Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Barton Scotland has expressed satisfaction over the number of initiatives being undertaken to ensure that the Parliament of Guyana is no longer perceived as a “mysterious place”.
He made the remark during the simple launching ceremony of handbooks entitled “Our House, an Introduction to the Parliament of Guyana” today (June 23, 2017).
The Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM), in collaboration with the Parliament of Guyana with funding under the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives and the High Commission of Canada to Guyana, launched the two booklets, one for adults and an illustrated version for school children, along with their online versions occurred at the Parliament Building.
The booklets serve as an introductory guide to the parliament, its rules and its history.
According to the ACM President Wesley Gibbings, the intention of the publication is to promote greater awareness of the contribution of the parliamentary system to transparent and accountable governance and genuine representation of the will of the people of Guyana.
In his brief address, the House Speaker lamented that not many people are au fait with the parliamentary system and therefore lauded the initiative.
“Many people have said that they didn’t know they could come to parliament and what’s significant about it is that most of the people who have expressed that to me are people who are very advanced in age. So the idea of this publication and what it would contribute to that opportunity which is provided by opening the doors of parliament and giving us an opportunity to build on it,” Dr Scotland said.
In fact, he noted that the Parliament of Guyana has embarked on projects of its own to educate the population about the role and importance of parliament in to the country and its people.
Some of these initiatives are schools outreach programmes which consist of visits by the Speaker, Members of Parliament (MPs) and Officers from the Parliament Office as well as the weekly newspaper publication “The Parliament Corner, and a robust social media campaign.
Further, the Speaker encouraged Guyanese to read the books, noting that they are very user friendly, and he also urged that readers seek additional information at various institutions such as the Parliament of Guyana and the National Library.
Meanwhile, Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Pierre Giroux, in brief remarks during the simple launching ceremony, noted that the documents offer an opportunity for wider engagement and broadening the discourse on national politics.