Short-sighted regional govts to blame for exodus of teachers
-Dr. Irvine
Stabroek News
February 16, 2002

Former University of Guyana Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Dennis Irvine, blames the shortsightedness of regional governments for teachers "seeking greener pastures" in foreign lands.

Dr. Irvine who was vice-chancellor from 1969 to 1982 was in Guyana as part of a Caribbean tour, assessing the progress of the Commonwealth Youth Programme which was started in 1974.

The Jamaica-born academician singled out Trinidad and Tobago as the only country which was far-sighted enough under the leadership of the late Prime Minister Dr. Eric Williams to appreciate the value of teachers and the role they play in a country's development. He noted that teachers in that CARICOM-member state are well paid.

Dr. Irvine said that new approaches being adopted by some governments in school placement is resulting in young people moving quickly through the system, resulting eventually in failures while the governments so far seem not to recognise this.

Commenting on the state of education in the region, Irvine is of the view that education no longer seems to be an exciting adventure, pointing out that "we would have to make the classroom more exciting than it was traditionally."

And co-education, he declared, "has helped to aggravate the situation."

In the half-hour interview on the Demico House-sponsored "One on One" programme to be broadcast tomorrow at 8 pm on GTV 11, Irvine spoke about his tenure as vice-chancellor of UG, socialism during that period, and the high proportion of women as compared to men attending institutions of higher learning.