CHIEF Executive Officer of BK International Brian Tiwarie and Mr. Leslie Chang, Managing Director at Surrey Paving and Aggregate Company, on Wednesday donated $1.5 M to the top 10 National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) students of Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Upper Berbice).
The cheque was presented to regional Member of Parliament Jermaine Figueira, who had made an application to Tiwarie for the donation.
The students, Shakina McGregor, Somira Dainty , Shakina London, Owen Hooper, Latanya Edwards , Zaria Jacobis, Oroyo Trotman, Zalika Dey Anton Ward, Shinnia Flatts , Seraiah Dorris Walker and Makayla Moseley were present with their parents for the simple ceremony, which was attended by Minister of Social Protection Amna Ally.
Ally congratulated the students for their excellent performance and thanked Mr. Tiwarie and Mr. Chang. “I want to thank them for stepping forward and giving assistance to you in your exams and because Mr. Tiwarie would have recognised how important education is to all of us…and so I hope you can take the contribution towards this on a very serious note and your parents will utilise it in the best way possible,” Ally said.
Mr Tiwarie said that the donation is a continuation of what was started on Sunday by Minister of State Joseph Harmon in Linden, raising $1.8 M for the students. Tiwarie also congratulated the students for their hard work and made a commitment to continue donating towards their education, as long they continue to succeed. MP Figueira has the responsibility of consulting with the parents in deciding how the money will be spent to benefit the children’s education.
Parents however are suggesting that the money which is currently $3.3 M in total, be used to purchase a bus to transport the children to their respective awarded schools in Georgetown. Carolyn Allicock expressed appreciation for the donation and said, “I am very happy about the donation, because I am a single parent and you know single parents, they need a lot of help, because in this time it is very hard; when the children work to achieve certain schools and you can’t afford to let them go, so when we get the support, we are very grateful for that…..so I believe if we get the bus it would be good, because they have other children that would be going to Georgetown that would really need the assistance that is not within the top 10, we would be thankful for that,” Allicock said.
Similar sentiments were expressed by Rayann Jacobis who said, “I am grateful for the donation that they made because the children would have worked hard, so it is nice to see somebody appreciate the hard work,” she said. Rayann also believes that purchasing the bus is a good suggestion, since it will not only help the students in the top 10, but other students attending who were awarded schools in Georgetown.
Member of Parliament Jermaine Figueira expressed his appreciation to Messrs Brian Tiwarie and Leslie Chang for recognising the performance of the Region 10 children. He is happy with the additional benefits that the region has garnered from Director-General Harmon’s donations. It goes to show the level of commitment the government, businesses and the people of Guyana have in respect to the educational development of the country.”
He said that he will ensure that the monies are utilised in the best interest of the children and will consult with the parents, since they are the ones to have the last say. He however also believes that going in the direction of the bus may be most fitting, given the long-term effect it would have.
Last Sunday, the top 10 students were presented by Minister Harmon with laptops, tablets and other stationery- related items. Several of his campaign supporters also pledged donations totalling $1.8 M. Making a hefty donation of $200, 000 was Basil Blackman, who said it is his desire to see the children attend the school they were awarded, Queens College. He also committed to engaging his friends in the diaspora to come on board to make their donations as well.
After the challenges faced by one parent, Rayann Jacobis, to afford the $20, 000 monthly transportation cost to Georgetown were reported in this newspaper, Zaria has received overwhelming support even from the diaspora. Zaria already has commitments made to cover her travelling for the next five years and has been receiving cash donations as well, along with Dimitry Waldron, who is also visually impaired and was awarded a place at Mackenzie High.
The Linden Youth Network, in collaboration with Corporate Supplies, is granting the two children free printing, photocopying, internet time and other assignment- related work for the next five years at the stationery centre located on Republic Avenue, Mackenzie. The Trevor Pierre Wilson Memorial Scholarship is also funding all that is needed for the two student High School in September. The two were also presented with cash at Sunday’s meeting.