By Kadeem Joseph
The complement of teachers in the nation’s public educational system got a much-needed boost with the start of classes on Monday.
The announcement came from Minister of Education (MoE), Daryll Matthew, who said the addition of the 53 teachers would help to remedy a longstanding shortage, as well as address reduced class sizes necessary in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the additional staff would help to ease some of the “pressure” that staff had been experiencing.
In the past months, teachers have had to a undertake coping with the new blended approach to learning, coupled with their pre-existing challenges.
“These individuals were approved by Cabinet as far back as June/July last year,” he said. “The administrative process for the Public Service Commission took a little while and I must admit that it got a little frustrating for some in the education system.”
Matthew encouraged the teaching professionals to hit the ground running.
In thanking the Cabinet and the Public Service Commission for their support in helping to address the demand, Matthew encouraged the new staff, “who will go though their on-the-job training immediately by the planning department, to really integrate themselves into the system, to make the system more robust”.
However, the 53 staffers do not close the gap needed completely. The education minister said the original request was for 80, however, the countries fiscal position has posed a challenge.
“There is a serious financial strain on the government at this point in time but we do recognise that we have to do everything in our power to ensure that the education of our children is not compromised,” he said.
Matthew added, however, that the government will work to fill the additional need when possible.