Ministry of Education, Guyana

Saturday, 08 October 2016 00:00

Education Ministry to revise retirement policy for educators

...Review to be completed by next week

Government is prepared to revise the retirement policy for public school educators. This was amplified on Thursday by Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, when he hosted this week’s post Cabinet press briefing at the Ministry of the Presidency.

According to Harmon, Cabinet has mandated Minister of Education, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, and his technical staff to devise a plan to incorporate the proposed revision. And according to him, it is expected that this plan will be completed in the new week.
This development comes on the heels of Government’s concern with the Mathematics performance at the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA). According to Harmon, Government views the prevailing poor performance in Mathematics as a matter of national urgency and is therefore aiming at putting remedial measures in place.
At Cabinet, Harmon said, it was recommended that the Ministry develop a method of best practice to guide the Ministry to identify areas where resources are required and to facilitate the recruitment of retired teachers to provide assistance to the system.
According to Harmon, “We had a very long discussion on the retirement age for teachers since it was felt that the age at which teachers are retiring is the age when they are on top of their game.” The retirement age for public servants, including teachers, is 55.
Harmon said that Cabinet has considered that once teachers retire from the Government system they are quickly “snapped up” by the private school system. “That is something which as a Government we need to pay careful attention to,” Harmon noted on Thursday.
But even before the A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) Government assumed power last year, the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) was advocating for a revision of the Ministry’s policy to rehire retired educators.
The GTU had however expressed concern that the rehiring of retired educators was hampering the elevation of young educators within the system. GTU President, Mr. Mark Lyte had urged that the strategic placement of young and intelligent individuals must be one of the priority areas that the Education must direct keen attention.
This particular area of focus, he noted, is imperative in order to reduce the number of officials who have retired and have been rehired to hold senior positions within the sector.
According to Lyte, while there is a place for retired officials, when they are rehired in the capacity of senior officers, it often serves to stymie the promotion of qualified young persons who with guidance, can take up leadership positions.
”We know that education is evolving and you have to put in place new strategies and plans to deal with the present education system we have, and if you are set in your old ways then obviously you will be left behind,” said Lyte.
He insisted that “we want to see young intelligent people being deployed in strategic positions within the education sector.”
Lyte said that there is need for a revision of the policy for rehiring retired personnel for management positions.
”Rehiring these persons is good, but they should not be coming back in a managerial capacity,” the GTU President had asserted.


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