Ministry of Education, Guyana

Improving the Number of Trained Teachers for Quality Improvement in Education

One of the major problems that the sector faces with respect to teachers is the continuous loss of trained teachers. In general, the average loss is about 12% annually with 40 to 45 percent being trained teachers. Over a three year period 633 trained teachers left the public education sector for various reasons.

The need for more trained teachers has been highlighted under every key issue. There is a very strong perception that more trained teachers will have a very positive impact on the system. CPCE provides initial teacher education and training programmes for Nursery (Early Childhood Education), Primary and Secondary school teachers through a pre-service programme at the main campus and in-service programmes, generally by distance mode, in 14 in-service centres spread across the country.

TABLE 1 Teacher Graduates by Education Levels 2003-2007

Year ECE Primary Secondary Tec. Voc Total
 2003  1  12  67 20 100
 2004  62  187  79 33 361
 2005  118  213  142 39 512
2006 40 138 75 26 279
2007 60 136 76 47 319
Total 281 686 341 165 1571

Bachelor in Education degrees, a Certificate in Education and a post-graduate Diploma in Education (for persons with a first degree) are also offered by the University of Guyana (UG) but it should be noted that all of these persons are already teachers in the system. One issue that has been pending for many years is closer articulation between the programmes of CPCE and UG. It is felt that UG should give more credit to the Trained Teacher Certificate offered by CPCE and reduce the time that it takes for a teacher to complete the Bachelor in Education degree. In addition the National Centre for Education Resource Development (NCERD) offers continuous professional programmes to practising teachers.

No specific study has been done by the Ministry of Education to ascertain why teachers leave the system voluntarily before the age of retirement but there is anecdotal evidence that better salary options are a major reason for teachers from Guyana going to jobs in other sectors and to teach outside of Guyana. It does not appear that Guyana in the near future will be able to compete with salaries offered outside of the country, but there have been consistent attempts in recent years to improve the salary and conditions of service for teachers. The Government and the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) entered into a multi-year agreement for increases in salaries as well as payment of a vacation allowance for the special leave that teachers get after four years of service. There were several clauses in the agreement that improve the position of teachers, but salaries remain an issue.

TABLE 2 Number of Teachers in Schools by Categories 2007






 Nursery  118  3  882  873 (47%)  1876
 Primary  194  2  2134  1728 (43%)  4058
 S.D. Of Primary  11  1  201  287 (57%)  500
CHS 39 13 181 201 (46%) 434
GSS 317 169 1125 831 (34%) 2435
Total 679 181 (2%) 4523 3920 (42%) 9303

 At the secondary level the situation is further complicated by the fact that even though teachers are trained they may not be teaching the subject in which they specialise.

There is very strong consensus that the proportion of trained teachers must be increased and practising teachers must be encouraged to continually engage in professional development programmes to keep abreast of trends in the profession.


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