As Guyana continues with its calendar of activities marking the Golden Jubilee anniversary, 50 past and present educators were on Monday rewarded with trophies and certificates for their outstanding contributions to the education sector over the past 50 years.
During the elaborate award ceremony at the National Cultural Centre (NCC) which saw the attendance of hundreds of education officials and students from across the country, these educators were bestowed with awards for their dedication towards the development of the nation academically.
The initiative was a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Education and the School of the Nations as they recognised the need of rewarding teachers for their work as well as to stimulate other educators to pattern themselves after those being awarded.
The ceremony was held under the theme “Improving performance through teacher recognition and rewards” spoke exactly to the theme of celebrating the achievement of the educators as their roles have been crucial in the development of the country’s education sector.
Chief Education Officer, Olato Sam, emphasised the essential role of educators and its direct link to the general advancement of the country. Emphasising that teachers are the first persons who offer formal education to children, Sam affirmed that their tasks and role should not be underrated.
“I have referred to teachers as both agents of nation building and soldiers for national transformation. In sum, the fate of our nation rests on the shoulders of the dedicated educators spread across this country”, Sam said.
In saluting educators across the country, he reminded that they are the persons responsible for classroom development, that of the community and the entire nation.
Education Minister, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine spoke passionately about the magnitude of the educator’s input to the general growth of the country, while noting that they are not rewarded to the extent of their contributions.
Roopnaraine admitted that he is aware of the inadequate salary and other benefits that these teachers are in receipt of despite their critical role in the education sector. He disclosed that the Education Ministry has had discussions with the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) on the topic of the insufficient wages paid to educators.
The educators awarded were selected from the ten administrative regions of Guyana for their devoted work in the teaching profession.
INews photographer, Carl Croker, was at the award ceremony and captured the following scenes: