Way cleared for teachers’ promotion in 2017

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After almost two years in limbo, teachers can finally be promoted following the ruling made by acting Chief Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards.

The Teaching Services Commission (TSC), during its monthly statutory meeting on Tuesday, agreed to review the 2015/2016 Promotion List for School Administrators in the new school term.

The GTU during one of its protests against the TSC
The GTU during one of its protests against the TSC

Teachers were not promoted for the years 2015 and 2016 thus far, owing to the conflict between the TSC, the body responsible for the promotions, and the Union.

Last year, the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) filed an injunction in the courts blocking the TSC and the Education Ministry from executing the promotions.

According to the GTU, the reason for the injunction was to force the two bodies to review their process of promotion, since the Union strongly believed it was severely flawed.

The TSC was using the assessments given by education officers, head-teachers, Regional Education Officers and not the provision of the Rule Book governing the promotion of teachers.

The Union believes that the TSC’s method was defective, since those officials and headteachers could have exhibited favouritism in their assessment of teachers’ performance.

The Union also believed that some officials and headteachers deliberately skewed assessments to stymie the development of teachers with whom they had personal conflicts.

But the TSC decided to challenge the matter, contending that all of its promotions were above-board.

The acting Chief Justice finally ruled on the matter in favour of the GTU, and the TSC has decided to not appeal the decision.

The TSC explained that it was strongly advised by three Senior Counsels to appeal the court order, but since the pursuance of the appeal would result in a long and time-consuming process, the body decided to comply with the court’s decision “on humanitarian grounds”.

“The TSC wishes to state that their decision not to appeal was primarily to avoid any further suffering of the affected teachers which would ultimately also affect the nation’s children,” the body said in a statement to the media.

The TSC explained that it would have a “Special Full Commission” meeting in January 2017 to plan the review process.

According to a Guyana Times report, the organisation highlighted that the exercise would take a few months since a thorough examination of approximately 5000 applications would be done.

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