His Excellency PRESIDENT David Granger visited the village of River’s View to launch Indigenous Heritage Month (2019). This special village is located in the Upper Demerara-Upper Berbice, Region 10. It is described as overlapping the two richest regions for mining and logging in the country. The President’s visit could be seen as two-fold. It was and still is a time of celebration since the month is not over – showing off many of the skilfully made handicraft items done mostly from some of the natural materials that can be found in the village and extended communities. It was also at a time when some of the most tantalising foods and drinks would have been prepared and served. And the use of some of the fresh fish, ‘wild’ meat, naturally made sauces and many more would have been done to the delight of community members, but especially visitors to the occasion.
Education and Heritage Nonetheless, it was also the merging of Indigenous Heritage Month and Education Month, which both fall within the month of September. Therefore, President Granger used the opportunity to once again address the matter of education, to show the relevance of it in River’s View, as well as in all other communities in Guyana.
In his address to the people of the River’s View community, he highlighted the fact that it was education that set the tone for his first visit to River’s View, when he handed over two boats for the children to use to go to school. President Granger promised that the government would continue to assist in this manner.
He noted that the Public Education and Transportation Service is designed to get children to school; “attendance is priority” and that it will help them to stay in school, where there will be ‘no more skulking, no more dropouts.’ He added that some families in the community have been paying more than $20,000 per month to transport their children to secondary school and promised that this will not continue to happen as long as he is President of Guyana.
Education Month President Granger, in his usual style, obviously delighted at speaking on the topic of education, stated, “This Education Month a very significant month for all of us, because it is the pathway to development; it is the pathway to giving your children a better opportunity to succeed.
“Everything in life nowadays – mining, logging, Information Technology, ophthalmology, everything you can think about is based on knowledge. And without going to school and acquiring that knowledge we will be left behind – as a family, as a community, as a region and as a country,” he asserted.
There is no doubt that the President walks and talks education; that he is a leader who is ever so convinced that it is only by way of education this nation will be developed and will see true prosperity. At the same time what one may admire about the man is the fact that he also puts his money, time and energy where his mouth is. The 5Bs plan is continually being implemented and it is bringing positive results. The figures are there to show. Additionally, it was reported that more than G$170B has been expended on education over the past four years. Furthermore, expenditure on the public education sector moved from 14.8 per cent of the national budget in 2014 to 17.0 per cent in 2017.
Mr Granger is fast becoming known for coining some of the most appropriate phrases on education – phrases that not only attract attention, but are also very motivational for the young people and others of this country.
He said, “Educational development is the pathway to indigenous people’s development. Everyone has a better chance in the modern economy with its emphasis on knowledge-based industries, if he has a good education.” He went on, “We want every child to have access to education, to attend school regularly and to graduate from school with the knowledge, skills and values to be able to provide for his or her family.” There is hardly any family, any parent, and any child who would not desire this.
The President then explained that it is the coalition government’s intended plan to make sure that there is “greater equality” across the divide. He spoke of education being used as the equaliser between the indigenous people of the hinterland, as well as people on the coastland, especially with regard to poverty reduction and better economic opportunities.
Minister of Education, the Hon Dr Nicolette Henry, told a gathering at the launch of Education Month just recently, “If education fails, the nation fails.” In support of her declaration, she further quoted President Granger, “His excellency believes that education is the key to national development. In 2019 $52.2 billion would’ve been allocated to the education sector, an over 15 per cent increase from 2018. This investment in education is critical and crucial to the development of this nation.” Regards
LINK ORIGINAL: Guyana Chronicle