Acting under Article 188 (1) (a) of the Constitution of Guyana, President David Granger has ordered the release of eight students from the New Opportunity Corps (NOC) so that they can be re-integrated into their families, a release from the Ministry of the Presidency said yesterday.
Article 188 (1) (a) states that the President has the power to grant any person concerned in, or convicted of, any offence under the laws of Guyana, a pardon, either free or subject to lawful condition.
The release of the eight students of the NOC comes on the heels of a visit there by President Granger on June 16, 2017, where he had indicated that he has commenced a process to look at the early release of girls and boys housed at the NOC at Onderneeming in Pomeroon-Supenaam, Region Two.
The Head of State had visited the facility to engage with the 85 young people, the majority of whom have been committed to the institution for wandering. He said that as part of an overall plan to ensure improvements to the physical conditions and the programmes offered, Government will in the short term be setting up criteria and a system to ensure that regular early release is an option for those who qualify.
President Granger remains focused on education and youth empowerment and strongly believes that children are better off in educational institutions rather than in incarceration or detention, the release said.
“Going to school is important for me and staying in school is important for me and it is important for you too, because in whatever you do, you must be able to read, write, spell and count… You must be literate. We cannot build a country with illiterate persons and that is why I want all of you to take your education seriously. It is my vision that you must get the best possible preparation for when you are ready to take over this country,” the President told the children.