Building an ‘Education Nation’
─ Early Childhood Educational Center impacting more than 40 families
─ Citizens Praise initiative, begging for more!
DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Mohabir Hakandu is a grandfather of two from Leonora. Every Monday to Friday he takes one of his grandchildren to the Early Childhood Educational Center (ECEC) in Lenora, Region 3.
“This centre here is a big help people like me who didn’t have much recourse. It is helpful right now,” Mohabir told the Department of Public Information (DPI).
Hakandu is one of many persons that utilise the facility that was established through a joint effort between the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF), Regional Administration and the Office of Presidential Advisor on Youth Empowerment Unit (PAYEU).
Ameer Haniff is another, a young professional from right in Leonora who is more than happy for the services offered by the institution. “I think this is a very good initiative because it gives young couples a chance to go out and work instead of the norm, which is the wife staying at home looking after the kids in the house. It gives young people a chance to explore and develop a career.”
The facility caters for 45 students and is outfitted with four care areas/classrooms, a sleeping area, sickbay, a staff room, an administrative area, storage spaces, a kitchenette, a laundry room, sanitary facilities, and an outdoor play area for the children.
Due to the circumstances presented by some parents, headmistress, Annette Roberts made a few exceptions and went slightly over the facility’s capacity. “At present, we have 48 pupils; I went over the required number of 45. But then parents were just flooding me with requests; everyone had a situation, and I overstepped by three pupils.”
Even with these additional students, Roberts relates that she had to turn down dozens more. Fortunately for Mohabir and others like him, there are already plans in the pipeline to construct even more centres across Guyana. The ultimate goal is to have one in every region and multiple where necessary to meet the population needs.
Over the last 25 years, the BNTF Guyana office has been working to address poverty reduction by providing access to basic infrastructure and services in rural and urban communities. BNTF also trained 64 young women and two young men as early childhood educators earlier this year, eight of which are selected to cater to those attach to centre.