Improved transportation for Aliki students

─ after-school programme to curb drop-out rate

DPI, Guyana, Sunday, June 30, 2019

“We are here to take care of all the people – from all parts of Guyana.”

This was the pledge given when Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon, and Minister of Business, Haimraj Rajkumar held an interactive session with Aliki residents at a community meeting on June 30.

DG Harmon revealed that from this September, the community’s youths would be able to benefit from an after-school programme via the Social Protection Ministry. The programme will allow the youths to sit the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination and eventually further their studies. This move will see the students being placed at nearby Secondary Schools, with dormitory facilities, to further their education.

Harmon was responding to appeals to address the issues of the school drop-out rate and the provision of opportunities for the community’s youth to be able to further their education. A request for a boat to transport students was also made.

Among the other matters highlighted was the clarification of land titling, the community’s lease status, land rentals, drainage for backlands. Proposals for agro-processing and boat building training were also put forward by residents, along with the need for internet access, a school transport boat, individual firearms licenses, solar batteries. A commitment was also given to have an internet facility operational by the end of the year, by the National Data Management Authority (NDMA).

The Director-General assured that “no village will be left out of our development planning…. Even before you ask, we have seen some of the issues that need to be addressed.”

In his interaction with the residents, Minister Rajkumar said the event was in keeping with the mandate of “taking the government to the people”. He reminded the approximately 200 residents of the small 29,890-acre community, on the eastern bank of the Essequibo River, to be forthright right in their interaction.

Contact details of residents were taken, and issues that required attention will be relayed to the relevant ministries and agencies. A walkabout preceded the meeting by the officials. The ministers also took the opportunity to distribute hampers to eight seniors and a quantity of sport gear to the community’s youths.

Also, in attendance were the Region 3, Regional Executive Officer (REO), Jennifer Ferreira-Dougall, RDC officials, and several residents from nearby communities such as Beri-Bissiballi and Baboon Hole.

The community of Aliki was founded in the early 1960s; most residents there earn a livelihood through logging, farming and fishing.

Images: Kawise Wishart