May 06, 2015 News
… reveal plans for better health care, education system
Amid scores of cheering supporters, the women’s contingent of the recently formed coalition, A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC), on Monday took the current administration to task over what they termed the continued disrespect of Guyanese women.
As Berbice women gathered in front of the Manchester Nursery School, Manchester Public Road, Corentyne, for the party’s women’s rally, representatives of the coalition roasted the ruling party, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic for the continued sheltering of their male representatives, more particularly the Attorney General, Anil Nandlall and the embattled, former Minister of Health Bheri Ramsaran despite evidence of wrongdoings against women folk.
The disrespect, they said, must stop.
Scores of men were also in the large audience as the women of the coalition covered several issues of concern to Guyanese women and offered solutions that would be put in place should APNU+AFC government be elected to govern.
Feature speaker of the rally, Sita Nagamootoo, former lecturer at the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPEC) and the wife of Prime Ministerial Candidate Moses Nagamootoo, reached out to the women folk of Berbice and reminded them of the reality facing women across the country.
She implored upon them that “better must come” and called on them to come onboard the “unity train.”
“My sisters, I urge you to vote for the APNU+AFC…We know what to expect if (President Donald) Ramotar is reelected, “more slapping and stripping of our women.” It is a shame that Ramotar is sorry for Bheri, his Minister: the abuser, and not the woman victim, Sherlina Nageer,” Nagamootoo said as she added that an APNU+AFC-led government will not stand for violence against women.
She reiterated the coalition’s promises for at least a 10% raise in pay for the public servants as well as the old age pension within 100 days of assuming office. Nagamootoo told the women folk that should the coalition be handed the reins of power, workers earning below $75,000 will not pay income tax.
She said the coalition-led government will provide free meals for primary school children. She reminded too of the coalition’s promise to slash the Berbice bridge toll in half. She said the coalition leaders will wage a war against criminals.
“It is time to stop running around for passports, birth certificates and other useful documents,” she said. The Prime Ministerial hopeful’s wife promised that an office will be in Region Six to serve Berbicians.
The APNU+AFC women took what they deemed unfounded claims of the PPP/C to task. Ndibi Schwiers noted that the Berbice people have been exposed to television advertisements which painted a coalition-led government as one which will return Guyana to the “dark days.”
She ripped to pieces claims by the PPP/C, through televised ads and on the radio, of the return of a ban on food items, abuse of power by members of the disciplinary forces as well as the transformation of Guyana into a militarized state.
She made clear that such claims are unfounded. Schwiers described May 11 as the end of the common struggle, “Change is coming!”
“No more will they insult your intelligence by saying to you that Guyana is progressing, when in truth about 25 percent of people, and mostly young people, don’t have jobs. No more will they call ‘development’ building a set of buildings that are what you call white elephants. No more will a sitting Minister be justified in insulting our women. No more will they pamper corruption like a new born baby! No more will so-called development exist without a human face” the woman charged.
Schwiers emphasized the need to move forward and for Berbicians to not be misled by the “talks of the past” surfacing from the PPP/C’s camp. Schwiers took the public health care system to task as well, saying that in the 21st century while the rest of the world is making advancements in all sectors, Guyana is still facing a situation where more than one woman is sharing a single hospital bed.
“This government is experimenting with your lives,” Schwiers told the sizeable gathering.
The APNU+AFC candidate lashed out too at the Education system. She said the time has come for strategies to be in place to fully address the developmental needs of the children so that one day they can be fully equipped to manage the country.
“An APNU+AFC government will not only make formal education a priority but physical education as well,” she said noting, that strategies must be implemented for the all rounded development of the young people.
She said that Guyana has countless talented youths who “can become the next Usain Bolt or Shelly Ann Fraser but because the right environment was never created to hone the skills of these young people, their talents end right in their communities where it started as does their dreams.”
Quoting the words of American poet and social activist, Langston Hughes who posited that “If dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly,” Schwiers said she was saddened by the unrealized dreams and untapped potential and sought to question what could have been, “if only we had a caring government.”
The woman told the crowd that the time has come for change. “The PPP is a barefaced killer of the dreams of the people in this country,” she said. She said that the APNU+AFC government intends to transform the education and health sectors to “an attractive and well-paid system.”
The APNU+AFC candidate promised that women are treated with decency and given the respect they deserve. “No more will we have two, three women sleeping in a hospital bed,” she said.
She said too, that they will strengthen health surveillance units and laboratory services and invest in technologies that will help to diagnose potential diseases and illnesses. “No more will you be considered an experiment,” the candidate emphasised.
Also revealed was that education will be priority for an APNU+AFC-led government. “We will ensure that in Berbice the children have access to the same quality of education as children in Georgetown,” she said.
The APNU+AFC promised that the public schools across the country will be on par with the private schools. “We will also ensure that our schools’ curriculum match the development needs of the country.”
She said that at present there exists a disconnect and despite earnest efforts by the youths, when they leave school, landing a job is often times an uphill task. She said at times there are no jobs for their skill set so “our curriculum has to be so designed to ensure that it matches where the country is going and an APNU+AFC government will ensure that happens.”
She made a call for supporters to convince others that a vote for the APNU+AFC is the right move for the people.
The other speakers at the women’s rally included former Member of Parliament, Sarah Vanessa Kissoon and Former New Amsterdam Mayor, Barbara Pilgrim.
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