government of Guyana can offer.

Soon we shall have no more teachers in Guyana. Learning shall be a thing of the past. Our children shall grow up as illiterates. They shall recede to the Dark Ages. This is not a crisis; this is a catastrophe.

And why so? Because of money and the possibility of acquiring American citizenship.

But where is patriotism? Where is paternal consciousness? Where is love of enlightenment? Have all these sovereign virtues gone out of Guyana?

And what of the money the Guyana government expended in cultivating the mental potential of these teachers? They did not become teachers by accident, did they?

But, Editor, to talk of a better life, as these deserting teachers invariably want, is a better life possible in New York City? It is well known that New York is a gun ridden society. Death by gun shot wounds is a constant peril and even the school comes within the context of this gun culture. And even teachers are not immune to these perils And Guyanese teachers certainly wouldn't be.

Last night I learnt that a large number of Guyanese teachers have already volunteered to go. Moreover the Caribbean Islands are also being stripped.

But why don't the Americans, with their colossal resources and gargantuan state structure, if they need teachers produce them in America itself?

Or if the Americans had had good intentions, why don't they help Guyana and the Caribbean Islands to lift their living standards and their educational standards in order to produce more and better teachers?

However it is construed this 'brain drain' is nothing other than 'mental piracy'.

Yours faithfully,

Prince Michael