Sports, music to be part of schools’ curriculum – Dr Roopnaraine

-calls for National award for Tony Cozier

Minister of Education Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine recently outlined plans to

make sports as well as music an important part of the academic curriculum for schools in Guyana while hinting at school ground restoration projects for schools with grounds and those in areas with grounds close by.

Minister Roopnaraine made the announcements at the recent Hand-in-Hand History of Cricket Book launch last Friday evening at Cara Lodge Suites.

The author of the book, Professor Clem Seecharan, carefully compiled 480-odd pages of Guyana’s rich cricket history and Roopnaraine along with other distinguished cricket enthusiasts and stakeholders present at the mini gala, lauded the writer for bringing to life the olden days of Guyana’s cricket.

He also explained that while books such as the one launched highlights the different eras which date back from the 1800’s to now, much can be learnt from the book and as such, a lot could be done to help reshape the state of cricket as well as help to make sports an important aspect in the school system.

Minister of Education Dr. Rupert Roopnarine and author of the History of Guyana Cricket Professor Clem Seecharan (both center) share a photo with other distinguished guest during Friday’s book launching. (Orlando Charles photo)
Minister of Education Dr. Rupert Roopnarine and author of the History of Guyana Cricket Professor Clem Seecharan (both center) share a photo with other distinguished guest during Friday’s book launching. (Orlando Charles photo)

“We are grateful and happy and we are looking forward for the other volumes to come. This book is a good contribution to cricket and for someone to have the enthusiasm to write a book about it is good. I’m happy that Deryck (Murray) is here with us and we also salute the directors of Hand-in-Hand for blessing us with this contribution,” said the minister.

According to feature speaker at the launching, ex-West Indies wicket-keeper Deryck Murray, “Roopnaraine was an excellent off-spinner and was only kept out of the West Indies team by fellow off-spinner Lance Gibbs.”

However, Roopnaraine said that while his days as a cricketer playing for Queen’s College was good, he now wants to see the same being done for the children of the future.

“It is important to get sports back in the schools and restore those facilities because I don’t know what has happened to the school grounds, but we have to do a great deal of work and we would like to start restoring grounds so we can get sports back.”

Much like Murray, Minister Roopnaraine made much reference to the legendary Georgetown Cricket Club, ground at Bourda, a prime example of a venue which was once referred to as the mecca of cricket grounds in the Caribbean but has now been reduced to an appalling state and the minister seemed hurt by this.

“I avoid driving past Bourda because the collapsing stands are difficult to watch,” he lamented.

While the entire setting of sports and even music in schools has changed significantly over the years, the minister said it is his wish not only to reintroduce sports but music as well back into schools in a more permanent way and said his ministry will be aiming to rebuild school choirs.

Roopnaraine, concluding his address, said he will be approaching President David Granger in order to properly recognize the late cricket commentator and historian Tony Cozier with a National Award for his immense contribution to cricket.

Cozier, 75 passed away last Wednesday after a period of illness and while tributes have been pouring in from around the world, Roopnaraine said it was only fitting that the icon be remembered for bringing cricket to our doorsteps with his commentary and writing over the past two decades, “I would like to propose to President David Granger that we honor Tony with a National Award because he brought the game to us for those who could not go to a cricket match, he brought it to us with humor and vividness and we relied on him over the years”.