With its mission being to make teachers’ wellbeing and lives more manageable, the Education Ministry launched its Welfare and Support Programme on the Essequibo Coast on Wednesday at the Anna Regina Multilateral Secondary School (ARMS) in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam).
In brief remarks during launch of the programme, Education Specialist Dr Olato Sam said the initiative encompasses a comprehensive approach towards improving the overall circumstances in which teachers practise this profession.
According to Sam, teachers will be provided with discounts in various services from the different sectors, such as electronics, telecommunications, retail goods, air transportation, household furniture, and appliances.
Some of the benefits teachers will have in regard to transportation are that those travelling to Georgetown from outlying Regions would be able to access discounts on airfares, as well as those utilising the bus services.
The Education Specialist noted that the healthcare packages offered to teachers would not only be beneficial to them, but to their spouses and dependents as well.
“The discount initiative will benefit all teachers in this region from a wide range of services across the entire country…These services run from electronic, health care, transportation, I just name a few. You are all important to children’s lives, and to all teachers, ‘We will work with you’.” Dr Sam said.
It was revealed during the launch that teachers who are first-time owners can access from two million to 12 million dollars towards their mortgages. As teachers welcome this wide range of services, the Ministry, sometime last week, launched a “Teachers’ Benevolence Fund.”
According to Sam, “with this fund, we will provide financial support to teachers in specified hardship situations.” Among the list of services offered to teachers, the Ministry will be resuscitating its national Teachers’ Award Programme, which is aimed at recognising dedicated and committed educators. The award, which is slated for next year July, will be in partnership with Metro Office and Computer Supplies.
The Education Specialist, in welcoming this initiative, told teachers that the Education Ministry is committed to working with them and any stakeholders who want to see the education sector progress. He added that this initiative is “a genuine interest, a genuine interest in checking to see what we can do for you, so that you can do your work when you get into the classroom; and you will see much, much more of that.”
Meanwhile, Region Two Regional Education Officer Nichola Matthews expressed gratitude to the Ministry for the initiative. She re-emphasised that the initiative would benefit some 970 teachers in the region, and would provide a wide range of discounts on various services not only in Essequibo, but also in the entire country.
Headteachers of the various educational institutions ranging from nursery to secondary level also expressed heartfelt gratitude to the Ministry of Education for such an initiative.