Teachers trying their best with the little they have – union president

Teachers are putting the best foot forward with the little they have, according to GTU President Colin Bynoe.
In message in today’s Stabroek News to mark World Teachers Day, the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) President made it clear that he thought that instructors were getting a raw deal.
“…how can teachers fully deliver a better quality education when they have to work in overcrowded classrooms? How can they deliver a better quality of education when they have to use their meagre salaries to purchase instructional materials? How can they deliver a better quality of education when they have to work with unsupportive Education Officers who fail to see the positives but only focus on the negatives? How can they effectively engage the learners when they are confronted with these and other challenges”, Bynoe asked.
Despite their difficulties, he called on teachers to upgrade their qualifications, deliver a better quality education and to use Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
Bynoe stated “This century majors on technologies…Teachers need to be abreast with these Technologies so that they can use them in their classrooms. Our children are digital natives. Digital technology is a part of our lives.”
Noting that ICT creates a more child-centred environment, Bynoe asked “…how can our teachers use (ICT) in the classroom, when many of our schools are not outfitted with the relevant technology?”.
In her message to mark the day, Minister of Education Priya Manickchand said …”the government is pleased that teachers are treated the best now than they ever have been in our country’s history”. She added there are generally more teachers and better trained ones. The country also has more graduate teachers than ever before. She said that in the nursery sector 69% of teachers are trained, 72% in the primary arena and 65% in secondary schools. The minister said that recognizing the importance of making teachers comfortable, the government has entered into a multi-year agreement with the GTU which sees teachers receiving yearly increases “which incidentally is the most our country has ever paid to teachers both as far as it relates to the actual sum as well as the US dollar equivalent and the real value”.
She said that the nation is especially indebted to teachers for the sacrifices they make. “You make lasting contributions to lives. We indeed recognize teachers as a very powerful force for promoting equity in the education system..”, she added.

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