Tell me what in the world we can say about the recent spate of sexual acts committed by teachers in the Georgetown area, and the many others that go unnoticed and unreported in the Berbice area, except that there are too many young teachers who are in the system?
The Teaching Service Commission (TSC), which is the body that hires and fires teachers, is recruiting too many young people into the system.
At present, it would be very interesting to know the statistics of the various age groups of our current teachers in the profession here in Guyana.
We have teenagers just out of high school returning to their former schools to teach. We have young boys and girls who have not had any breathing space whatsoever after completing their high school studies being employed and dealing with the children of Guyana.
The result is what is happening in the various schools in Georgetown. As I said, those are the cases that are regularly reported. What about the ones that aren’t reported?
Then look at the way some of our female teachers dress. They dress to entice the eyes and hormones of the young boys that they teach.
The male teachers do not have much of a problem with dress, but it is the female teachers who are many-a-time guilty of being provocatively dressed at work.
What can these teenagers bring to a system which is already bursting at its seams with teachers between the ages of 17 to 20? I believe entrance to the Teachers’ Training College (CPCE) is mandatory for these young and inexperienced teachers. It’s very important that they be equipped with the skills to deal with today’s children in and out of the classrooms.
Children will have little or no respect for teachers who are teenagers and who are barely adults. That, if you ask me, spells disaster.
It is very sad to hear about the cases of sexual acts being committed by teachers in Georgetown, especially since I myself am a teacher.
I started teaching at the age of 19, and immediately entered college. I have grown and matured in the profession even after six years.
I wouldn’t do things now that I may have considered doing back then.
There is the Pastoral Care (PC) programme, which should have been bringing forth results since it has been implemented in nearly all schools in Guyana. So, where are the results?
The Ministry will be trying something which is sort of like a spin-off to the PC curriculum, which is the Health and Family Life programme that kicks in September.
Teachers need to realise the important job ahead of them when dealing with people’s children.
They need to put every hindrance out of the way and do exactly what they are paid to do — teach, and nothing else.
Most of the waking hours of children are spent with their teachers, but some teachers use that time to their advantage, like what is currently happening in some Georgetown schools.
Of course, teachers alone are not to be blamed for these instances of sexual abuse, but it is the teacher who is the professional — not the student.
Therefore, they should (as we say in Guyana) ‘know better’. A teacher is said to be for students ‘In loco parentis’ [Latin for in the place of a parent].
And they should have parental relationships with children — nothing further. These events will only make persons have lesser respect for our teachers in Guyana.
Leon Jameson Suseran
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