Georgetown, Guyana – (August 21, 2015) President David Granger, today received another school boat, the ‘David G’, as was promised to him on his 70th birthday. The boat was handed over to the President and First Lady Mrs. Sandra Granger by businessman, Alfro Alphonso, in a simple ceremony at the Charity Wharf, on the Essequibo Coast. The boat, which was donated by a group of businessmen, including Mr. Alphonso, will be used to ferry children in Region 2, to and from school.
The donation of this boat, and another made earlier this week by GAICO Construction and General Service Incorporated, is part of a programme by the Ministry of Social Cohesion to work with business community to provide transportation for school children. Minister Amna Ally, in an invited comment, said that there will be several ‘David Gs’ and that school buses will be added to the fleet of school transport vehicles. The Minister said that the programme was developed to support the President’s goal of ensuring that all school-aged children are able to attend school.
The President said the gesture should be seen as an investment, which will bring dividends in terms of education, and more importantly in terms of the development of the entire region. “I would regard [the companies] (that donated the boat) as a good corporate citizen, as today we see that company giving back to the community,” the President said.
The gesture, the President said, reflects the role companies should play in the development of their communities and regions. “I believe what we see here today is the start of what I would call a virtuous cycle, the start of an economic revolution in region two,” President Granger told the large gathering.
Speaking on the spin-off benefits of investing in children’s education, the President explained that an educated society will in turn create a stronger workforce and increased productivity. “Without going to school your children cannot get good jobs; doctors, lawyers, businessmen…so it is important that children stay in school,” he reiterated.
The idea of making transportation available to school children, the President said, was inspired by his numerous meetings with residents throughout the country. “I come on the ground. I come in the river and people talked to me and the idea of the school boat came from the people themselves…I’m inspired by you the people. As President it’s my duty to look after your interest,” he added.
In addition, President Granger said it is the vision of his administration, over the next five years to ensure that every school-aged child is able to attend school. To aid this vision, the President added that his government will ensure that they are equipped with transportation, school uniforms, hot meals, and text books.
In addition, speaking about the potential of the region, President Granger urged residents to start leaning towards agro processing and becoming entrepreneurs as they make use of the produce coming out of their region.
The boat will be delivered to the Region in time for the new school term and at the end of every school year the maintenance and servicing of the boat will be undertaken by Mr. Alphonso. This vessel has a seating capacity of 40 and carries a 200 horsepower engine.