0

Retirees Courted In Teacher Shortage

photo

This week, Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd said 'something is wrong' with the country’s educational system.

By RICARDO WELLS

Tribune Staff Reporter

rwells@tribunemedia.net

THE government has engaged a group of retired and soon to be retired educators, with the hope of contracting many of them to offset a potential shortage of about 100 teachers heading into the new academic year.

Education Minister Jeffrey Lloyd said yesterday the government has had a “great degree of success” in its attempts to invite teachers approaching or those who have reached the retirement age to consider contracted stints after formally retiring and accepting their respective gratuity and pension benefits.

The South Beach MP was responding to concerns raised over a potential shortage of teachers as public schools are set to re-open for the 2017-2018 academic year next Monday.

While Mr Lloyd speculated the public school system could see a deficit of approximately 100 teachers, he said that number could increase based on the number of teachers who reach retirement age in the coming days.

Mr Lloyd said the common practice among educators is to formally announce their plans to either retire or stay on in the month of August.

“Well, we are continuing to address the teacher shortage issue,” Mr Lloyd said. “As you know, teaching as a profession is not one of the most attractive options for students coming out of high school or even college. That I expect will change.”

He continued: “For any number of reasons people don’t see it, though it is regarded as one of the more elegant and some describe it as the profession of professions which I absolutely agree, some don’t see it as one of their first two, three or fourth choices, not to mention the first choice. That, I hope again, will change because as you know, teaching, teachers, education is the bedrock of any society.

“What we hope to do and have done and I think to a great degree of success is to invite those teachers, those educators who are approaching or have reached the retirement age, to invite them to consider (putting off) retirement for a year or two or more, so that they would be able to assist us particularly in the primary area with the understanding that they would be allowed to officially retire, get their gratuity and their pension, but to be returned on contract.”

He added: “Many, I am grateful to say and I am happy to say, have accepted that particular provision. But, there is no question, we have to address this issue of perennial teacher shortage.”

Earlier this month, Bahamas Union of Teachers President Belinda Wilson insisted that the recent recruitment of Cuban teachers doesn’t satisfy the worrying shortage the country faces.

Mrs Wilson said she continues to be concerned about the potential shortage and how hiring and recruitment of new teachers is being outpaced by retirements.

Comments

sheeprunner12 2 years, 7 months ago

There are many Bahamian college trained teachers who have been trained at COB and other institutions who have not been hired in the public service ......... either as P&P or on contracts ....... Why keep 30-40 year veterans on the payroll????? ........... This contradicts the FNM's hiring policy

1

ohdrap4 2 years, 7 months ago

better than hiring cubans, who must remit most of their salaries to the cuban govt.

also the retirees are cheaper in the long run because their pensions will not increase.

1

Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 7 months ago

This truly daft policy announced by Jeffrey Lloyd only serves to discourage young Bahamians from pursuing a career in teaching....there's no shortage, give others a chance. Besides, most of the very aged teachers he's talking about haven't exactly produced stellar results in terms of the average calibre of D- student graduating from high school over the past two plus decades. Minnis should make Lloyd his press secretary and dump the existing one who is doing a terrible job. We need a strong, wise, astute and capable Minister of Education to handle the problems of that enormous Ministry....Lloyd will never fit that bill nor can he ever rise to the occasion. We all have our limitations and it is up to Minnis to exercise good judgement in recognizing that fact and, where necessary, re-shuffle the deck before its too late!

0

OMG 2 years, 7 months ago

Our good old Deputy Director specifically recruited Cuban teachers even when it wasn't their subject speciality and local experienced teschers were retired.and willing. Not only do Cubans not integrate they also simply come for the money. And their exam results are often very poor.

1

TalRussell 2 years, 7 months ago

Comrades! No muss, no fuss about it. The red shirts crown ministers, have developed a love affair with all PLP policies and expenditures they campaigned against up to May 10,2017.... all left is to dye their red t-shirts - PLP yellow, and invite V. Alfred and the former AG Allyson Maynard Gibson QC to join red cabinet? { Why bother making stuff up? }.

0

DEDDIE 2 years, 7 months ago

The Bahamas don't have an unemployment problem but a lack of skill/educated work force.

1

TalRussell 2 years, 7 months ago

Amen Deddie. The Bahamaland should and can within the next 5-10 years be working towards 'guaranteeing every citizen a Minimum Yearly Income of $25,000, BahamaCARE, Old Age Pensions of $2,000 monthly and Death Benefits of $5,000 ' - not running with beggars cup in hand to world money lenders. None this is possible, unless our government gets on with the business of deporting those done here and keeping new illegal immigrants outside our country's borders. The Sovereignty of the Bahamaland, must be protected at all costs.

1

sheeprunner12 2 years, 7 months ago

There are large numbers of Bahamians who have a first degree but have no job ........ just give them the right incentive and let them join the teaching service on 5 year contracts with a plan to become teacher certified within that time frame ........ and create a PD plan available outside of University of The Bahamas BEd programme to allow these degreed persons to be certified in their schools through an online system with proper mentoring ..... but NO to old retirees!!!!!!!!

1

Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 7 months ago

Excellent suggestions. Hopefully the decision-makers read what you've posted here.

0

kellydenise 2 years, 7 months ago

Sheeprunner12 I support your point of view. My sister and I just had this conversation some weeks ago. We are both university grads with degrees in multiple areas (B.S & M.S.) with an interest in changing careers towards education. However, the red tape and utter nonsense we heard from the Ministry of Education and UB was just frustrating. My sister applied to UB and was accepted in the BS Education program only to be told she will have to start from the beginning (Math 101, etc.) because her degree is 10 years old- mind you her degrees are from accredited universities in the US, but yet the government is willing to take on so many retired teachers (no disrespect to these teachers as many have done a tremendous job) but there have to be other means of getting others in the classroom that are working or willing to work towards getting certified outside of the realm of UB. My goodness with this mentality we will continue to have shortages and retirees in the classroom.

1

mangogirl01 2 years, 7 months ago

Why don't you contact the Minister directly, he responses to all his messages, email, facebook, twitter.

0

TheMadHatter 2 years, 7 months ago

kellydenise......YES. I also have a degree and have tried off and on for 15 years to become a teacher in this country. I have dealt with the...well you know the laws of libel prevent people from telling truths, so I can't say the persons.... anyway - suffice it to say - that teaching in this country is a PRIVATE CLUB and you cannot get in - no way - no how.

What about this new Dept of Labour program they are supposed to bring online?

Couldn't they print a report of all Bahamians who have a bachelors or higher degree and are currently unemployed? I would bet if you did that and if you polled those persons you would be surprised at how many of them have roamed aimlessly around the halls of the Dept of Education on East St. only be sent from office to office and fill out form after form and be told bull after bull.

It is a private club. I have proven that to myself. I wish I could tell you the things I experienced in my quest - but I don't want to be taken to court.

If the good minister would run a 1/2 page ad in the Tribune inviting all degreed persons interested in teaching to contact his office directly and HE HIMSELF call them back within 7 days to discuss their potential as start-up teachers - he would QUICKLY find himself with a classroom shortage instead of a teacher shortage.

But who am I? I'm not a member of parliament - so what do I know?

1

mangogirl01 2 years, 7 months ago

I agree but be proactive and contact the Minister directly, he responses to all his messages, email, facebook, twitter.

0

killemwitdakno 2 years, 7 months ago

Have the embassies do a email blast. Lots of Bahamian teachers working abroad as far as Dubai.

1

sheeprunner12 2 years, 7 months ago

Dubai teachers make $100,000 per year ........ very tempting hey????????

0

OMG 2 years, 7 months ago

The reality is that is you knew the right person you could walk right out of industry into the classroom -FACT. There is one school where a music teacher is unqualified but used to drive a jitney. That being said the practical subjects are always short of teacher so why not encourage above average BTVI woodwork, Small engine, plumbing, electrical students to enter the profession whilst completing a part time course at COB. Much better than disinterested Cubans who simply accrue as much wealth as possible to take back whilst spending as little as possible.

1

TheMadHatter 2 years, 7 months ago

Wonder if the Tribune has the care and concern about the Bahamas to KEEP this story up for the next ten days?

Or should we sweep it under the rug like every other serious problem we have?

1

gbgal 2 years, 7 months ago

The UB should be thinking out of the box for immediate solutions to this problem. Forget the old maxims and create new ones! Weekend and night classes and online programs offered to potential teachers to gain required credentials is one way to get younger teachers in the classroom quickly but completion should not take forever. People are turned off facing an endless length of red tape. They want to commit to the shortest possible time and get on with the job while receiving respect for their talent, knowledge and skills. I agree the older retired teachers should be used as a last resort.

1

TheMadHatter 2 years, 7 months ago

I like your last three sentences - but the first part about UB is totally irrelevant. The problem has nothing to do with the availability of awesome Bahamians ready and willing to teach. The problem is completely with the Min. of Educ. They will simply not hire Bahamians as teachers. As a Bahamian you simply CANNOT get a job as a teacher in the Bahamas. Forget it. Don't even think about it. Put your application in to your nearest fast food restaurant and tell them "I love making french fries." You will get a job then.

0

mangogirl01 2 years, 7 months ago

I would suggest to all on here who commented with excellent suggestions to please contact the Minister directly; he responses to his emails, facebook and twitter messages. We cannot continue to be laid back and satisfied with the status quo, please send your suggestions directly to him.

0

Regardless 2 years, 7 months ago

....more than likely you are him.

0

Maynergy 2 years, 7 months ago

Teachers available: Call 631-504-7951

0

TheMadHatter 2 years, 7 months ago

OK OK OK

EVERYBODY - We have been wasting our finger movements typing here. I just went to the Min of Educ website

https://www.ministryofeducationbahamas">https://www.ministryofeducationbahamas. dot com

and all you will see there on their front page is NOTHING ABOUT WHAT WE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Instead you will see Lady Pindling handing out awards, and the following text (in part)

"...when we examine the changes that have taken place in The Bahamas over the last sixty years, we realize that progress has been rapid and, quite significant. The transformation of the Bahamian education system vividly illustrates this."

LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

So give it up fellow comrades. Forget it. Our education system is in a high speed "rapid" state of progress and super duper AWARDS are in order.

Relax yourselves. Chill. Everything is under control.

Holy Smokes. Can they at least pass the pipe around so the rest of us can be so calm, relaxed, and happy? I'm gonna fill out my reincarnation application for next time to be an ostrich.

0

Maynergy 2 years, 7 months ago

   Maynergy

"We know Bahamas"

Good to say Bahamians need to do This and do that. But look what has been allowed to foment for the last forty five years? Disorder and repeated disrespect for the flag and country by so many at the top. you know? introduce ORDER.

http://tribune242.com/users/photos/20...">http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin..." alt="None">

by Maynergy

0

baldbeardedbahamian 2 years, 7 months ago

Some people think that achieving a college degree automatically qualifies you to be a teacher. No, it does not. You need a specialized and specific set of skills to teach, just like becoming a lawyer, you get a degree first and then go to law school for 2 years, teaching, degree first then teaching certificate, which typically takes a year. And don't expect any big money either. There is a reason we have a teacher shortage, hiring a bunch of unpeople who feel entitled because they have a degree will not fix the problem. They sound like they feel entitled to be hired so I expect they would make not very good teachers. Teaching is a vocation, not something to do because you have wasted years and dollars getting a degree in a subject with no practical application in the jobs market,. Go sit at the back of the class and stop snivelling.

0

sheeprunner12 2 years, 7 months ago

How can DOE & some urban schools justify having 5-10 teachers just sitting in their schools for substitution of other teachers who are chronically absent from duty????? ...... While other schools do not even have the basic complement of staff on Day 1????? ......... Watsayu??????

0

Sign in to comment