The Learning Channel?

The Ministry of Education having launched its Guyana Learning Channel with a great deal of aplomb a few months ago, now appears to be well and truly stumped as to how to provide programming for the new Television Channel. Trust Shaik Baksh to put the cart before the horse, to make promises that he fails to keep. It now transpires that the GLC was planned, set up and opened without anyone really working through the hurdle of providing local programme content. What a colossal joke! And to think that President Jagdeo himself had promised the nation that the GLC would broadcast twenty-four hours a day.

Someone should have told His Excellency that a local television station cannot survive on imported content including imported cartoons alone and that people’s idea of local content does not mean the occasional talking head or a group of schoolchildren singing patriotic songs of Guyana… You have to wonder whether the idea of an Education Channel was ever really thought through carefully in the first place or whether it was not simply one of those notions that appealed to Baksh, was sold to the President and became a done deal.

There’s nothing wrong with trying to teach our children by TV but we could certainly do without so many cartoons that come from abroad. God knows that if the idea is to make the children laugh there is much right here in the Republic that we could film and offer them. There are as well familiar sights, and occurrences some of them right here in our capital that could be more than a little edifying to the nation’s children. We could, for example, film some of the various garbage dumps in Georgetown and throw that in as a lesson in how not to manage a capital city. Perhaps that could be part of an ongoing series titled Garbage Around Us for students of ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE. Another perhaps useful educational programme might be one titled USE OF ENGLISH: PITFALLS TO AVOID. We can run a whole series on that subject by simply replaying some of NCN’s news reading offerings. Then we could make several short documentaries based on the Auditor General’s Reports and offer those under the theme CREATIVE ACCOUNTING: HOW TO DO MAGIC WITH NUMBERS. As for LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT we could avoid the cost of those imported cartoons by simply placing choice excerpts from sittings of the National Assembly on the new GLC Channel. Some exposure of our young ones to how the affairs of the nation are run would certainly bring smiles to their faces…And what better way to enlighten the nation’s children about the value of our rainforests than to take our cameras into the Le Repentir Cemetery. It’s a cheaper option to travelling to the remote parts of the country.

Quite what will be the eventual fate of the GLC is unclear at this stage. Already there are rumours that the new Channel 80 might be removed from under the jurisdiction of Mr. Baksh and handed over to the Office of the President where speeches by the President and screenings of Cabinet meetings will comprise the greater part of the programming.

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