By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Presidential Candidate for a Partnership for National Unity (APNU) + Alliance for Change (AFC) spoke of the coalition’s elaborate plans for the youths of Guyana.
During a special edition on the radio show ‘Hard Talk’ aired on 90.1 Love FM with Chris Chapwanya, Mr. Granger spoke extensively of plans that will be implemented to the benefit of the youths if the coalition is elected to government.
Granger noted that the current government has not done enough for youths at any of the educational levels, citing the high dropout numbers that currently exist.
“We feel that there is a problem in terms of the government’s attitude to young people, after 23 years we don’t have a credible national youth strategy, we feel that young people should be the beneficiaries of a high grade of education and the education system has failed young people terribly, there is a very large number of drop outs as you know, the last education digest I read indicated there were 6,000 drop outs every year from the primary and secondary school system. I am aware that in the national grade six examinations at the primary level maybe about 50% or more of the young people writing that exam fail all four subjects,” the Presidential Candidate noted.
He is of the strong view that for the youths to have a better quality of life, they need to be properly educated.
Mr. Granger also spoke of the numerous problems that the country’s highest tertiary educational institute is faced with, nothing that, “these problems are of a chronic nature, we’re aware that there are problems at the Cyril Potter College of Education and unless we fix the education system we will not provide the young people with the prospect of having a good life.”
He is also promising to establish Technical and Agricultural institutes in every region, “so that young people could be fitted for proper careers, so the first problem we are looking at is fixing the education system. The second problem we are looking at is providing employment for young people, so this is not an empty promise; the education system is broken.”
He was then confronted with information from the host, Chapwanya, who said the Education Minister, Priya Manickchand has stated that Guyana has made significant strides in the last 20 years more than any other time in the sector by achieving access to universal primary education and is now moving to achieve universal secondary education and continues to build schools countrywide.
In response, Granger said: “You ever went to University of Guyana campus? To which Chapwayna responded, “Oh I have been to the University of Guyana campus.”
Granger then continued, “And you feel the remarks made by the Minister of Education are correct? You’ve been in the library? You’ve been in the lavatories?…I went to the University of Guyana before that, I feel that the education system is a mess, I feel that the Minister of Education needs to go around the country and visit schools and see the conditions under which the children and see the classrooms.
“I have been to places where the classrooms are without any sort of flooring, I have been to schools without proper furniture without enough teachers, where one teacher has to teach 5-6 different classes, so I go around all the schools.”
Granger says he intends to de-politicize the University of Guyana and plans to start with the members of the council.
“It is not only a problem of the composition of the council but it is also a problem of the government’s attitude to funding the university….the important thing about the University of Guyana is funding and once we get the former ministers off the Board and put people who are interested in tertiary education…an APNU+AFC government is going to provide the university with funding to move it up to the standard of the other campuses in the Caribbean.”
There will be moves to increase the subvention that is being allocated to the University. He also stressed that the Information Communications sector (ICT) is another area that greater attention will be given to under his administration.