Aspiring Shiriri teacher gets help to fulfil her dream

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, November 23, 2019

For aspiring teachers like Dedra Johnson, of Shiriri Community in the Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo Region, being successfully employed can come with its challenges; especially when one’s journey is being stalled due to incomplete paperwork.

David Rebeiro, the headteacher of the to Shiriri Primary School, highlighted the issue on Saturday to Minister of Social Cohesion, Hon. Dr. George Norton and his team.

Rebeiro explained that currently, 16-year-old Dedra is volunteering her services at the nursery school with the hope that she will be employed there. “She is a good candidate for the job, but she had a fire, and all her documents were burnt including her birth certificate, and so, this is what delaying everything. Basically, without her birth certificate nothing can happen,” he said.

The headteacher further explained that he was mandated by the region’s Department of Education to fill the position at the nursery level. “At this moment, it is myself and two other male teachers. However, one of the teachers is currently completing his distance-education, and he will leave next year.”

Rebeiro said Dedra is one of the many young people within the community who have the potential to excel in the teaching profession.

After hearing of Johnson’s case, Minister Norton assured that the issue of obtaining a birth certificate will be resolved within a week.

“This act of obtaining a birth certificate can be done in Lethem, and while I will ensure this case is addressed in Georgetown to fast track it… the process is simple and can be easily achieved right in the town of Lethem,” he advised.

During his interaction with the residents of Shiriri, the Social Cohesion Minister learnt that quarters for the headteacher needed to be constructed and additional batteries were needed for the school’s solar power system. He committed to working with the relevant authorities to have the matters addressed.

The minister also donated two guitars and football gear and equipment to the young people in the community to foster their musical aspirations.

“This is just a start… I hope that the young people are given the opportunity to become well-rounded individuals,” Minister Norton said.

The minister’s visit to the region forms part of a wider ministerial community initiative to engage residents, intending to listen to their concerns and find long-term solutions. It’s the government’s way of meeting with the public at the grassroots level.