EDUCATION is inseparable from economic development, President David Granger reminded at the Banks DIH Jubilee Republic Anniversary Education Celebration and Award Ceremony on Thursday.
The ceremony was held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre and saw the local beverage company handing over donations of $250,000 each to 15 public education institutions, many of them technical and vocational institutions.
President Granger described the initiative as a celebration of Guyana’s statehood, public education and a private corporation’s demonstration of social good.
The President related that celebrating education as part of the country’s Jubilee Republic anniversary is very apt as “education was a central feature of the republic’s pursuit of national development”.
He noted that companies should view support for education as an investment rather than an expression of corporate responsibility.
“Education represents a social investment; it supports the public good by aiming at total development of society. Banks DIH has been a pioneer and trailblazer in the corporate world and its support to education is a continuing step in the right direction. I thank you for this sensible and timely initiative,” the President said.
The President went a step further and encouraged the organisation to not only invest in public institutions but to consider opening its own “college of science and technology to take things further along the institutional path”.
Banks DIH Human Resource Director, Andrew Carter, noted that the company is already considering starting its own training school.
Banks DIH Chairman and Managing Director, Clifford Reis, emphasised that the company values and recognises the benefits of an educated workforce.
“Success in life is closely linked to our ability to access and benefit from proper education just as food is necessary for a healthy mind and body. Education is the essential tool to be used to craft that bright future that is the hope and aspiration of all persons,” Reis said.
Reis called for all in society to play a role in ensuring the nation’s children receive a sound education.
“We must move to recognise home is the first place of education and parents are the first teachers. Parents should enable the process whereby we learn the importance and value of an education,” Reis said.
Reis also emphasised the role of education in the Decade of Development.
An initiative of President David Granger, the Decade of Development is the government’s plan for the next decade based on four pillars: the green state, the digital state, the petroleum state and the education nation.
“The education nation will be characterised by Universal Primary Education (UPE) and Universal Secondary Education (USE) with every child attending primary school, every child graduating from secondary school. In this way, the country will have a more highly-educated workforce,” President Granger said on Thursday.
The President reminded that the country’s Constitution mandates that every citizen has the right to free education from nursery to university as well as at non-formal places where opportunities are provided for education and training.