Teacher exodus declines
Guyana Chronicle
August 27, 2003

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Amid speculation that there will be a heavy exodus of teachers for the new school year, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Ganga Persaud, said while there have been requests by a number of teachers to leave the country the figure represents a reduction compared to the figures for the previous two years.

Persaud was responding to information received by the Chronicle that local teachers were recruited during the present vacation period to go to Botswana and elsewhere.

During last year a large batch of teachers left here to work overseas.

In a comment to the Chronicle regarding the migration of teachers last year Lance Baptiste of the Guyana Teachers Union had stated that the migration of teachers "did not start now. It started many years ago during the previous government, when a lot of our teachers migrated to Caribbean countries."

He said the union recognizing the escalating problem urged the Ministry of Education to implement measures to rectify the situation. Among the proposals the GTU put forward were the provision of low cost housing, favourable loan facilities at the banks, duty free concessions for cars and discount facilities at business enterprises. With respect to the latter Baptiste said the union on its own initiative had been able to get such a facility at a few businesses enterprises, among them Laparkan Group of Companies and Nigel's Supermarket.

Meanwhile, Persaud said that measures are all in place to see the re-opening of schools next Monday with the completion of the placement process of students and the repairs and maintenance of most school buildings.

However, he pointed out that repairs and extension to several schools especially under the Secondary Schools Reform Programme (SSRP) will not be completed in time for the new school year, which begins next Monday. Among those schools are Friendship Secondary and Bygeval Multilateral, however, they should be completed by the end of this year. Kwakwani and Kaituma are among those completed, Persaud said.

Also the distribution of milk and biscuits for the school-feeding programme has been completed in all the administrative regions as well as text and exercise books, he added.
(Chamanlall Naipaul)