‘Guyana belongs to you’

President David Granger addressing the graduands of the President’s College on Thursday (Delano Williams photo)

– President Granger tells President’s College 2019 graduating class

By Navendra Seoraj
STUDENTS of President’s College, who graduated after spending five years of their life in the secondary school system, were given assurance that Guyana belongs to them and that there are numerous opportunities for them to capitalise on.

“Guyana belongs to you, I have to leave it for you and hand it to you in a better shape than I inherited it,” said President, David Granger during his address at President’s College’s 29th graduation exercise, on Thursday.

The graduates will inherit the biggest and most bountiful Caribbean country, said the President, adding that Guyana belongs to them, but the country will be much different from it is now.

Some of the graduands eagerly awaiting their opportunity to ‘shift the string’ and become graduates (Delano Williams photo)

Guyana is expected to undergo dramatic changes over the next few years but those changes will only bring positive benefits to Guyanese.

The country, which sits on the edge of South America and has a population of about 800,000 persons, will soon become a petroleum state, a green state and a digital state.
According to President Granger, the first change, which is oil and gas, will boost national development since the sector will not be designed to make a few people rich.

“The economy will expand and revenues will increase and more money will be available for education, infrastructure, public health, social protection, and other sectors as well as to provide running water and electricity in every home,” said the President.

While the advancement of every sector will be important, he said emphasis will also be placed on protecting the environment by making Guyana a green state.

The green state will emphasise the protection of the environment and biodiversity and will utilise sources of renewable energy. President Granger said the aim is to transition Guyana from the use of fossil fuels to the use of renewable energy.

All of the plans for creating a green state are outlined in government’s Green State Development Strategy.

By becoming a green state, Guyana will be able to guard against the dangers of climate change. President Granger said there are powerful and terrible forces at work and unless the environment is protected, those forces will do more damages.

Guyana will, however, be equipped to monitor and address those forces with new technologies, since the country is projected to become a digital state.

The country will be fully digitised and will be able to communicate with people the world over.

“The state will enable you to live comfortably and enjoy dignified existence but Guyana needs highly skilled persons to populate the state,” said President Granger.

He said the country will need scientists and preparations have already been made to ensure that future scientists are nurtured and trained. Government has been placing emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), which will produce the skills to propel development and make Guyana competitive.

More systems will soon come on stream when government launches the decade of development in 2020. President Granger said education will be accorded the highest attention during that decade.

As said before, government will aim to provide free education from nursery to tertiary. The President said no eligible person should have to pay for tertiary education after the decade of development is launched.

“During this decade, we will be embarking on policies and programmes in accordance with the Green State Development Strategy (GSDS)… for instance, we will be able to provide more funds to the administrators of this school for development of the institution,” said President Granger.

According to the GSDS, an educated population is one that is more inclusive, mobile and can enjoy high living standards.

The President promised that in the decade of development, government will ensure that there is quality education and that inequalities are reduced.

Steps to reduce inequalities have already been taken and President Granger reemphasised that motive by donating a bus to the President’s College.

“The last time I visited this school, a child told me that her parents were paying $5,000 to send her to school every week, but I will not have that,” said the President.
The bus will reduce or even eliminate the transportation cost of students who have to travel to school on a daily basis. President Granger said there are more tangible benefits ahead for the school and for the students.

The bus which was donated to the school by President David Granger (Delano Williams photo)

“I had presented a cheque of $1 million to improve the school’s laboratories and I am pleased to see that there have been improvements in the science programme and I also applaud the college for maintaining the standards of excellence,” said the President.
He said there are, however, more exciting opportunities ahead and the graduating students should be mindful of the plethora of opportunities that will be available to them in the near future.

The students have already built a foundation by spending five years of their life at a prestigious institution. In recognising the work and effort of the school, the President said his vision is for President’s College to be replicated in the four new towns-Lethem, Mahdia, Mabaruma and Bartica.

President’s College has indeed performed well over the years and that was again reflected in this year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) results.

According to the School’s Principal (ag), Samantha Success, the institution recorded an overall pass rate of 92 per cent at CSEC, with 100 per cent passes recorded in 18 subjects. There was an overall pass rate of 85 per cent at CAPE, with 100 per cent passes in 20 subjects.