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The Alliance For Change (AFC) in extending gratitude to teachers on World Teacher’s Day 2022, reiterates calls for increase in eacher’s salary and the return to free university education. The party is proposing an increase by a minimum of $100,000 on salary.
Article 27 of the Constitution of Guyana enshrines that “Every citizen has the right to free education from nursery to university as well as at non -formal places where opportunities are provided for education and training.” The People’s Progressive Party/Civic government took away this right by introducing fee paying at the University of Guyana.
The party is proposing an increase by a minimum of $100,000 on salary.
Noting “recent images of students in tents, others without desks and packed together uncomfortable on benches show clearly the sad and atrocious conditions under which teachers are forced to work, the party said this compounded by the “poor salaries, victimization, and deplorable living quarters for those working away from home and an arrogant political directorate.”
According to the AFC, this year’s theme: “Teachers at the heart of education recovery,” addresses the very essence of the major challenge facing our nation, noting it is especially relevant as schools have recently reopened to full face-to-face learning after being affected for about two years by the global COVID19 pandemic.
The World Bank in a report last year stated: –
“We face the biggest crisis ever seen for education in the Caribbean region. Most schools have been closed for two years and we are already seeing the damage in terms of education outcomes, human capital, and the productivity for future generations.
While governments sought to reach students through online learning and other multi-modal solutions, far too many are simply falling through the cracks. It is essential to recover lost ground and we need to act now to reverse education losses and rise in learning poverty. These crossroads present an opportunity to identify and carry out reforms, build capacity, and look to innovative solutions that invest in students.”
The Guyana Teachers Union has laid before the Irfaan Ali government its proposal to begin talks on salary, benefits and other working conditions from 2020. The union is yet to hear from the government.
Turning attention to the Government’s programme, the party announced its satisfaction that the present government is continuing the programme initiated by the A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) government to provide breakfast and books in schools and more recently a bus to aid with transportation, and said they hope there will be more of this.
It is also pertinent to note, said the party, the APNU+AFC government provided internet access to over 200 primary and secondary schools and the creation of over 250 ITC hubs with free internet across Guyana