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Bahamian Minister of Education Jeffery Lloyd (Eyewitness News Photo) …Guyanese teachers in The Bahamas assured of jobs …displaced children to be re-assigned to other schools THE Bahamian Ministry of Education has assured the Consulate that Guyanese teachers resident in the Hurricane-ravaged islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama will be assigned to schools in other parts of the country.

The Honorary Guyanese Consul in The Bahamas, Jairam Mangra, met with the Bahamian Minister of Education, Jeffery Lloyd, on Monday afternoon at the Education Ministry located in Nassau City, New Providence, Bahamas.

In an interview with the Guyana Chronicle on Tuesday, the Honorary Consul said, during the meeting, the Bahamian Education Minister indicated that the jobs of affected Guyanese teachers, within the government system, are secured. “Those teachers who had to be evacuated to Nassau will be reallocated, deployed in Nassau and other islands as the need arises,” he explained.

He noted that there are teachers from the affected islands, who were already stationed at schools in Nassau City, New Providence, and will continue to work as per norm. “A lot of them who have been evacuated to Nassau and are currently here, some of them had already been allocated to schools in Nassau, and others are in the process of being allocated here in Nassau and with the option of going to other islands,” the Honorary Consul further detailed.

He noted that those who have not been assigned to schools, at the moment, have been reporting to the Bahamian Education Ministry. The Education Ministry in The Bahamas has given the ‘green light’ for the issuance of salary advances to those affected. “They will receive an advance on their salary once they apply, and that’s important because at least they will have some funds to take care of their needs,” he said.

Added to that, Mangra said the Education Ministry will be providing accommodation and added finance to teachers who would be re-assigned to far-flung islands. “If they send them to the far flung islands, places like Acklins, Crooked Island, Mayaguana, if they send them there, then usually housing is provided and they get what is called a hardship allowance, which is an addition to their pay,” he explained.

The Honorary Guyanese Consul in The Bahamas, Jairam Mangra The Honorary Consul noted too that Guyanese teachers who are attached to the Catholic Board of Education, within the private education system, are also being re-assigned. “Two of the teachers reached out to me and indicated that their jobs are secured but now they will have to decide whether they are going home or not,” he said. A family of five, including two teachers, has already returned home.

The Guyanese Consulate in The Bahamas has been in contact with approximately 30 Guyanese teachers, who were resident in Grand Bahama and Abaco at the time of Hurricane Dorian, however, Mangra told this newspaper that there is an even larger number affected. “A number of these teachers have not registered with the consulate, and I am now learning about them and their whereabouts.”

That aside, the Bahamian Education Ministry has been making provisions for hundreds of displaced students from Abaco and Grand Bahama. At the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium, hundreds of students ages four to 19 registered for schools in New Providence. The registration process will run until mid-October. Approximately 10,000 students are expected to register, the ministry said.

In general, Mangra said the Consulate, with support from individuals and organisation such as the Red Cross, has been providing aid to affected Guyanese in the affected islands. “Relief is now becoming available to those who have remained on the islands. Now the ones in New Providence can also access relief,” he noted.

The Government of Guyana has pledged approximately $41.6M (US$200,000) in donation to The Bahamas, as the Bahamian Government shifts its focus to recovery, stabilisation and restoration days after Hurricane Dorian wreaked havoc in the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama.

Minister of State, Dawn Hastings-Williams, made the announcement on Sunday night during a telethon on the National Communications Network (NCN). “As a government we have committed to donate US$200,000 towards assisting the needs of our brothers and sisters,” Minister Hastings-Williams disclosed. Assistance, through the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), is also being provided to Guyanese on the ground.

To date, the Category Five Storm, which hit The Bahamas on September 1, has left approximately 50 persons dead and more than 1,300 missing. Approximately 70,000 persons, including Guyanese, have been severely affected as a result of the storm, primarily those that reside in the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama.

LINK ORIGINAL: Guyana Chronicle

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