Ministry of Education, Guyana

Friday, 23 January 2015 11:21

Education Minister was involved in decision; alternate arrangements in place for exams

Education Minister Priya Manickchand on Thursday said that the Opposition has been calling for a new elections date because of their unpreparedness for the polls.

Speaking with the Guyana Times, the Minister said she is baffled as to “what the uproar is about” as it relates to the setting of elections date,
“It’s only in this country you see this nonsense being perpetuated, in other countries people eat, sleep and go about their daily lives at elections time. Maybe the Opposition isn’t ready for elections so they want a new date or maybe people want more time to study, I don’t know,” she said.
Manikchand’s comments come in wake of calls bys Leader of the Opposition and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) David Granger on Wednesday for the President to reconsider the May 11 elections date. He also felt the President made a mistake in the selection of a date and was adamant that there is still time remaining to select a new date.
Granger expressed concern that the date coincides with Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE). However, Manickchand assured that students who will be writing examinations during that time period will not be affected. “I see it as my sole duty to ensure that students are not disadvantaged during the period of elections,” she said.
She said the Ministry is in consultations with the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) and other stakeholders to discuss and derive a suitable plan in the best interest of the candidates.
The Ministry said more details on this matter will be revealed as it finalises its plans for the sitting of examination.
After President Donald Ramotar announced the date for elections on Tuesday following the prorogation of Parliament on November 10, 2014, concerns of its clash with examinations had arisen after it was realised that examination for certain subjects will be held on that same day across the region.
A copy of the CSEC timetable obtained by Guyana Times, subjects scheduled to be written on that day include Agricultural Science (Double and Single Awards); Theatre Arts; Electrical and Electronic Technology (Technical); and Food and Nutrition Paper Two.
CAPE subjects scheduled to be written on that day are Geometrical and Mechanical Engineering Drawing Unit One – Paper Two; History Unit One – Paper Two; Art and Design Examinations to begin for Unit One, Papers Two and Three, and Unit Two, Papers One and Two; and Communication Studies Paper Two.
Should the Government accept Granger’s concerns then the next available Monday would be June 15. This is because elections are generally held on Mondays and for the entire month on May and early June examinations would still be in progress.
As previously reported by this newspaper, the concern was made known on social media by political observers and students alike who questioned whether or not the Education Ministry was consulted before a date was set.
The Education Minister was part of the Cabinet meeting that decided on the date of the elections. Added controversy regarding the date for elections included venues for Polling Stations because of the recent request put forth by the Peoples’ Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). The party had requested that GECOM desist from using private venues as Polling Stations.
There is some confusion in the Opposition ranks as to when the President is allowed to name an elections date. Executive Member of APNU Basil Williams had completely different political views on the matter.
Attorney General Anil Nandlall is adamant that the President has up to February 11 to dissolve Parliament, but Williams said an elections date cannot be named without the dissolution of Parliament.

Source: Guyana Times

Read 1918 times
You are here: Home Media External Sources Education Minister was involved in decision; alternate arrangements in place for exams