Georgetown, Guyana (August 1, 2019): President David Granger, this morning, called on the pastor and congregants of the Glory Light Tabernacle to ensure that every child in the Plaisance, East Coast Demerara community has access to education as “Emancipation means education. Education is empowerment and employment speaks to independence”.
The President was at the time addressing those gathered at the Tabernacle for its annual Emancipation Anniversary Sunrise Worship and Prayer Breakfast.
The Head of State said Africans, after Emancipation established villages which rested on four pillars- the home, school, church and the farm.
“Africans recreated their world by establishing these pillars within their villages. The four pillars kept these villages intact for more than one hundred and eighty-one years. The villages will disintegrate unless these pillars are kept erect,” he said.
The President also reminded that the majority of Africans were illiterate in 1838 but they desired to improve themselves to ensure better futures for their children.
“They saw education as unlocking greater opportunities and lifting themselves out of the cycle of inter-generational poverty,” he said.
Education, he explained, helped to produce a corps of leaders to administer villages and to move into a range of professions including public education, public administration, public health and public security.
“Africans supported efforts at educating their children. They not only provided lands and helped build churches but sent their children to the schools which were established by these churches. Education became the responsibility not just of families but of entire villages, he said referencing the African saying, ‘it takes a village to raise a child,’” he said.
Education remains today what it represented 18 decades ago- a gateway to greater opportunities and to a better life, the President said, adding that “It must be strengthened as a pillar of society. Villages must become more involved in the education of their children. The church, itself a pillar of our villages, must work to reinforce the other pillars, especially education.”
President Granger noted that his Government has a plan which will ensure that the forthcoming decade will be a “Decade of development for all Guyanese”. This decade of development, he said, will focus on education.
“This is a basic entitlement of all children,” he said, adding that “the ‘Decade’ will protect the right to universal primary education. Article 27 of Constitution states that “Every citizen has the right to free education from nursery to university as well as at non-formal places where opportunities are provided for education and training”.
The President said the revenues that will be accrued from the oil sector will be used to enhance the delivery and access to education. He also revealed that his Government will restore free education in accordance with the Constitution, to the extent that the petroleum revenues will have the capacity to satisfy citizens’ entitlement to free education which will see at least one primary school established in every village.
“I have plans for the profits which will come from oil and gas. It is not going to enrich a few; it is going to educate many. Every child must be in school. Every village must have a school. This decade of development means that in every single village, every child must have access to go to school…I want this church, Glory Light Tabernacle to ensure there are no more street children,” he said.
To further realise this vision, the Head of State also revealed that the Government will extend and expand the Public Education and Transportation Service (PETS) which was launched four years ago on his 70th birthday.