Apr 02, 2011 News
In recognition of the fact that some teachers within the public education system were not suited to perform such duties, or had in some way broken the Code of Conduct, the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) was last year forced to terminate 288 of them.
In 2009, a total 154 teachers were dismissed following the intervention of the TSC. According to a statement issued by TSC Chairperson, Ms Leila Ramson, yesterday the Disciplinary Committee of the Ministry had recommended the dismissals of the teachers. Some teachers, it was noted, had to be interdicted from duty because of allegations of carnal knowledge, breach of the circular as regards to the administration of corporal punishment, gross indiscipline and sexual misconduct.
However, it was pointed out that the Commission is mindful that apart from seeing that justice is done, it also has a responsibility of ensuring that a welfare function is exercised before sanctions are applied to teachers.
The Commission, in its statement, applauded the work of the Schools Welfare Officers and supervision by some Regional Education Officers which it noted should be instrumental in ensuring that less errant teachers are brought to the TSC for disciplinary action.
“The TSC tries to assist teachers in identifying weaknesses, helping them to set standards and assist them to uplift themselves,” the statement added.
Ramson asserted that over the years the Commission has taken very seriously the yearly submission of appraisal reports which should be submitted no later than the anniversary of the date of each teacher’s appointment.
These reports, she noted, are particularly useful in determining the eligibility of teachers for promotion or their eligibility to correct any shortcomings and be given a stern warning to adhere to the instruction, before any more serious disciplinary measure is warranted.
During last year, too, 509 junior teachers were able to secure appointments through the TSC while 627 senior positions were filled.
However, according to the TSC statement some vacancies were not filled for a number of reasons including: (i) persons not being willing to take up teaching assignments in some areas since housing was not available and (ii) because qualified persons were not living within or in close proximity to the catchment area of some schools.
At the moment the Commission has commenced processing applications for senior promotions for this year.
Last year, several cases of teachers opting to leave the system altogether but who subsequently returned, were recorded by the TSC.
Some of these teachers, it was noted, were trained and well qualified and would have held senior positions in the establishment had they remained and benefited from continuous employment.
On the other hand, though, there were many applications seen by the TSC. Some potential teachers had nine and 10 CXC or CSEC passes with Grades I and II but who had passes of Grade IV and lower in English Language and Mathematics.
It was noted that a pass of Grade III and higher in English Language and Mathematics is compulsory for appointment as a Temporary Qualified Master or Mistress.
For this reason, the Ministry of Education is providing the opportunities for teachers in the various regions to upgrade themselves in the two subject areas so as to enable them to enter the Cyril Potter College of Education, according to the Commission.
According to the statement, the Commission, during last year visited a number of regions and held sessions with Regional Chairmen and Regional Executive Officers, Education Officials and staff.
The discussions were centered on issues that affect education delivery and what the Commission could do to help improve the existing situations in respective regions.
The Commission also met with staff of identified schools, listened to concerns of the teachers, and offered advice where necessary.
This was done after cluster meetings were held with head teachers and all levels of teachers.
A number of teachers sought permission to attend classes at the University of Guyana in order to help to improve their qualifications. However there are others who have already been attending CPCE, it was noted.
“The Teaching Service Commission is happy when a teacher upgrades his/her Education, but releases to attend the University must be done in the proper way and they must not leave classes unattended to the detriment of the students attending school,” the statement added.
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