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Pres. Ali to soon begin consultations with teachers

President Dr Irfaan Ali has assured that he will soon begin consultations with teachers countrywide.

Addressing a press conference today, the President said he will kickstart the process when he returns from the United Nations General Assembly which runs from September 19 to 26.

The consultations, Ali said, will touch on a number of issues, including salary.

He said the overall goal is to ultimately strengthen the education system.

Asked whether the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) will be involved in the consultations, President Ali made it clear that ‘every Guyanese who wants to be involved, can be involved’.

President Ali has already promised to roll out a “comprehensive” remuneration package for teachers, saying in May 2023 that this scheme will not just focus on salary.

Then in June 2023, the Head of State announced plans to implement a standard minimum salary to eliminate the disparity among teachers.

“[The Cabinet] is considering now, looking from when we came into office from 2020 to now, to ensure that within this period, all of our teachers are on a standard minimum basic wage to avoid the disparity that exists and we’re going to correct that from 2020 to now as we’re in office,” Ali had said.

President Ali had also signalled plans to continue training teachers in specialised fields, thus making educational opportunities more accessible to them. It was reported that the system that prohibited some teachers from getting time off to train has been removed, giving educators the opportunity to further their education in a format of their choice.

Last year, President Ali announced that government will introduce clerical support for teachers to remove the burden on record-keeping and give them more time in the classrooms. He had also announced that the government will be establishing daycare centres across the country to provide much-needed support to teachers and young mothers.

When it comes to the situation of trainee teachers receiving a stipend of $11,000, President Ali had said that this would be revamped into a system where they were now placed on the payroll and given a salary of $80,000 – something which will benefit more than 1300 teachers.