The Education Ministry is still mulling over a proposal to hire foreign graduate mathematics and science teachers as part of a plan to improve the performances of students in these subject areas, Education Minister Shaik Baksh told the National Assembly yesterday.
Baksh, while responding to a question from PNCR-1G Shadow Education Minister Amna Ally, said that the recruitment is being considered since his ministry is keen on improving the performance of students in the subject areas.
“We are in a hurry. Therefore, we have to find other innovative ways to give us the results in a shorter time frame than 4, 5, 6 years from now. The current Education Strategic Plan talks about 40 percent but we are thinking about 50, 60 percent,” he said.
“So, we’re looking at a proposal—the ministry is still working on this—to see and one of [those] proposals is whether we can bring in, for a short period of time, some qualified graduates , trained graduates to help boost up the educational system and the school system,” he said.
He stressed that this is just a proposal and that before it is implemented discussions will have to be held with the relevant stakeholders. “This is still in the proposal stage. We have to discuss with principal stakeholders, following the normal procedures employed by the ministry, that is, the Guyana Teachers’ Union, the Teaching Service Commission and others,” Baksh said. He said that since the decision is still in its infancy stage, no decision has been made yet about compensation. He said, however, that whenever this is done there will be a comparative analysis done of the situation with local and overseas teachers.
Baksh also pointed to several attempted interventions being made by the Ministry of Education to address the problem. He pointed to the Non-Graduate Certificate Course that is being conducted by the National Centre for Educational Resource Development in the areas of mathematics and the various sciences. According to Baksh, so far 15 students have graduated while 29 are currently being trained in the area of mathematics. The minister said too that 36 science students are in training and will graduate in September. This, Baksh said, will go someway in addressing the shortage of teachers in these subject areas.
The government first mentioned the possibility of importing teachers in science and mathematics teachers in February of this year, but later said that this would be delayed following consultations with various stakeholders.