The Vacancy Notice is not just for Georgetown teachers

Dear Editor,
I note in SN of February 15, 2012, an advertisement by the Teaching Service Commission that is an Addendum to the Teaching Service Commission Vacancy Notice 2012.

While this Addendum seems to take on board and tries to correct a number of the further infelicities that I drew to attention in my (second) letter in SN of February 3, 2012, the basic point I was advancing in my original letter, in respect of closing dates seems not to have been quite appreciated.  So I try again.

The Vacancy Notice is not only for the teachers in the public education service who are teaching in Georgetown.  It is for teachers in the public education service throughout Guyana.  So special consideration needs to be given to the realities of life that exist in places like Region 1 and Region 9, for example.  In this regard, I note that the Addendum is stipulating:  “The Closing Date for a COPY of each application to reach the Teaching Service Commission from each Applicant is noon of Friday, March 16, 2012.”  The Addendum is also stipulating:  “The Closing Date for the ORIGINAL of each Application to reach the Head of the Department of Education (HODOE) through the Head Teacher of the School is noon of Friday, March 23, 2012.“  So the teacher has to get the original of his/her application to the Regional Education Officer (HODOE) who is stationed in that teacher’s region, by March 23, 2012, and the copy of that same application down to the TSC in Georgetown one week earlier!  Oh, dear!  Oh, dear!

As I understand it, an advertisement of vacancies in senior posts in the teaching segment of the public education service needs to comply with three  restrictions.  Firstly, it needs to conform to the policy of the government (as Minister Henry Jeffrey so stridently insisted some years ago).  Secondly, it needs to conform to any trade union  agreements entered into between the Ministry of Education on behalf of the government, and the Guyana Teachers Union.  Thirdly, it needs to have reasonable closing dates (as the TSC would have worked out last year in its work programme for this year) that take into account the realities of life such as the closing date for schools for the August vacation, and postal and other arrangements that are the realities of life in Guyana.

And that is why it is so important that the Ministry of Education and the GTU should have met late last year or very, very early this year to consider and refine the Vacancy Notice of 2011, and the points system used in 2011; and the Ministry of Education should have sent to the TSC quite early this year the list of senior vacancies that it wished the TSC to advertise.  Compiling such a list is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education – not the TSC or the GTU.  Improved record keeping by the HODOEs (and greater attention to this part of their duties) should lead to fewer errors in the list that the ministry sends to the TSC for publication.

I note that the Addendum indicates that thirty-one posts which were advertised as vacant are being withdrawn, and that fifty-seven vacant posts not previously advertised are now being advertised.  The Ministry of Education may be comfortable with this situation.  As currently a taxpayer in Guyana, I am not.
Yours faithfully,
George N Cave

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