The APNU+AFC government, like the PPP/C one before it, has shown itself to be anti-working class and insensitive to the suffering in our society. It seems that the much vaunted “good life” is for the political and corporate elite – the 1%. Millions of dollars can be found to pay for ministers of government to pursue tertiary education, and to travel the world to obtain the best healthcare, not to mention the hefty increase in salaries they awarded themselves only months after assuming office, but the teachers still cannot be paid a decent salary. Very “democratic” indeed. OVP expresses its solidarity with the striking teachers and demands that the Granger administration pay the teachers what they so rightfully deserve. Is it not time that we pay teachers a salary befitting the importance of this noble profession, and reward them appropriately for the dedication that teaching and molding the minds of the next generation demands?
Do not allow the government to peddle the line that we cannot afford to invest more money in our education system and pay our teachers better salaries. This is nonsense! It is all about who and how we determine our priorities. Of course, a government imprisoned in a neo-colonial mindset, that puts the interests of foreign capital over and above the interests of the Guyanese people will fail to prioritize education. However, a government that is free to think for itself, and chart a course for Guyana that leads to true independence, and the advancement and dignity of our people, will most certainly invest in education, prioritizing our youth and their teachers. We are a resource rich nation with a small population – quality education, healthcare, decent salaries for teachers and other public servants, decent and affordable housing etc., are well within our reach. What we need to make this a reality is a government that has the political courage and will to take back ownership of our vast resources and ensure that the revenue from these resources is used to benefit all Guyanese.
Sadly this government is not prioritizing the needs of the Guyanese people. Instead, they serve foreign masters for whom education and empowerment of our people is simply not a priority. That is why they could sign a contract with ExxonMobil that makes Guyanese the losers, but will still manage to find millions to pay European and foreign oil industry consultants, while treating locals as second class citizens. Unfortunately, the plantation arrangement is very much intact after 52 years of flag and anthem independence, and education and decent salaries for teachers are not priorities on a plantation. We stand with our teachers as they demand their rights and invite them to join OVP in the struggle for true independence and economic freedom in our lifetime.
Gerald A. Perreira
Organization for the Victory of the