Strike action does not affect school re-opening in Region Six
─ Contingency plan effective
DPI, Guyana, Monday, September 3, 2018
Despite strike action by teachers across the country, most schools in East Berbice-Corentyne reopened their doors to welcome students for the new school year.
Students were seen in their new attire, looking sharp, as they made their way to their respective schools across the region. Parents were seen as early as 07:45hrs taking their children via bicycles while some choose to walk.
Several schools including the Kildonan, Port Mourant and Alness Primary School, Skeldon High School recorded a full turn out of teachers and students and have started classwork for the new term. Other schools like Rose Hall Town Primary, however, had fewer teachers present.
Minister of Education, Nicolette Henry who was in the region and visited several schools assured both students and parents that their education would not be affected since her ministry has made provisions to guarantee students will be taught.
Over at Berbice High School Bena Raghuraj, a former Headteacher was among the substitute teachers in the region. She related to the Department of Public Information (DPI) that despite retiring she recognised the importance of education and is willingly lending her service to ensure the young minds of the future are not affected by the strike action of some teachers.
Over at Port Mourant Secondary, there were at least five substitute teachers to help fill the void made by those striking. Former head teachers were seen assisting with orientation of first-year students and were supported by ancillary staff from within schools.
Provisions are being made for more substitute teachers to be dispatched across the region so as to allow for uninterrupted classes moving forward.
Meanwhile, students expressed excitement as they made their way to school early Monday morning. Speaking with the DPI, six-year-old student Ishwar Latchman said his mother prepared two weeks ago for the reopening of school and he was counting down the days so he could see his friends and also use his new equipment.
For parents, the first day of the new school term was met with mixed emotions. Some were in support of the teachers but were optimistic that the GTU and the government can come to a compromise so both teachers and students can return to normalcy.
There is a total of 1,403 teachers in Region Six with an approximate 42 percent of those who took part in the industrial action.
By: Nafeeza Yahya Sakur.
Images: Keno George.