Gov’t priorities for the next year

This week, citizens were asked what they believe should be the government’s focus in the upcoming year having recently completed their first year in office. Their responses follow:

Anderson Trey
Anderson Trey

Anderson Trey: `To me they’re moving on the right track. Everything seems to be good right now. I like what I see. I mean, restoring something

 Burt Burnett

Burt Burnett

back to where it was isn’t really the ideal thing to move forward and make it better than it was before. I think that’s good because when you look at it this way, when everybody takes a look around you can see progress. I don’t know what anybody else sees but I can tell you what I see—I see lots of progress. I see lots of room for improvement as well because if you travel a lot you will see the different types of stuff you will see out there and the different types of stuff we have here. I mean, in terms of out there and here, we’re kinda two or three, four, five steps back, but we’re getting there. What I think they should do in the later future, implement a little bit more by-laws which restricts people from doing certain types of things that will throw the country back into the dark ages and I think everything should run smooth from then because it’s not like if a Guyanese or anybody else isn’t capable of doing it. It’s just that sometimes we use our narrow-minded thinking and just say what the hell, we do whatever, nobody cares, we’re just living and…no we can’t do it like that. We have to be more concerned because in the later future we might not even have a country if we continue doing this. You’re gonna run down the entire society and the economy down to zero.’

Burt Burnett: `I don’t think they focused on quite a lot since they were in power. I think what they need to focus on is building a stronger relationship with the citizens. Any government, in any country, you need to have a firm relationship with the people in order to get anything done. Because to get

Aubrey Ollivierre
Aubrey Ollivierre

anything done in the country you need the input of the people, you need the help from the people. What I also think that they need to do is to try—we know it’s a hard task, with everything that they would have promised during the campaign—try to get more done. What they’re doing needs to be more transparent. Just try to fulfill more of the campaign promises…I don’t think any government can do enough…it’s a hard task, and of course they didn’t expect what they would have gone in and met, so with what they have done…that’s creditable for a year. But for the future, they need to do more, at least,

Shamika Higgins
Shamika Higgins

give the people something that they could vote for them next time. Show that you’re really for the people.’

Aubrey Ollivierre: `Right now I’m living in Sophia, and they gotta focus on Sophia because me for one, I get the majority of people from in Sophia fuh vote. I had things wah I used to share out and all sorta thing. I see they doing lights, yes. They doing the road but like that throw back for a while. But the fine, fine street gotta do and dem thing and then they gotta focus on other areas like up in the country and dem thing, not just the town alone. Because they get the country people dem crying out and so on and thing. So far they doing good and thing, but they gotta do a little more better in certain areas, like Sophia for one.’

Shamika Higgins: `I would like to see more focus on entrepreneurship and mental health awareness. There are a lot of brilliant youths across the country with innovative ideas that could push Guyana forward, but who lack funding and the necessary networks to

Leon Cummings
Leon Cummings

help bring their visions into fruition. Entrepreneurship will also help boost the job sector in Guyana—most youths leave school after CSEC/CAPE, some can’t afford University or choose not to go, and have a hard time finding jobs that suit their skillset. They often settle for teaching or nursing. Not everyone wants to settle.  The Ministry of Finance and Education and private sectors should collaborate and show initiative to put entrepreneurship at the forefront of Guyana’s development. We can’t succeed at entrepreneurship if we can’t ensure the mental health of the nation’s citizens. There are so many stigmas attached to mental health that some people cloak themselves away in fear of being ridiculed. We need to be more proactive with and supportive of these persons. Support groups, more and better

Casie Cabose
Casie Cabose

councilors and proper institutions that are equipped to deal with any situation that may arise. Also, the general public should be well sensitised to showing compassion towards those people who are open about their mental health issues. Depression really is no joke. I hope to see the Ministry of Health collaborating with and rallying thoroughly with local groups like the One Act Foundation to help this cause.’

Leon Cummings: `I think they should look into the unemployment among young people, it sounds a bit cliché but it’s a big issue. If they can get skilled people in business, carpentry, etc train young people and employ them under supervision…just a thought.’

Casie Cabose: `The government should definitely focus on educational reform. We need to focus on improving our population. Our primary school kids shouldn’t be attending lessons. We need smaller classes with better paid teachers, so that the curriculum could be completed and enough

Debra Andrews
Debra Andrews

attention can be given to each student. We need to better equip teens so that they can be employable. More services also need to be available for drop outs. We shouldn’t have 16-year- olds that can’t read and write or do basic math.’

Debra Andrews: `I want them deal with the thief man wah deh out there and on education when it comes to people children. And the schools—those old, rotten buildings that they get— they must fix it. Education is the key to success. I think the electricity rate should drop because that is too expensive. The water rates is another thing too cause I have a situation whereby the meter they install, the meters are not working, it’s not good meters they bought from China or wherever they bought them from. Those meters are not working properly, and you

Sabriene Winifred
Sabriene Winifred

cannot pay for something and you don’t get it, you understand. We need all those systems they put in place to change. And I think they should discard of all those meters because some persons have been paying and if you go around to certain areas you see the water wasting and when every month comes you have to pay for water bill and I don’t think it’s fair that every month one person is gonna pay and the other wouldn’t pay, because I do pay taxes. As a single parent and as a domestic worker it wasn’t easy working with persons. I worked with lawyers and magistrates and they took advantage of me, no NIS, nothing at all…I gotta come out in the sun now to sell…It’s very hard and I’m 50. Another thing is suicide. You never know what people going through…and sometimes those persons who’re in authority, they don’t know what the small man feeling. And I think

James Compton Renville
James Compton Renville

that if some of those persons go and live in some of those same homes, they would see the things that people does be going through.’

Sabriene Winifred: `I think the government should focus on improving the education system and reintroduce National Service. When National Service was around you were bound to learn a trade and get work when you come out. There are too many young people without anything to do.  They are graduating and dropping out of school with nothing to do. Also if they reintroduce National Service it would help to get many youths off of drugs and involved in crime.  I think they should also focus on programmes to help single mothers to maintain their children.’

James Compton Renville: `The government needs to make education their top priority because only an educated nation can help to create

Grace Daniels
Grace Daniels

development.  Government has to spend money across the board to ensure the children have the best education. With an education persons can be properly trained and get jobs and the children can be an asset to their homes, communities and the country. They should introduce social programmes also to help address the social issues and get persons away from illegal activities and be disciplined and able to make informed decisions.’

Grace Daniels: `Government should focus more on education and providing avenues for employment. They should have trade schools in the hinterland to teach trades to the young ones so that they can be marketable.  Also they should focus on creating ways for farmers who are producing in the hinterland to be able to market the produce. Some farmers are producing but they are not able to market and suffer from spoilage.  So the government should look at creating a factory to create employment and help farmers with their produce.’

 

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