UG gets $5M for Constitutional Reform education

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The University of Guyana on Thursday received $5M from the Government to fund Constitutional Reform education.

The cheque was handed over by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo who has responsibility for information to UG’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Griffith at the Office of the Prime Minister.

The Constitutional Reform Education programme is a collaboration between the OPM, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the University.

The Prime Minister, according to the Department of Public Information said Constitutional Reform is not for “sloganeering” nor should it be used as an electioneering platform.

“What I see happening is an attempt by politicians, when it is convenient to politicians, to talk about Constitutional Reform outside of the context of what it means to the ordinary person, whether or not the ordinary person understands the Constitution,” Nagamootoo was quoted as saying.

He then pointed out that the University has a major role to play in making the constitution more relatable for the wider public. The Prime Minister said politics is often used as a purveyor of divisiveness, even in the case of constitutional reform, which should be seen as a good for the society.

UNDP Resident Representative, Mikiko Tanaka said after a 2016 mission, it was determined that consensus across political parties and public education were the two pillars of constitutional reform, the DPI reported.

“Any discussion around reforming would require that understanding of what is in the Constitution or what is lacking or what needs to be changed,” she noted.

Professor Griffith noted his satisfaction with the university’s role in the process while Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Barbara Reynolds assured that the education awareness programme will extend beyond the Coastland to ensure Guyanese from all regions are involved.

The Constitutional Reform Consultative Commission Bill was laid in Parliament in July 2017.

The Bill identifies 100 communities in each administrative region for consultations and hearings to be conducted by the Constitution Reform Commission, with a view that “no one be left behind.”

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