It is that season of the year where people purchase gifts, decorations, confectioneries and supplies to celebrate but not even Santa is aware of what this holiday season is going to be like for the teachers in this country.
For a very long time now, holiday bonuses have been a way for employers to show appreciation for their employees. Everyone is looking forward for that extra holiday cash added to their salaries and most positions of employment in Guyana benefit from this ‘Christmas Bonus’,
The President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, was very generous to the lawmen when he announced that they will be benefitting from a two-week tax-free bonus for the holiday season.
Mr. President, I am now compelled to ask, what happen to the educators of this land? Are they not a part of this holiday season? Do you honestly believe that salaries alone would be sufficient to help defray holiday expenses?
It should be noted that since the closure of schools on March 13, 2020 and to date, teachers were never given any guidance or direction on the way forward. They took it upon themselves, utilising their own resources, to engage learners on a virtual platform, mainly on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Furthermore, teachers are still being instructed to go out there, in the midst of rising COVID-19 cases, and distribute textbooks, exercise books, printed learning materials and uniform vouchers. I think it is the right time of the year to recognize the full worth of these efforts of our educators.
In the event that a ‘Christmas Bonus’ is not granted, I am urgently requesting for teachers to be given what’s rightfully theirs, a percentage increase in salaries.
Earlier this year, the Government of the day, presented a $330B ‘people centred’ emergency budget out of which $52B was allocated for the education sector, yet teachers haven’t received their increase in salaries for this year. I wonder, was this budget really ‘people centred’? Teachers deserve an increase in salary for this year, retroactive from January, as well as the outstanding difference on the previous pay increase.
Kindly give our teachers what they deserve.