Teachers vow to continue protests for as long as it takes

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Some of the teachers assembled on Brickdam as the strike continues

As the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU)-fronted strike continues, teachers are vowing to protest for as long as it takes for them to gain improved wages.

They supported their union’s action to protest for improved wages in the 40 per cent range with some citing rising living expenses.

Nevertheless, according to information obtained, many of the schools around the city and some of the surrounding areas were half-filled with teachers such as Central High, St Angela’s Primary, Cummings Lodge, Plaisance and Charlestown Secondary and St. John’s College.

The protestors on Tuesday told reporters that time is well overdue for teachers to receive increases.

Some teachers, who did show up, were not performing duties, while some classrooms were left unsupervised.

Education Officials have been going around reportedly making enquires on absenteeism.

Some protesters called on President David Granger to pay more heed to the concerns the teachers are raising.

The Education Ministry has activated a contingency plan where it intends to take on about 400 retired and trainee teachers of the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) as substitutes in addition to retired teachers as the strike action intensifies.

Parents are however concerned about the level of teaching their children will benefit from, as many of the CPCE teachers are inexperienced with only some having exposure to the classroom environment.

At some primary schools where several grades had no teachers, classes were merged with other grades as in the case of St Angela’s where no fifth year teacher reportedly turned up for duties.

One man uplifted his granddaughter as she couldn’t get registered at St John’s College, being a late entrant.

He hopes that good sense will prevail for all sides so that classes can proceed as normal.

Meanwhile, Linden was the scene of massive protests from the striking teachers.

As they marched through Republic Avenue, Mackenzie, their chants included “No money, no work, teachers fed up.”

On Monday, the Guyana Teachers Union reported that 1000 teachers protested in Linden.

Students from nursery, primary and secondary schools, clad in their uniforms, were observed returning to their homes in Linden.

Some explained that they were told to return to school when the strike is called off.

The Ministry of Education later released figures indicating that only 11 schools were closed in Upper Demerara/Upper Berbice, while 60 remained open.

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