OP-Ed: The disdain shown to Teachers & their Union must be seen in context

Dear Editor,
Listening and reading releases from the Government High Command one cannot fail to be impressed. The President goes to Region 7 and promises jobs and other opportunities, and in every Region, there are similar high sounding promises and in some cases, actual developments.

This letter is to remind all of us that material things are good and necessary so that we can all share in the comforts of life, but in addition to this, a society must also be built on the foundation of laws, love or better put, a moral foundation, or else society will collapse consuming all of us.

Be reminded from the Encyclopedia of Philosophy that ‘in the first half of the eighteenth century certain British philosophers argued that moral sense is the faculty by which we distinguish between moral right and wrong. The deliverances of this faculty are feelings or sentiments; hence, it is counted as a sense.’

Look around and in dealing with our natural resources – the most recent one, oil and gas, some folks seem unwilling to even use the word ‘renegotiate. To renegotiate is a cardinal principle that should guide Parties if conditions that existed when the initial Contract was signed changed for better or worse, then renegotiation should be a “Sine qua non.”

Second, in the civilised society particularly those based on the model we accepted at Independence this very month in 1966, sets out a clear division between the Parliament, the Executive, the Judiciary and the fourth estate, that is the media. When you have, as in the case today in Guyana, the Executive being disrespectful of the Judiciary, disregarding Parliament and trivialising the fourth estate, then a country is in deep trouble.

Additionally, a democratic Government disallows certain functionaries such as Permanent Secretaries and the Heads of certain Institutions being openly aligned with a political party. We saw this in evidence at the last Congress of the People’s Progressive Party. When a Government mistreats the Guyana Teachers’ Union and shows a blatant disregard and disrespect for Teachers in the Public sector, we are in big trouble and one on this matter cannot avoid thinking we have a Government that is practising apartheid.

An apartheid not based on race or ethnicity but an apartheid based on an emerging class structure. You see, all of the Ministers and Top Brass of the Government can afford as they do to send their children to private schools and therefore care little about the disadvantages facing the majority of families who can ill afford private schools and transportation costs.

The disdain shown to Teachers and their Union must be seen in that context as a serious matter of widening the gap between the rich and the poor. What a caring Government should by now have initiated is a massive programme of training of Teachers, Nurses and others, so that we have the personnel to cope with a changing world of which we are a part. This will ensure that the schools and hospitals that are being built can be properly staffed by trained Guyanese. We hope and pray that the foresight of a previous administration for free education from Nursery to University is made real once more.


Hamilton Green

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