President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali announced on Thursday a series of salary and allowance adjustments that will benefit over 4,000 teachers, especially graduates.
The head of state also announced an increase in the Remote Areas Incentive (RAI) for hinterland teachers and duty-free concessions for teachers who hold a substantive appointment as a Senior Master/Mistress.
The Department of Public Information (DPI) spoke with a few teachers at several schools, who expressed appreciation for these interventions.
Damian La Rose, head of the science department at St. Stanislaus College, said the adjustments will better help him to support his family.
“It will help us to do a little more planning as we go forward. We can decide how much we can spend on recreational activities and how much we can put aside for the children to go to college,” he explained.
Over 30 years in the profession, Colin Moses also of St. Stanislaus College said these adjustments signal tremendous improvement in the education sector.
“I am excited, and encouraged, and I think that I am motivated to continue to give my service to the children of Guyana and St. Stanislaus College. I believe that what I will be receiving will be able to service some of the financial needs that I have. I trust I’ll be able to improve my living standard and my family’s” he said.
Moses also highlighted the long-term benefits that are in store following these adjustments.
“It means that teachers who are still working now, when they are about to retire, certainly the gratuity would be a bigger package, and it would also impact their pension. I think it’s a plus for them,” he explained.
Headmistress of St. Stanislaus College, Donna Lewis-Isles, who was present at the engagements with the President last month, said she is happy that President Ali is fulfilling his commitment to addressing discrepancies in the salary scale for teachers.
“I’m really happy to see that he is a man of his word, and his word is really his bond. He has lived up to our expectations. I know there is much more to come, it’s only the beginning, and that is something we have to celebrate,” she told DPI.
Meanwhile, Headteacher of Comenius Primary, Michelle Booker stated that she was excited about the announcement, and recalled the consultations with the president which set the stage for these adjustments.
“Indeed, it is going to benefit my family because more funds will allow one to have a better standard of living. You’re going to improve your economic status,” the head teacher emphasised.
For Assistant Mistress at Comenius Primary, Shelley Lall, the adjustments will benefit single parents.
“It is really good. I mean to be able to get the maximum on the scale is beneficial. I am a single parent and I think for all the other single parents who are teachers right now, they are going to appreciate this. Our way of life will increase,” she said.
Headmistress of F.E. Pollard Primary School, Glenda Boucher, said the announcement indicates that the government is keeping the interests of teachers in mind.
“Any increase will benefit you and your family because a little bit more is coming into your pocket, and it’s a little bit more for your family. So, it will benefit my family,” Boucher pointed out.
Another teacher at the primary school, Janice Torrington said she feels immensely grateful following the announcement.
“You always know money is going to benefit your family because you always have things to do with your money. For me, I’m going to buy things for the season, so it’ll help us to have a better meal on the table on Christmas morning,” she shared.
These adjustments and revised allowances amount to some $1.9 billion of disposable income in the pockets of teachers annually.