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‘Best welfare package in the region being crafted’ – Guyana Chronicle

–President Ali affirms; urges country’s valued workers to stay the course, be patient as gov’t pursues initiatives to provide betterment for all PRESIDENT Dr. Irfaan Ali has advised Guyanese to stay the course, as the government is working to ensure that everyone lives a better quality of life. His comment was a direct response to detractors of development, who continue to propagate claims that are unsubstantiated or supported by evidence. “Everybody believes that all the resources are available now. In 2027, then is when the real growth in revenue coming in would be seen in the country. And I said to our teachers, our nurses or public servants, and I say to them now again that we are committed to giving you the best life possible,” the Head of State remarked during a live broadcast on Sunday. While stressing that patience is key, Dr. Ali assured public servants that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) administration is pursuing policies and strategies to provide the best welfare package to the country’s valued workers. He remarked: “But I assure them even today that this government will ensure that the total package is the best welfare package they can have in this region as time progressed. You don’t need to down tools because you are pushing up open doors. We are committed to this, but you have to have patience.” The President said measures to improve the lives of all Guyanese will continue “even before the end of this year.” Dr. Ali related: “We build systems that empower people, uplift your standards, and give you a better shot at life. That is why we are investing in your education, healthcare, giving everyone an opportunity to earn a degree.” For the last few days, picketing action led by the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) has been consistent outside the Ministry of Education’s head office on Brickdam, Georgetown. The strike action began last Monday, and saw educators taking to the city’s streets, both in Georgetown and other parts of the country. President Ali, in the broadcast, said that the government has already announced a series of measures to improve the lives of teachers, nurses and other public servants, and by the end of the year, much more investments will be announced, making educators the “prime beneficiaries of the development and advancement” of Guyana. According to the President, in September 2020, the government invested $700 million to correct the scales used to calculate teacher’s salaries and increases. Additionally, an allowance of $10,000 was provided to all teachers with a university degree. “Not only are we giving this allowance to trained teachers and trained graduates, but we are making the opportunities to teachers available in their school to earn that degree through the GOAL scholarship programme, through Online teachers training programmes, through the associate degree programme,” President Ali said. “Every teacher in the system now has a free opportunity. The government is investing on their behalf so they can upgrade their skills,” he added. In addition to this, the government is giving $6,000 to every teacher with a post- graduate diploma and has granted a $20,000 allowance to all teachers with a master degree. Meanwhile, an allowance of $30,000 for educators with a doctoral degree was also granted. “All of these allowances are not just granted in an environment in which there is no opportunity to achieve all of these degrees and added qualifications.” Other incentives to support educators who work and live in remote areas were increased by 100 per cent, moving from $9,000 to $20,000 per month. Dr Ali said: “We went further, we had a provision of more than 3,800 scholarships to teachers…to qualify themselves and earn a higher salary. We are incentivising the system, giving teachers an opportunity to empower themselves, while at the same time incentivising them to do better for themselves, incentivising them to do better for the teaching system.”

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