Although the Government of Guyana has paid more than $26 million for the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the education system, its final report has not been submitted after nearly two years.
The commission, chaired by former Chief Education Officer Ed Caesar, began its work on April 23, 2016 and submitted its preliminary report on April 28th, 2017, to then Minister of Education Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine but to date the final report has not been submitted.
Speaking with Stabroek News last evening, Caesar explained that he is working to submit a detailed report, hopefully by the end of this week. The educator, who was paid $4.8 million for his work, was not clear about why the report had not previously been submitted.
He noted that the commission had been provided with a scribe and secretary who were no longer in place and stressed repeatedly that he was working hard to produce the best possible results from the 99 consultations held during 2016.
Stabroek News reported earlier this month that the absence of the final CoI report had in some ways delayed negotiations on teachers’ salaries and conditions.
Sources familiar with the work of the high level negotiation task force set up to address the multi-year proposal to government from the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU), had told this newspaper that at least two more sessions are necessary for the work to be completed. Also necessary is the completed report of the CoI into the education system.
It was not made clear how exactly this report is expected to impact negotiations. At that time, the source had also explained that while discussions had seen good progress, the missed meetings at the beginning of negotiations meant that the work was incomplete at the end of 2017. The end of January is the new deadline.