The minibus debacle has become a ‘running sore’ and something has to be done. The owners, operators/conductors abuse their seeming indispensability. They ‘jack up’ the tariff, and they couple this with sporadic, but strategic strikes. Who suffered? The general citizenry.
However, true to its nature, the caring and prudent government did a most benign thing. Its decision to further lower excise taxes on fuel by 10% is a most welcomed initiative. This of course is in order to provide relief to minibus operators. Mind you, the hike in fare of itself was inconsiderate.
This is because the minibus culture across Guyana is most rapacious. For one, there is always a ‘legal overload.’ (How many people should be in the conductor’s seat?).
Secondly, how can these unscrupulous ‘professionals’ ask for an increase in fare, when they have enough money for unnecessary amenities such as ‘state of the art’ stereo systems and cosmetic wheels and rims. It just does not add up. Passengers should demand comfort in seating.
So, yes, the government was very timely with its intervention. This act of conciliation is a token of the ruling administration’s appreciation of the reality that exists in Guyana.
However, as mentioned before, who will police the system? The onus seems to fall on those now being affected the most, that is, the actual commuters. It is hoped that these ‘victims’ of such wrangling, the innocent and common folk of Guyana, be civil and responsible.
So, make sure that you do not tolerate the infringement of any of the by-laws: number of passengers in the conductor’s seat, speeding, smoking, the new trend of having a beer/stout in hand, and noise nuisance. Also, in the name of dignity, it is hoped that the drivers and conductors adhere to a decent dress code (which must be implemented).
The second facet to this caring and prudent government is the fact that the teachers across Guyana have been promised housing schemes in several regions, along with a revolving housing fund.
The complaint was and still is that local teachers are being sidelined, and thus they were and are wont to leave (even though this is not necessarily so, and migration is not a uniquely Guyanese problem).
Government, valuable the immeasurable contributions of these ‘educating leaders’, has yet again proved its worth. Not too long ago, the Ministry of Education, under the guidance of Mr. Shaik Baksh, unveiled plans for trained teachers to be further equipped.
The plan incorporates the Cyril Potter College of Education and the University of Guyana co-operating to offer full degrees in specialized discipline.
This programme will see ‘quality’ and ‘economy’ of time. It simply means that (potential) teachers will be able to complete ‘tertiary to university’ training in five years, instead of the ‘three college’ and the ‘four university’ separate years. This shows that the government is truly committed to the enhancement of quality education across Guyana.
So as the new (post election) era dawns, there is an air of optimism. Why?
The citizens of Guyana can clearly see that government is totally committed to the peace and ease of all Guyanese, the improvement of the quality of life nationwide, and the enhancement of the education sector, professionally and personally.
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