Hastings decries hot meal programme – ‘What kind of a balance meal can you provide with $175?’



By Kurt Campbell

Leader of the APNU, David Granger and MP, Dawn Hastings. [iNews' Photo]
Leader of the APNU, David Granger and MP, Dawn Hastings. [iNews’ Photo]
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Opposition Parliamentarian and Region Seven Representative Dawn Hastings is contending that the youths of the hinterland continue to be denied equal access to education.

She was at the time making her contribution to the National 2014 Budget Debate where she lashed out at the ruling party for what she said was their failure over the last 20 years to deliver quality education, adding that she had hoped to see the 2014 budget improve this situation.

“One of the cries is that there are still limited job opportunities for our young people… it is time our youth have access to technical or industrial centers.”

Hastings told the House that the reality on the ground is that youths from the hinterland have to travel to Georgetown or Essequibo to acquire a trade or skill at very high cost.

Turning her attention to the school feeding programme, the MP said the monies allocated to this venture are inadequate.

“What kind of a balance meal can you provide with $175 in these times to nourish the brain of a child who we expect to become literate and numerate in the end?”

She also criticized the fact that there are cooks who are being paid thousands of dollars a day and would still receive money monthly out of the same allocation given for the feeding programme.

“These are testimony that testify to the continuous neglect of our children in the hinterland… stop neglecting our young people… I say stop making them want to run away from this beautiful Guyana in search of a better place to stay.”

The Opposition MP added that the government continues to boast about schools in the hinterland but stated that results of the national grade six/four and Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate remains poor when compared to other outland regions.

“I hope the government will work towards reversing these poor results and not continue to neglect of our children in the hinterland.”

She said the administration continues to approve large sums of money annual but told the House that it was time they begin to evaluate and examine if development is really taking place in the hinterlands.

She said the budget seems to be suffering from a cataract since it lacks a clear vision for the development of Guyana as a whole.

She said it will be a better Guyana for all, as the theme of the budget says, when people in the hinterland and remote areas cease to mourn about high cost of living and lack of proper medical and other social services.

Hastings did acknowledge government’s efforts, particularly the solar panel distribution and lap top distribution programmes but posited that more needs to be done.



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