Mar 09, 2021 News
aieteur News – The Ministry of Natural Resources is hoping to implement an adequate natural resources curriculum in secondary schools across Guyana.
This is in hopes of erasing stereotypes about the natural resources industry, equipping young persons with the necessary knowledge needed, if they are to venture into the sector, and boost local capacity, according to Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat.
The Minister made this disclosure on a recent edition of the Budget in Focus programme.
He stated that the Ministry already has a programme called “Youths in Natural Resources” with the aim of “getting young people back into the natural resources sector,” and it will continue. However, even with that programme, there is a need to step back and observe the trend that has been occurring over the years whereas there is a decline in young people getting into the natural resources sector. However, many young people hesitate to go into the “technical science field” at secondary schools across the country. But Bharrat believes that the technical-science field is where the interest in natural resources is potentially initiated.
He said that most students opt to get into the business and arts stream, because it may come across as more fashionable and adding to that “….there is this thing in Guyana and they hear it from others….it is easy to go into those areas than science or the technical field so I think we need to as leaders…to address that issue because very soon we won’t have many technical persons trained in the natural resources sector locally and that will be a problem.”
Bharrat stressed that as the natural resources sector continues to grow, opportunities will be created in oil and gas and mining since several large-scale companies will start production soon. For example, he stated that Troy Resources and the Zijin Company (operating in the Aurora mines) would soon venture into underground mining and unfortunately, Guyana lacks skilled locals to monitor or even evaluate underground mining.
The Minister lamented that the government does not want young Guyanese venturing into these fields as mere labourers. “We don’t want our young people to just go as labourers or to just go as cooks. We want them to go as supervisors, as managers, as the technical workers, so we gotta move away from just being labourers or just the guys in the pit,” Bharrat outlined. According to the Minister, young Guyanese must get the opportunity to be “the guys who run the show from behind the scenes.”
Further, Bharrat noted that if all goes well as it relates to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and students being back in the classrooms, the Natural Resources Ministry will take the lead in implementing the curriculum and collaborate with the Education Ministry to ensure that young persons are motivated and encouraged to see natural resources as something lucrative.
“That is the kind of vision that we have for the natural resources sector. But as I mentioned we need to go back a little to the secondary school level where we influence our young people to go into the natural resources, the science stream…technical stream because I think that is where it starts from,” Bharrat added.
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