‘An informed population is an educated one’ – PNCR

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PRESS STATEMENT BY

PEOPLE’S NATIONAL CONGRESS REFORM

 An informed population is an educated one

The PNCR joins with our Indigenous brothers and sisters countrywide as we prepare to celebrate International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, which is being observed today, 9th August 2019. This date marks the first meeting, in 1982, of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations.

This year’s theme is “Indigenous Languages” and will focus on the current situation of indigenous languages around the world.

The PNCR is aware that languages play a crucial role in the daily lives of people, not only as a tool for communication, education, social integration and development but also a repository for person’s unique identity, cultural history, traditions and memory.

The PNCR has a proud history in and out of government od service to our indigenous communities.  It was the PNC in government that initiated a progressive education policy for the indigenous people of Guyana. It was the PNC in government that established the policy of taking secondary education to the hinterland and the indigenous people, rather than forcing them to leave their families and communities to study on the coastland.

Further, it is the PNC administration that expanded primary education by building schools in the Aranaputa Valley and Monkey Mountain, partly through self-help.

The PNC in government built 11 new government-aided, all-age schools at Konashen, Maruranau, St Ignatius, Sand Creek, Toka and Yakarinta in the Rupununi; Kamarang in the Cuyuni-Mazaruni Region; Baramita, Matthew’s Ridge, Port Kaituma, Kwebanna, and Waramuri in the Barima-Waini and Orealla in the East Berbice-Corentyne Region; there were 92 primary schools in indigenous communities by 1968, a great improvement from what the PPP bequeathed in 1964.

It was the PNC in government that established the five-year Hinterland scholarship programme for selected students, which funded tuition, allowances to buy books and clothing and return passages to their homes during the Christmas and August holidays.

As a partner in the current Coalition government, the PNCR is proud of the progress and development that is taking place in our indigenous communities, especially in the area of education and public information.

“Without information, there would be no development.” This declaration was made by the Leader of the PNCR, President David Granger at the commissioning of Radio Bartica 95.1FM. The President explained that radio is an essential outlet for culture, language, education, and entertainment and must not become episodic.

To date, under APNU+AFC government radio stations have been established – at Paiwomak, Mahdia, Mabaruma, Lethem, Bartica, Aishalton and Orealla.

During the PPP/C’s 23 years in office radio and television stations were only on the coastland and residents in indigenous communities were denied access to valuable information. Under the APNU+AFC Guyana’s Indigenous Peoples and citizens of all ethnicities now have access to information and in many communities this information can now be received in indigenous languages.

The PNCR is proud that applications for employment and for contracts were recently published in the Indigenous languages. Radio Aishalton launched in 2018 carried broadcasts in the various Indigenous languages and the Ministry of Education has been working on introducing Indigenous languages in schools in Indigenous Peoples’ districts.

The PNCR believes that radio broadcasts in the hinterland provides an opportunity for indigenous peoples to connect and preserve their languages while informing the population. We believe that an informed population is an educated population.

On this important International day of Indigenous Peoples, we in the PNCR wish to encourage our Indigenous brothers and sisters all across Guyana to continue consultations with government and Regional Local Democratic Organs to improve their living standards.

People’s National Congress Reform

Congress Place, Sophia

Georgetown, Guyana

Friday 9th August 2019

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