May 24, 2008

WHY DUMP THE OLD TEACHERS

Posted in Education, Guyana tagged , , , , , , , at 5:31 am by randallbutisingh

WHY DUMP THE OLD TEACHERS

Letter to the press in the 70’s in support of a Training Course for the over forties for infant teaching in the Primary Schools of Guyana.

Lucian in a recent issue of the Guiana Graphic argued against the inclusion of the over forties in a training course for infant teachers. He stated that young and certificated teachers should be recruited as they will be better able to give long years of service and so save money involved in training.

This would be all well and good if all the young teachers trained remained to teach and were of the right material required for training. The ministry concerned must have been aware of the many young teachers who, after training gave only the minimum period of service required by contract and then left for more remunerative employment.

Wherever the blame is to be placed, teaching by most in this country, has never been considered as a worthy career for life. It has been valued as a springboard to more lucrative professions.

Chronological age should be no barrier especially in the field of Education. The birth certificate has been a bane to progress in many instances, as it has affirmed what the Medical Board will deny. It is true that the process of metabolism slows up in many even before they reach fifty, but many over fifties remain young in spirit, sufficiently strong in body and possessed of the energy and optimism which may be lacking in the young and inexperienced.

That “youth and enthusiasm and freshness of outlook go together” as stated by Lucian does not always apply. History has proved that some of the greatest thinkers and administrators performed best after they had reached fifty.

I believe that the Ministry of Education is justified in their intention of selecting these mature teachers of long experience. After all a trained, elderly and dedicated teacher who will give all her remaining years to what she considers a vocation, can do far more for humanity than the certificated young opportunist who dislikes the job, but will hold it for a minimum period and then relinquish it for what is considered a better job.

“Where there is no vision the people perish,’ so I also feel that the inclusion of nurses and social workers in the training course is a wise one. Their presence in any staff is important.

Too long has too much value been placed on paper and less on the human aspect. Important as certificates may be, such factors as temperament, attitude and aptitude must not be regarded as less important if the best in any endeavour is to be achieved.

— Randall Butisingh

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