Mentorship Scheme launched by PNC District By Shirley Thomas
Guyana Chronicle
October 17, 2001

A NOVEL programme to enhance the development of students in the academic and sociological domains was launched by the Georgetown District of the People’s National Congress (PNC) on Sunday.

At the launching held in the auditorium of City Hall, 25 students (referred to as ‘Mentees’) were inducted into the Awards and Mentorship Scheme. The programme is designed to benefit PNC members’ offspring, who were successful at this year’s SSEE tests.

The students were presented with certificates, school kits and special awards. Each child will be attached to a role model (Mentor) for the period during which they will attend secondary school.

The ceremony was addressed by Dr. Heather Johnson of the CARICOM Secretariat, and the Charge was delivered by PNC/Reform Leader, Mr. Hugh Desmond Hoyte.

The aims and objectives of the scheme include:

** Enhancing the development of the students in the academic and sociological domains and exposing them to tangible factors which would not be available in the classroom, but would be vital to their growth and development

** Having them closely mentored by one who is considered a successful role model within society, who will augment their parenting, while helping to inculcate in the youths, the feeling of being nurtured by a caring organisation.

The Mentor must be approachable, willing to interact with the Mentee at a personal level; be comfortable with his or her success, and willing to share with the Mentee how he/she accomplished that success. The Mentor will also be required to meet with the Mentee periodically, and spend at least four hours per month with the child.

Other responsibilities include:
** Coaching the Mentee in his/her academic work and promoting career guidance

** Helping the child develop good values and attitudes

** Walk the child through problems, which he or she may encounter from time to time.

** Be good a role model for the student

** To interact with the parents through parent/Mentor meetings under the auspices of the Directorate. In short, the attitude of Mentors should be one which says very loudly, and demonstrates in a profound way - “We care; and together with your parents, we’ll be there for you!”

The Mentees will be required to avail themselves to meet with their Mentors monthly, produce their academic reports for inspection; discuss with them their progress of any of shortcomings on their part with a view to being helped through these; discuss matters relating to attitude and values, and assist with appropriate projects and tasks as assigned by the Mentors. They should also be prepared to meet with the Directorate periodically.

According to Chairman of the Awards and Mentorship Scheme, Mr. Vincent Alexander, it is the duty of the Directorate to maintain the Awards and Mentorship Scheme, while parents will be required to facilitate the relationship between Mentees and the Directorate, and between Mentees and the Mentors.

The organisers hope that the Awards and Mentorship scheme will maintain a proactive approach in the task of helping to mould and nurture youths into citizens of whom Guyana can be truly proud.