Senators entering the Chambers of the Senate on Tuesday for the plenary of the 20th day sitting were greeted by scores of toddlers, kindergarten and pre-school kids of the Quality Foundation School from the ELWA Community.The kids, according to their handlers, out of curiosity had written the lawmakers through the Secretary of the Senate to allow them visit the Senators during session and observe their proceedings.The handlers said the kids’ desire was based on the fact that they wanted to see firsthand how the Senators debate issues leading to the crafting of some of the laws.The headmistress of Quality Foundation told the Senators that the children, even at such a young age, are being taught basic issues about the Constitution, as demonstrated by their enthusiasm while singing two stanzas of the “Lone Star Forever”. This was followed by their school’s ode, which spells out that Quality Foundation produces quality education. She said the school is living up to its name by ensuring that although they are just children, they will be molded with a solid foundation in order to produce the quality of education the country will depend on in the future.Most of the children attending the school, according to the school’s authorities, come from parents living in the ELWA Community, who are mainly marketers.Watching the Legislators on television debating in sessions is said to be one of the factors responsible for the interest created in what happens behind the walls of the Capitol Building. “Some of them are even dreaming of becoming lawmakers one day,” the headmistress told the Senate.Welcoming the children and their handlers, Senate Pro Tempore Gbehzohngar M. Findley assured them that the building was their property and that lawmakers were more or less caretakers.“One day you are going to wear the shoes we are wearing today, but you have to continue to be serious in your lessons, disciplined, respectful to those who impart knowledge to you, and above all honest,” Pro Tempore admonished the little girls and boys.On behalf of the Senate, Pro Tempore Findley presented an amount of US$50 as transportation for their unusual, but welcomed visitors.But the biggest surprise for the visitors came from the Senate Chairman on Public Corporations and co-chair on Autonomous Commission and Agencies, Senator Alphonso Gaye, who “on behalf of the people of Grand Gedeh County”, presented an amount of US$500 as “transportation.”Senator Gaye amidst laughter from his colleagues, told the gathering that Senators who are fathers and mothers will always be willing and prepared to identify with children who demonstrate that they can be counted upon to represent their people when the time comes.The visit ended with the Senators taking a photograph with the children on the floor of the Senate chamber.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Social Protection Minister Amna Ally on Tuesday announced that the Government is working to ensure that a National Gender and Social Inclusion Policy can be implemented before year end. This policy is intended tackle negative economic, cultural and social practices that hampers equality.“The National Gender and Social Inclusion Policy is expected to be implemented during the second quarter of 2019 and will aim to mainstream gender issues into all sectors in order to eliminate all negative, economic, social and cultural practices that impede equality and equity,” the Minister explained.She added that the policy is likely to strengthen links between the Government, non-governmental organisations and even the private sector to mainstream gender equality in respective sectors. Moreover, the policy will develop, maintain and provide gender sensitive information and gender disaggregated data for the purpose of planning and implementing projects.While speaking on the progress, Guyana has made in relation to gender equality, the Minister pointed out that she was specifically pleased with the representation of women in Parliament, adding that Guyana is well ahead of many developed countries.According to her, 31.9 per cent of seats in the National Assembly is occupied by women.She also boasted that Guyana has met its target of eliminating gender disparity in primary and secondary education. This, she noted, was progress towards achieving universal primary education standards.Meanwhile, the Deputy Programme Manager for Gender and Development at the Caribbean Community (Caricom), Ann-Marie Williams explained that Tuesday’s forum was specifically designed to trace Guyana’s progress in Regional Gender Equality since 1975 through the United Nations Decade for Women.Within that decade, three major conferences were held; the first was hosted in 1975 in Mexico which bore fruit of two documents. The first was the declaration of Mexico and the equality of women and their contribution to development while the second encompassed the world plan of action for the implementation of the objectives of international women’s year.Later on in 1980, the second conference was hosted which was used to report on the previous event. The third conference was held in 1985 which celebrated the accomplishments of the decade of women. It also established an agenda to guide future efforts to promote equality for women, worldwide.Some 10 years later, the Beijing conference was hosted to accelerate the implementation of policies to ensure equality.She said, “We’re taking time out to look at the progress that have been made and also the challenges and we know that within the challenges lie opportunities so as we move towards 25 years of Beijing, it is time for us to literally take stock”.It was explained by her that next year will commemorate 25 years since the fourth World Conference was hosted and Guyana will be responsible for bringing together Governments and other stakeholders to consult on the priority areas that Guyana chose to work on after the Beijing conference.Williams told Guyana Times that a few of the areas Guyana was expected to work on were education, health and women in decision making among others.Guyana, like other countries, she said, will have to report on how they kept the promises they made for women and girls.