Parents urged not to pay for extra lessons held during school hours.

Guyana Chronicle
May 9, 2003

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THE Ministry of Education is urging parents and guardians not to pay fees for extra lessons held during regular school hours.

According to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mr. Hydar Ally, several officials in the Ministry have received allegations from parents stating that teachers are demanding fees for classes taught during school hours.

This, he said, is not allowed, since Section A-23 of the Education Code states clearly that the use of school facilities for private tutoring is not allowed or authorised and, therefore, parents should not succumb to the demands of teachers.

The Acting Chief Education Officer of Georgetown, Mr. Joseph Gilgeous recently dispatched a circular to all schools advising Head Teachers not to allow classrooms to be used for extra lessons during the school hours, for which fees are charged.

The Ministry of Education and the Guyana Teachersí Union (GTU) have failed to come to an agreement on the current wages dispute, resulting the GTU calling for industrial action on March 5, 2003.

The Ministry has refused to go to arbitration for 2002, since salary increases for 2002 were already paid and the Ministry is not willing to re-negotiate. Furthermore, according to the Ministry of Education, the GTU used delaying tactics, resulting in late negotiations, when the problems could have been solved earlier.

The GTU has requested an increase in salaries for teachers across the board for 2002, but Government has stated that it is unable to meet the Unionís demands, since the Union in insisting that the 2002 wages negotiations be re-opened.

Government has been working to provide increases and other benefits for teachers, including the provision of house lots, full payment of examination fees for the children of teachers, increase in risk allowances for teachers, vacation allowances for teachers and the reduction of the eligibility period for Whitley Council leave from five to four years.

In addition, teachersí salaries already have been increased from five per cent to 15 per cent in 2002.

An Advisory Committee was established by the Minster of Labour, Human Services and Social Security Dr. Dale Bisnauth, with a view of resolving the issue and made recommendations to both parties on actions that could be employed. But to date, no agreement has been reached.

Government recently offered a sum of between $40M to $60M to teachers as a move to end the strike, which emanated from the Advisory Committee. The proposal is currently being considered. (GOVERNMENT INFORMATION AGENCY - GINA).

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