After weeks of unresolved issues between the Department of Education and the Upper Demerara branch of the Guyana Teacher’s Union, the Inter School Sports has finally kicked off and Region 10 will participate in the National School Championships.
According to the Regional Education Officer Ms. Marcia Paddy Andrews, the GTU had failed to submit the list for Nationals for Region 10 and she had to engage Allied Arts, GTU Central Branch, Ministry of Education and met with other stakeholders such as Milerock and all the other local coaches and they have indicated their willingness to have the sports run off.
“We had a meeting and GTU was there and of course they tried to create a ruckus, but I did not entertain them again because at this point in time all I am catering for is to field a team for the Nationals because we would have already missed the first deadline.” She said she spoke to the President of the Guyana Teachers Union and he agreed to extend the deadline to Friday.
She noted that teachers, clubs and public spirited citizens came on board to assist and the road and cycle races were completed last Thursday, the swimming on Friday and the field events were held Monday. She said the Inter Primary sports was held yesterday and Inter Secondary is today.
“Even though there was a mix up with the sports children were still training so that should not jeopardize their performance.”
However, the Regional Chairman Sharma Solomon was not in agreement, he said it has a psychological effect on the children, not only on their physical performance.
The Chairman asked why it took so long before he was brought up to date with the matter of almost $600,000 being owed to teachers for work done during 2013 sports.
The REO refuted the amount saying she is not aware of that. “I know the way sports used to be run the Administrative part by the Department of Education and the organizing of the sports by the Guyana Teachers Union that was the system put in place by the former REO. I spoke to him to get some clarity and he said to me that what used to happen is that the GTU would run the sports, pay themselves, do whatever it is with the funds and then they saddle the Department with the responsibility of paying for the ground and transportation and all that. In our budget we ask for funds to run off the Nationals so they are responsible for running the sports from Inter House to Champion of Champions and so that is the arrangement. The Region doesn’t pump funds into those activities. The gates are responsible for paying all the expenses.”
She claimed after all the expenses were cleared off the remaining sum was demanded by the teachers to travel to Georgetown. “Everybody demanding a four thousand dollars and eventually they came for the coins and Ms. Adams handed it over to them so at the end of the activity we had no funds left to pay anybody any money.”
She also noted that in speaking with the President of the GTU he claimed that in no other Region teachers are paid to run off sports. Region Ten is the only Region teachers are demanding to be paid to run off sports.
The Education Officer said she told the teachers that if the gate is the problem and the money is the issue she has no problem, they can have the gates but they must bear the expenses that go with the gate and they are not in agreement.
“I would ask the Regional Executive Officer for this year that we put two accountants from the Regional Administration to man the funds at the gate, they would do the collections and all payments, one member from the GTU to be present at the gate along with a member of the Department of Education for transparency.”
Teachers working for the 2014 sports will be working voluntarily. (Jacquey Bourne)
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