Education Minister, Dr Tim Gopeesingh, wants teachers to exhibit a higher degree of professionalism at their jobs by showing up to teach their classes.
“We understand that a lot of them do have personal problems at times, but when teaching time is reduced to less than 150 days out of 365 days a year, it obviously cannot continue. It is unacceptable that hundreds of parents have been calling me saying their children go without supervision or teachings in their classes for many periods of the day.”
At a press conference hosted at the Ministry’s St Clair office yesterday, Gopeesingh said he has been working with the Teaching Service Commission alongside principals, heads of departments, deans and supervisors of schools, to find the best ways to motivate teachers.
Gopeesingh said he recently attended a meeting with thousands of teachers and principals, and applauded the efforts of the teachers who showed their dedication to their students by attending school regularly, but those who are frequently absent, must show more responsibility. Acknowledging that there were a number of reasons why teachers stay away from schools, he stated the Ministry was working hard to improve the school environment for both students and teachers.
He stated many of the schools needed repair works done, and the Ministry has many projects in place to fix the infrastructure problems.
“Some of the school surroundings are not as healthy as they should be. And this is where we are working feverishly to improve the environmental surroundings,” he said.
To date, the Ministry has completed four new secondary schools, and nine more are under construction. They have built 15 more primary schools, 11 are in the process of being constructed, and 12 are about to start within a month. They have also completed 29 early child care centres, 24 would be completed by June, and 26 are going to start in another two months, under the International Development Bank.
For the past three years, the Ministry has done close to $360 million worth of work, repairs and maintenance, and infrastructural improvements in more than 500 schools.
Also, they have placed new desks and chairs in the schools, new laboratories, more security and janitorial services which the Minster hopes would contribute to better school performance and better school-based management.