The President of the Bahamas Union of Teachers commented on the teacher shortage on Monday.

Union President Belinda Wilson spoke to members of the media on the subject outside of a meeting for women’s groups hosted by the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development.  “There’s a perennial problem every year.  We do not have sufficient teachers.  So on Wednesday of this week its the orientation, so we will be there.  We’ll be present to ensure that we meet the new teachers, we get them enrolled in our union but to make sure that whatever issues they may have outstanding, they are dealt with.  We are looking at the preparation of schools for the new school year. And as I look at several schools we still have buildings, new buildings that are building that are up to belt course as if they didn’t know that school was opening in a week’s time.  We have the collapse of a building at R. M. Bailey, so we’re definitely going to be asking for a full report and investigation on that,” Wilson said.

Wilson also commented on outstanding payments for teachers.  “As we go back to school there are many teachers who are owned for responsibility allowances.  They’ve already marked examinations.  They’ve already done summer school. They’ve already coached.  They’ve already taken part in various activities and we’re still waiting for funding.  Our teachers are not please about that.”

The union president listed a number of items which teachers need resolved including letters for unpaid leave and confirmation.

On the issues raised by Wilson, Director of Education Dominique McCartney-Russell told ZNS that the ministry’s human resource department is assiduously working on completing confirmation letters and that she has been assured by contractors working on school repairs that they are trying to get schools up and running as soon as possible.