Georgetown, Guyana – (October 3, 2019) Minister of State, Mrs. Dawn Hastings-Williams, this morning, said that the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) continues to play a critical role in the development of the country’s education sector.
The Minister made these statements on behalf of President David Granger at a GTU organized Prayer Breakfast Service to mark World Teachers’ Day, which will be observed under the theme ‘I teach for a better world - Consolidating for greater success in the future’, on Saturday.
Addressing senior educational officials and GTU executive members at the Union’s Woolford Avenue headquarters, Minister Hastings-Williams while reminding that teachers are the builders of a nation said, the Government is conscious about the important role played by teachers, who oftentimes work in diverse conditions and circumstances to deliver the promise of education to the nation’s children.
“This morning, our attention is turned to our teachers in whom this Government places an abundance of confidence. Without teachers, there would be no class, no class means an uneducated population and an uneducated population translates into an undeveloped society. Your Government is aware of this. It is for this reason we have made education one of our top priorities… We intend to do much more in a second term to ensure this nation realizes the promise of education,” she said.
The State Minister said Guyana’s recent success at both the Caribbean Examination Council Examinations (CSEC) and the National Grade Six Assessment is a result of Government’s continuous efforts to reform the education sector and is also linked to the cordial relationship that has been cultivated over the years with the GTU.
The GTU is a critical partner in the sector, she said before reminding that President Granger in his address at the opening of the 11th parliament on November 2, 2017 had reiterated the Government’s position on this issue. Minister Hastings-Williams recalled that President Granger had said that the “Government is committed to working with the Guyana Teachers’ Union to solve problems and to improve the conditions in the public education system under which students have to attend school and teachers’ study, work and live”.
The Minister assured the educators that the Government is committed to ensuring that Guyanese, especially teachers, have access to free education through revenues earned from the petroleum sector though the Natural Resources Fund.
Meanwhile, GTU President, Mr. Mark Lyte, in his remarks, reflected on the importance of the development goals set for education, which includes the expansion of scholarships for teachers; the enrolment of teachers in educational institutions and the sustainable increase of qualified teachers. He called on the Government to ensure that teachers are adequately trained and infrastructural development within the sector are given top priority.
“If we are to develop Guyana, if we are to teach for a better world, we need to recognise that scholarships and investments in teacher education should be given top priority… I believe that the GTU and the Ministry of Education must work strategically and sustainably so that we can achieve our goal by 2030 in order to contribute meaningfully to this better world to which we speak,” he said.
Mr. Lyte also thanked the Ministry of Education for the ‘Managers Holiday’ which will be observed tomorrow in recognition of World Teachers Day 2019.
Additionally, Deputy Chief Education Officer - Administration, Mrs. Ingrid Trotman said that there has been greater collaboration between the Union and the Ministry. She expressed the Ministry’s wish for these efforts to be intensified in the future for the benefit of all teachers and students and encouraged the gathering to continue to work hard to ensure that each child receives the best education possible.
Chairperson of the Demerara-Mahaica (Region Four) Democratic Council, Ms. Genevieve Allen; Acting Regional Education Officer (REO), Department of Education Region Four, Ms. Tiffany Harvey and GTU General Secretary, Ms. Coretta McDonald also attended the event.