WE are all aware of the perennial saying, especially as expressed in that good old Guyanese creolese language style, that “wha rain can’t full, dew can’t full.” This is so true of so many human beings with regard to having the opportunity to do so many things, but squandered the opportunity to do so when they could have; and only rushing to have whatever should have been done, when the urgency comes upon them. But it also applies to political parties as well; governments in office, that would have been given a mandate to govern, with the implicit understanding that it is an opportunity to deliver programmes for the benefit and welfare of citizens.
As is so well recorded, many of these governments have often failed to deliver on their promises for a better life. This would have caused them the political judgement of the people – becoming relegated to the opposition benches, from where memories conveniently returned, and grandiose promises, that are inherently deceptive and hollow in their ring, begin to be shouted from the roof tops.
This fits the current panic and desperate mode which continues to drive the PPP/C to all sorts of fake promises, which they have no intention of fulfilling, for they are only seen as sop thrown to inspire some form of confidence in a party which for 23 years failed this nation in improving living standards for a better life.
Supporting these deceptive promises have been PPP/C billboards, appearing along some sections of the coastland.
Two of these sops are interesting for the trenchant disregard and disrespectful profiling which the party continues to hold for the nation’s young, particularly for a section of our population that such a promise is believed intended; and the ‘promise’ of free education.
First of all, it is the classic known PPP/C characteristic of disregarding the law, to suit its political ends – promising to shunt aside the 2.00am curfew on partying and nightlife revelry, re-introduced by the APNU+AFC administration when it took office. To be precise, it is a law that had lapsed in its application during the PPP/C regime, with all the excess consequences of noise nuisance; drunkenness, road fatalities, murders, and violence in all forms being the spin-offs from partying late that became a significant fact of life in Guyana.
Second, this has to be seen, as appealing to the young, on the presumption that this category loves to fete until the wee hours. That may be so, and explains perhaps one of the reasons for protecting them, even senior adults, against the tendency to overdo, by enforcing the statutory time- line.
However, much has changed for our young segments since 2015, given the numerous and exciting opportunities for change and self-development which now exist. More than ever before, vocational and entrepreneurial training, apprenticeships, internships and scholarships are being made available to young people for advancing their careers, to be able to earn; and they are taking up these newly made available avenues. The fact that a reported 4000 students have been enrolled at the University of Guyana, for semesters beginning as of this month, sends the clear message that young Guyanese are filled with more hope for a better, brighter tomorrow, and are therefore more constructive and purposeful of their time, and life’s future destination, and are therefore not the everyday and all-night-long party goers as such an insulting promise from the PPP/C seems to suggest.
Thirdly, no longer is there every fortnight visit to Georgetown, of dancehall bands that were brought here by some known friends/cronies of the PPP/C, which served as a method of stereotyping, with the insulting bread-and-circus plot that it will “keep them quiet.” That was the order during the period of this country’s socio-political life, when many of our young lived in despair, and may have seemed to welcome such costly sport, as escape from despair and hopelessness.
Fourthly, for the record, and particularly the convenient of memories – free education from nursery to university is a right enshrined in Guyana’s constitution, and was introduced by the visionary late President Forbes Burnham. It benefitted so many thousands of Guyanese, including many who today are among his and PNC party critics. Thus, it is not a social right /innovation that is promised to be introduced for the first time by the PPP/C opposition. The irony of this ‘promise’ by the PPP/C party is that it was that government that brought this constitutional right to an end, not long after returning to government in 1992.
It further explains why for many years many law students suffered severe economic privation at the Hugh Wooding Law School, because of the cessation of payment that Guyana should have contributed to the upkeep of the law school; an arrangement which member countries signed on to since the establishment of the Council of Legal Education. This is in addition to the scores who could not complete their legal certificate studies because of their inability to meet the astronomical tuition and living expenses fees. This has now been restored by President David Granger’s administration, which has not so long ago announced the restoration of free education, to be funded by oil and gas.
There is no better promise made to a nation, particularly to its younger category, than credible, meaningful and beneficial programmes which offer genuine opportunities for realising their dreams, and changing their lives for the better.