It is said that education in Guyana is free. But in the real world where books have to be purchased, assignments have to be done via the internet and children have to be provided meals and transportation money for school, this is not quite the case. In a community like Sophia, Greater Georgetown, which is starved of many basic amenities, it is difficult for parents to manage.
The prevalence of poverty has had countless effects on the lives of Sophia’s people. Many of the community’s children are forced to drop out of school.
Many of Sophia’s denizens have managed to overcome the overwhelming challenges and make hefty paychecks and even honorable names for themselves. But there have been others who were not so lucky. Today, some of them contribute to the fact that Sophia is usually under the police force’s radar as a hotspot for criminal activity. Others make up the figures that have named Sophia the community that has the largest population of teenage mothers in the country.
The average low paying jobs have also created a cycle of poverty-stricken families, and since education is an effective way to overcome poverty, Devon Harris of the Guyana Rastafarian Council is proposing that government build a public library in the community.
Harris recalled his childhood days when his mother used to insist that instead of being on the streets, he joined a library. This led to Harris becoming more attached to reading, and less likely to fall prey to the negatives of a neglected society. “I was lucky,” he reflected, during an interview with this newspaper.
He believes that while the internet is a beautiful thing, the pleasure of gripping a book or a newspaper has a different and more intense satisfaction.
“The internet is nice and so, but you got the children using the internet, sometimes fuh do the wrong things,” Harris said.
He noted that more than a television screen and a mouse and keyboard, children should be encouraged to use libraries, so that the depth of their imaginations can be explored. A person’s imagination has been described by great minds as being one of the most powerful weapons a person can have. Testimony to this is the fact that imagination led Walt Disney through a valley of great story telling, fame and even wealth.
Harris is calling on the government of the day to look in to the possibility of the Library and engage the people of Sophia, who he says, will be more than willing to help out in any way possible, to make the idea a reality.
“I don’t mind volunteering to help with the construction, and I know nuff guys who gon be willing to come onboard.” Harris even has an idea of where the library can be located.
“They got a good piece of government land not far from the Sophia Health Centre. That would be a nice place to have it.”
Harris said that even if the government wants to donate the land alone, it would be a tremendous support and a great start to setting up a “building of knowledge.”
Nov 15, 2018On Sunday last, Head of the IKD 9th Dan Shuseki Shihan Frank Woon-a-Tai, 8th Dan Shihan Maureen Woon-a-Tai (IKD Vice-Chief Instructor) and 8th Dan Shihan Bernice Hughes, assisted by Amir Khouri 7th...
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: glennl[email protected] / [email protected]