The struggles of a teacher


Dear Editor,

I note with worry and also much anger the replies of GTU President Mark Lyte and one George Cave in the print media recently regarding my letters in the press which highlighted the High Court actions against dozens of teachers in the High Court especially as it relates to my own preliminary promotion to Head of the English Department. 

I echo the call of Cave by asking the question, “What is the Education Service coming to?” Indeed, the system has become dysfunctional as can be over the years. To have me, a teacher trained in English to have to resort to do Social studies at the University in Berbice instead of what I had loved doing, English. But because there was no English being offered there, what is the education service coming to? A teacher ‘wasting’ four years of his life studying for a degree in an area in which he knew might have very well had no scope in his professional career at his school in the years that followed, but still followed through because he had education and teaching at his heart and wanted to upgrade his qualifications and professional skills? What is the system coming to?

Why then do we have a training college allowing people to specialise in special subject areas if not to equip them with a base to organise the teaching of that specialist subject?

My fate already seems sealed – stagnated promotion, deliberate stagnation and indirect dysfunctionality from a system that ill- equips its servicemen and women for their professional careers; a system that creates square pegs in round holes; a system which makes me so angry regarding archaic guidelines which Cave mentioned in his missive for hiring HODs needing to have a degree in the subject area); a system which I believe must have its planners come together, meet with its stakeholders and go back to the drawing board; a system where the training college, university, Ministry of Education, teachers’ union and the body for hiring and promoting teachers need to come together, talk and spend time with each other and agree on the way forward that benefits all!

Any progressive-thinking education system seeing the need for cross-specialist curriculum reach might have recommended ways to teachers to ensure they are equipped in the area of their teacher-training at the university even well after they completed a degree in another area. The university needs to educate its applicants better also.

In the end, persons who are both competent and experienced should merit their respective promotions. Finally, I believe Heads of Departments are curriculum based positions but they are equally administrative-intensive positions too, and strongly urge a timely review to the relevant guidelines.

It’s sad that Lyte went on a tirade against me in his reply to me in the press about my promotion but skimmed through and conveniently omitted the parts of my letter which bemoaned the denial of my Whitley Council emolument and also the evident delay of payments of the debunching money.


Leon Suseran