Sep 05, 2018 News
Parents from Region Six are expected to take to the streets today in support of striking teachers from nursery, primary and secondary schools.
This is according to the Guyana Teacher’s Union President Mark Lyte.
According to one teacher, the parents are prepared to stand with the educators “to fight the good fight.”
Meanwhile, while a few children turned up at some schools, the doors were shut tight at other schools as the strike entered its second day.
Five teachers, including the principal, were present at Berbice High School.
The headteacher on Monday had walked out with other teachers as the Minister of Education entered the school compound. She was at the time making checks to schools in Region Six.
Additionally, Kaieteur News has learnt that the Rose Hall Town Primary School is on complete shut-down, along with the Albion Front Nursery School. Students from the New Amsterdam Multilateral were reportedly told by teachers to remain at home until further notice.
Rose Hall Canje Primary had five teachers present out of twelve, while the Cumberland Primary School had a full staff turn out together with Cropper Primary.
While all of the teachers have indicated that they are in support of the strike, some stated that they are still committed to the children but will dedicate a day of strike.
Meanwhile, Regional Chairman David Armogan during a brief interview said that although the Ministry announced that they have in place substitutes and volunteers, “I saw all the children outside on the tarmacs for most of the schools and it was a big problem to supervise them.”
He stated that he empathizes with the teachers and believes it is a legitimate issue, “so even though I agree that schools will be affected and children will be affected, we also have to look at the bigger picture too and the teachers’ problems. One of the grave issues is that the government has allowed the negotiations to break down. Unfortunately it has reached the stage of conciliation and the next stage, arbitration which the union rightfully called for. The government is hesitant to go to arbitration because they are probably remembering what happened in the Armstrong Tribunal where teacher’s were given hefty increases.”
Armogan said he was heartened when the President stated that he is looking to cut certain aspects of the national budget to allow another proposal.
“But up to now that is just talk and we haven’t heard anything else since then and so the government needs to move very quickly instead of making excuses; that is all that they have.”
He mentioned that based on what the Opposition Leader had stated that the money can be easily found by making some basic cuts.
According to Armogan, the teachers deserve a better pay “because they have to live and they have expenses”.
The Regional Chairman also stated that he was disappointed in the statements made by Keith Scott, Minister responsible for Labour who is also heading the conciliation team. However, Scott has since issued an apology for his words uttered loosely recently.
Thousands of teachers hit the streets across the country; with some bearing placards with slogans such as “No money, No wuk”, “Teachers are important, yes we are” and “Henry is a yard fowl, we gon pressure she.”
Teachers and head-teachers from Linden are expected to protest the Ministry in Georgetown today as well.
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