Georgetown, Guyana – (April 15, 2016) President David Granger, today, commissioned a 72-seater bus at the Kuru Kururu Primary School, which was donated to his “Boats, Buses and Bicycles plus Breakfast and Books” (‘Five Bs’) programme to serve students living along the Soesdyke-Linden Highway.
The bus was donated by Berbice businessman, Mr. Peter Lewis. The President was accompanied by Minister of Social Cohesion, Ms. Amna Ally.
Addressing the large gathering in the school compound, the Head of State said that this is yet another step towards making Guyana a more equal society [and] making education, one of the most vital of social services, accessible to all citizens regardless of where they live.
“You must be able to grow up as members of an equal society, as equal citizens. We need to give them equal access to education because education is the gateway to a successful career and to a comfortable life… Inequality is created by people, who are educationally deficient, people who are poor, people who don’t have opportunities,” President Granger said.
The President said that his Government is committed to putting an end to the alarmingly high school dropout rate in Guyana, emphasising that those who did not complete their education are at a disadvantage as they are often deemed unemployable. He added that the handing over of this vehicle is not a public relations gimmick [but instead] it goes to the heart of everything he stands for and intends for the children of Guyana.
“We want to create an education nation…we want to create a generation of young people, who can satisfactorily find employment, not necessarily in the Government or the army or the police, but self-employment. We want you to be able to employ yourself because Guyana is the best, the biggest, the most bountiful and most beautiful Caribbean country and we must learn to produce…” the Head of State said.
He stressed the need for residents to get involved in agro-processing and packaging so that they can create wealth and develop Guyana. Referencing the recently held Local Government Elections, the President urged residents to take charge of the communities in which they live.
“You are part of a generation that every three years, will be able to go out there and vote for the people you want to run your own community. It means that you will be empowered and education is part of that empowerment. You will be able to sit down in your neighbourhood democratic councils, in your regional democratic councils and discuss how your neighbourhoods will be governed,” he said.
Similar sentiments were expressed by Minister Ally, who said that education is the best financial investment that a Government can make in its people. She also expressed the Administration’s appreciation to corporate Guyana for its support of the ’Five Bs’ programme.
The Minister also dismissed reports that have been peddled in certain sections of society that the Government is extorting support from the business community. She said every single citizen or corporation that has donated to the programme to date, has done so of their own accord. Further, these donations had no conditionalities, in that the donors never asked for special concessions in exchange for their support nor did the Government ever make any promises.
Meanwhile, Regional Chairperson, Demerara-Mahaica (Region Four), Ms. Genevieve Allen explained that the Kuru Kururu Primary School has a secondary department that has children coming from has far as Madewini and Yarowkabra and said that this initiative will greatly assist parents and make a tremendous difference in school attendance.
This is the seventh bus that has been commissioned under the programme. On Sunday, the President will be handing over a boat to residents of Baracara in the Berbice River to transport children to and from school.