The Ministry of Education yesterday announced that it is embarking on a “robust” marketing and recruitment drive to reverse the decline of male teachers.

The “Be a Man, Teach Guyana” campaign, initiated by Education Minister Shaik Baksh, is being executed by senior officers from the Ministry with support from World Bank. “Educators are becoming increasingly aware of the need for the presence of male teachers in order to turn around boys’ underachievement and provide fair role models for both boys and girls and by extension young men and women,” the Ministry said in a statement.

Data from Ministry of Education Statistic Digest for 2008-2009 has indicated that the ratio of male to female teachers in the education system is 1:247 at the nursery level; 1:7 at the primary levels; and 1:2 at the secondary level. “These figures in comparison with other countries of the world are not vastly different and generally reflect a world-wide trend,” the Ministry said, while noting that it seems that men are opting out of teaching primarily because it is seen as “a low paying job,” among other factors. The situation is not unique to any one country, it added, while noting that attempts have been made to narrow the gender disparity in the profession.

According to the Ministry, the recruitment drive aims to change this growing phenomenon that exists at all levels of the education system. To this end, the message of the campaign is to be disseminated through several avenues, including newsletters, pep talks, brochures, debating clubs, career fairs and advertisements.

“The Ministry of Education is of the view that if these efforts are done continuously, the desired change can be achieved, that is, to increase the number of male teachers in the education system,” it added.