Education must be geared to prepare our children for globalization VIEWPOINT
Guyana Chronicle
May 22, 2004

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CHILDREN in Guyana are now in a position to enjoy all the basic rights of children especially during the last decade. The past is now history and let us put our shoulders to the task by making sure our children, the hope of the future, are part of opportunities now being offered. We are now living in a globalized community and our educational system is now being revolutionized to train our children to take their proper place in the future society. Almost in every community in Guyana the Government has built modern nursery schools comparable to those in other parts of the world thus doing away with the over crowded and unsanitary conditions that previously existed.

Then there is a smooth transition to the hundreds of modern and renovated primary schools, practical instructions centres and secondary schools. There have been vast improvements in the delivery of education along with the physical improvements. Guyana has solved a problem that exists in many countries of the world where girls do not get the same education as boys. In our country, the school population is almost equally divided between boy and girl students. The quality life of children has been further enhanced by the interconnection of the potable water system. Gone are the days when children have to spend long hours carting water to their homes. The extension of pure water supplies has also had the benefit of protection from diseases. In the health sector the renovation and upgrading of all the health facilities now ensure that would be mothers receive the best available attention. This is verified by steep decreases in infant and maternal mortality rates. Children and mothers are being supplied with substitute milk. The immunization of our children is among the best in the world.

The government has undertaken steps to ensure that every child in every community is being immunized, thus enabling the child to grow up healthy and protected against major children’s diseases to take his or her proper place in society. The new housing drive has effectively improved the lives of many children. Provision is in place for the most vulnerable children in our society to be helped. Those children who are too poor are given vouchers to provide them with school uniforms and other items so they can attend school. Measures are now in place to provide light snacks or meals for the less fortunate children in schools. The postnatal clinics now provide supplements such as milk and vitamins to the less fortunate children who are not properly nourished. There are more health centres in the coastal and interior areas. With the interconnection of new and better roads children can get to and form school on time and those lost hours can now be used to promote their levels of performances. To avoid a recurrence of the past and to counter the new age of technology all computers and accessories come into Guyana free. To prepare our children with the new technology Government has put systems in place already to ensure that the new information technology is made available to any child who is interested. There are a number of pilot projects already in place. That is why the largest slice of the national budget has been allocated to education. The Commission of the Rights of the Child has laid emphasis on the need for a strong family system to make children more secure and is in the process of improving laws that guarantee children’s rights.

Educating the child to take his or her place in the globalize and computerized world is the challenge for all parents and guardians.