Ministry of Education, Guyana

Wednesday, 13 March 2019 10:10

Schoolchildren excel at Commonwealth Day event

The Parliament Office on Monday hosted an exhibition and reception at the Umana Yana to celebrate Commonwealth Day, which was observed around the world.

The exhibition involved students from one primary and one secondary school, from each administrative region in Guyana. The children showcased their brilliance and creativity at their individual booths, with each booth depicting a Commonwealth country.

They showcased important facts about each country, such as the national food, national dress, national flag, the leaders and heads of government, and different aspects of the culture of the country. Some of the students also learned the languages and dances of some of the countries, and entertained the fascinated onlookers.

After the exhibition, a short programme was conducted in the benab, which saw the presence of several dignitaries. The High Commissioner of India, His Excellency Venkatachalam Mahalingam, highlighted interesting facts about India and the Commonwealth, and said that India is committed to reducing greenhouse gases and will redouble its efforts in helping small states, and small-island developing states.

Meanwhile, British High Commissioner, Greg Quinn, reminded the students and other persons present that they all must work together in the battle against climate change. “We need to have solidarity between all member states and to support the mandate. “Do we all need a plastic bag for every purchase we make, as is the habit of most member cities?” he questioned. He added that we need to work together to boost the voice of the Commonwealth internationally, and support and strengthen the secretariat.

The British High Commission, he said, is determined to carry out the shared objectives in the next couple of years and he is looking forward to working with Guyana.
The lone female High Commissioner, High Commissioner of Canada, Lilian Chatterjee, said that as a Commonwealth we must also ensure that women and girls are the heart and centre in assisting us with our systemic economic developmental efforts. The Government of Canada she said, is committed to reducing the systemic structures and values that prevent women from fully participating in economic life, both at home and abroad.

“When women are able to develop their full economic potential, whether it’s agricultural producers, employees, entrepreneurs and business owners, the economy strives and the benefits of growth reach all society, including men and boys,” Chatterjee said.
Adding that, “as a connected Commonwealth, let us celebrate our shared values, renew our ties, and mobilise our partnership as we collaborate towards inclusive and sustainable, social, political and economic development.”

Minister of Education, Dr. Nicolette Henry, reminded the audience of the many contributions Guyana has made to the Commonwealth and benefits of fostering connections between member states. She reassured the gathering that “As a nation, I know we have what it takes to avoid any constitutional crisis… While I wish to commend the Commonwealth for its work, and its commitment to making the world a better place, I use this opportunity to urge all Guyanese to ensure that we all work together to make the world a better place.”

In his closing remarks, Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton U. A. Scotland, reminded the audience of the theme for this year’s Commonwealth Day, ‘A Connected Commonwealth.’ He said that “this year’s theme, reminds us of the need for us as members of the Commonwealth to continue to forge efforts in the battle against common threats of the effects of climate change and to hold democratic principles and the rule of law.”

He urged the students to never fail to practise the tried and proven values of respect to their fellow Guyanese, and all they would encounter elsewhere. Respect and love in a country, he said, will commit to Guyana’s future, and “you who are the future, you must help to contribute to that future,” Dr. Scotland said.

The audience was then treated to a cultural dance from the National Dance Company, showcasing cohesion among nations of the Commonwealth. The evening’s proceedings ended with a cocktail reception. Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira also delivered brief remarks at the event.


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