In an approach that will likely see his government paying closer attention to the welfare of teachers, Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has promised to make teachers a priority in the territory.
“So, yes. I have gone from Ministry of Education but in my new role as Premier and Minister of Finance, I will continue to seek ways that I can support you in the education system by making you a priority in the budgeting process,” Premier Wheatley told teachers during a Professional Development Day address yesterday, August 29.
The Premier said he will also seek to ensure that teachers are made a priority by ensuring they have the finances necessary to push to completion some of the projects that his government is working on, and ensuring they have the finances necessary for their programmes.
A former educator himself, Dr Wheatley told teachers that he will also be championing their cause in the salary review process that is expected to take place within the public service.
According to Dr Wheatley, he will also be helping to encourage the development of policies and supporting the Education Minister, Sharie de Castro, in bringing forth policies to help improve the education system and also in other ways through which he can support from his present position.
The Premier expressed that after leaving the Education Ministry, he handed over the baton to someone he feels is committed and dedicated to education as part of her life‘s work. He further noted that it is his job to ensure that de Castro is successful.
The Premier earlier stated that he never had an opportunity, while serving as Education Minister, to say thank you to teachers for their toil and labour in the education system and to express his appreciation.
Dr Wheatley served as Education Minister up until May of this year, when he was selected as the new leader of the coalition National Unity Government and Premier of the territory.
“Thank you for all of your sacrifice, thank you for all of those long nights in which you have written lesson plans and were grading assessments. Thank you for all you do,” Dr Wheatley said.
The Premier noted that teachers deserve to be commended for all the hard work they have put in and for all they have invested into the territory’s children and invested into the BVI’s future.