Another May Day, workers’ holiday, has come and the Critchlow Labour College (CLC) continues to be denied its subvention by the government.
This is a college where the ordinary workers, their children and other Guyanese attend.
Since its establishment, the CLC has been receiving financial assistance, in the form of a subvention from the Guyana government, to assist it in its day to day operation.
However, it has been more than five years since the PPP/C administration took a decision to withhold the subvention from the college, a move that has plunged the college into serious operational problems.
It is sad that, as we mark another May Day to recognise the contribution of our workers, these workers continue to be, viciously, denied the benefit of affordable and quality education due to the government’s repressive act. It is unfortunate that the Minister of Education and the Guyana Government cannot recognise the direct relationship between an educated workforce and a progressive nation.
Is the government truly concerned about the total well being of workers and a striving nation? One would have thought that by now that the government would have worked with the college to ensure that the subvention is restored to the organisation.
However, partisan politics continue to prevail and in the interim the rank and file remain starved of valuable education.
What is also most disgusting is that at a time when the world’s economies are experiencing serious economic downturns, and in particular the Guyana economy struggling, the President and government are advancing legislation to allow for tax payers to take care of the President’s every financial need, after leaving office.
When Guyanese workers are struggling to meet their daily needs, the government brings to The Parliament the “Former Presidents (Bill and other Facilities) Bill of 2009”. What a shame! In effect this bill is the “Bharrat Jagdeo Bill” since he will be the only former President, for a while, after 2011 when his term ends. Seems like Guyana always goes the opposite to whatever is happening, progressively, in other parts of the world.
In this period of world economic recession, government executives in many countries are taking pay cuts and are giving up on certain amenities, but here The Parliament is to entertain a bill for the nation to take care of the President’s total financial expenses when he leaves office.
Of course there are certain benefits that should follow but the current bill is too all encompassing and certainly being promoted at the wrong time; it is insensitive and unconscionable. Seems like the Guyanese people will always come last.
On this May Day 2009, I wish every worker good health and strength and wish the Guyana Trades Union growing unity and progress.
I trust that the education subvention will be restored to CLC. The value of education should not be taken for granted.
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