It is now day three of the teachers’ strike, and dozens of single mothers especially are forced to stay away from their jobs, since many schools are without teachers or are in go-slow mode, making it pointless for hundreds of children to attend school.
In other instances, some parents were forced to abruptly leave their professions since their children were either left unattended or stranded moments after being dropped off or because teachers have chosen to left them unattended as part of the ongoing strike action.
This was evident during a countrywide visit by this publication mostly in Georgetown, the East Coast, and the West Coast of Demerara.
When the Guyana Guardian arrived at the Enterprise Primary School yesterday, it was evident that teachers and students were not the only ones experiencing infringement due to the strike, but also single mothers who have nowhere else to send their children, which inadvertently serves as a daycare while they are at work.
In response to a query, the Headmistress of the Enterprise School explained that in comparison to the first and second day of school, eleven teachers less have arrived for school on day three. Therefore this issue has caused an influx of unattended students in school, moreover an increase of parents returning to the school to take their children back home during the day.
It is now evident that it is not only students who are affected by the current strike action, but mostly single mothers as well, since they now have to choose between endangering and leaving their children at home unattended during school hours, or risk losing their job by staying away, while also having to contend with a lower wage at the end of the month, even if they are not fired.
Despite all of these slowly brewing socioeconomic issues, the government seems bent on dealing with those risks rather than being more responsive to the teachers’ demands for a 40% increase in their salary, which a panel that was appointed by the President himself, had recommended several months ago.
As a result, the Guyana Teachers Union had said that the strike action will continue until the government can adhere to their demands, or until the matter is sent to arbitration.