The Ministry of Education and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Guyana signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Friday to launch the Guyana-China Friendship Youth Leadership Development Award.
The Leadership program will take the form of a competition that will focus on three areas; a community-based project, critique of a work of art and the participation in sport activities such as athletics, gymnastics, dance and swimming. This is according to the Administrator of the Unit of Allied Arts Ms. Lorraine Barker-King.
She said that the competition is open to grades eight to 10 students who are currently at a secondary school in any of the 11 Education Districts.
Ms. Barker-King noted that during this year, in keeping with the COVID-19 guidelines, each Education District will shortlist eight grade 10 students to participate in the competition. This is so because of the three grades, only grade 10 students are physically attending school.
Students will be shortlisted based on the following criteria: participation in sports, academic performance, leadership qualities, mental qualities, self-control, sociability and social action and participation in clubs and societies.
Ms. Barker-King said that the programme will contribute significantly to the future development of Guyana. She said that the staff of the Unit of Allied Arts has been assigned the task of executing the competition and promised that it will be done at the standard that is normally exemplified by the Ministry of Education. Each winner from the 11 Education Districts will win US$1,000.
The Honourable Minister of Education Priya Manickchand said that her Ministry is happy to partner with the People’s Republic of China to help develop some world citizens. She said that the partnership advances what the Ministry of Education believes in which is that we must develop rounded citizens.
“Anything that could help us advance that process is always welcomed,” Minister Manickchand remarked. She said further that across Guyana there are many examples of students who try hard to do their best academically and at being excellent citizens.
She mentioned that this program will not be centred to any particular region as it will apply to every Education District which includes the ten Administrative Regions and Georgetown.
Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Chen Xilai said that he was happy to participate in the launch ceremony.
He said that it is very important for young people to be given opportunities and that China values education. He said that his country is glad to assist the education sector in Guyana. According to the Chargé d’Affaires, this Leadership Program is an outcome following discussion with Special Projects Officer of the Ministry of Education, Dr. Jacob Opadeyi.
He said, “We hope that this award will inspire the Guyanese students to have a dream and exemplify in their studies; grow up to be future leaders in various fields in Guyana and contribute to national development.”
He said that based on the evaluation of this year’s competition, the Embassy will actively consider making the initiative a national annual program. He said that the program is a great example of the Guyana-China Friendship relationship.
Chief Education Officer, Dr. Marcel Hutson said that today’s launch was an important event. He said that the Award program is significant at this time as it allows Guyanese students to remain engaged even during a pandemic.
He said that the program will focus on moral values, intelligence, sports, artistic values and community service. He believes that a program of this nature will give students the impetus to perform and allow them to see themselves differently and realize that their life should not be confined to academia.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Alfred King said that across Guyana, in the 11 Education Districts, students will experience exposure to leadership that will allow them to develop a balanced lifestyle that will complement their academic pursuits. He said that the Ministry of Education values the partnership since it will help us to enhance the delivery of quality education across Guyana.