Dear Editor,

I am a divorced mother with three children aged 6, 12, and 14 who all attend school.  I gained 5 CXC (General) passes in 2005 with one grade 2 and four grade 3s.  I also did pre-university social work I and II from IDCE, all after I divorced.

During 2008-2009 I was reading for a diploma in Social Work at the University of Guyana but unfortunately the following year, I had to apply for leave of absence due to the economic circumstances in my home.

I had applied to the Teaching Service Commission and had spoken to the Deputy Chairman. I took in several applications for a nursery teacher appointment over the last 4 years, and up to now, I have not been employed.

I also applied to the National Insurance Berbice branch and other government offices for a clerk’s job or any other one that suited my qualifications, but to date no employment.  I saw a vacancy existed for a schools welfare officer, and one of the job requirements was five CXCs and a knowledge of social welfare; I then applied since I have five CXCs and some knowledge of school welfare. I did pre-university IDCE and had already completed one year of my social work diploma and had been exposed to practice and theory in social work at schools, old folks homes, the Palms, the female prison, etc, as part of my training. There were also planning programmes, doing interviews, counselling, identifying problems and finding ways and means of solving problems.

I then sought assistance from the Regional Chairman (Region 6).

I was referred to the Region Six Education Officer who told me that I didn’t have the experience and couldn’t get the job. I also received a reply informing me that I didn’t have the qualifications although that was not fully true, and I am a mature person and I have experience.

I did work as a presiding officer in the 2006 general election with 5 staff under me, and with responsibility for my polling station, and did a good job with no experience.

Yours faithfully,
(Name and address provided)

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