We, the undersigned, reside in and around the Greater Toronto area, and are quite concerned with the delay in the results of the 2020 CSEC/CAPE exams in Guyana.
Our interest in education and democracy in our country of birth goes back many years. We can probably start from our childhood days, but 1992 is a significant time, as it marked the year democracy returned to Guyana and a groundswell of goodwill and support from overseas Guyanese found expression for their homeland in many ways.
One lasting endeavour were the countless efforts aimed at providing the system with money, materials and manpower to the learning institutions there. This was fully appreciated by parents, teachers, and students, always with the active cooperation and guidance of then Minister Dale Bisnauth.
Beneficiaries included the Ministry of Education, University of Guyana, and hundreds of schools some of us attended as children, mostly in the country areas where no organised alumni existed.
Geoff Da Silva, Harry Hergash and Jerome Khan are only a few names among the hundreds who were actively involved, and can testify to this fact. Even our late friend Randy Depoo – who was then attached to the US Embassy here, and who, before his passing, initiated the bold petition asking the USA to impose personal sanctions against the 2020 election riggers, participated.
Some even took the magnanimous step of adopting their schools, and continue to assist even today. Anthony Trevor Subryan, who was recently recognised for his work by the Guyana Consulate, personally donated computers with a lab to the children of Bath Settlement, at an event where the Minister of Education was present.
We were dragged back into action after the last elections, and either initiated or joined thousands of others all over the globe supporting the foreign diplomats and other friends of democracy in insisting on fair and transparent election results, a process that took five long months.
A recent letter by Swami Aksharananda (SN January 29) has now raised our concerns for the children, who, with the sacrifice of teachers and parents, braved COVID-19 to prepare for, and write, their exams; the results of which have not yet been declared by the Ministry. We are not aware of the difficulties facing the Ministry, but surely, any further delays would be prejudicial to the students, whose future plans may have to be put on hold for an uncertain period of time.
Among our group are persons who have a personal interest in these matters, as they support the students there by way of financial and other material means, and await their results to arrange admittance to universities or colleges etc. not just in Guyana, but abroad.
These students may not be old enough to vote, and may not have a union to speak for them; and those who should, including their parents, seem to prefer to be silent, even though so much is at stake. They do have access to the internet however, and are quite savvy with Facebook and other means to reach friends and supporters across the seas; but, hopefully, their results will be forthcoming soon.
Some may prefer to see the wealth of the country in oil and gas, sugar, gold etc; but we know that the future is an educated population now sitting in the classrooms. The principles of democracy cannot claim to be effective in a country struggling with varied standards of justice, unless an educated populace has the ability to make intelligent and informed choices about who will govern them.
Any further delay in declaring the results would constitute unfairness to students, their parents, teachers, and overseas guardians and sponsors who assisted them.
Finally, the country still looking for skills and educated persons would be inflicting harm on itself.
We look forward to a public explanation by the investigators, and an early resolution of this issue.
We thank Swami Aksharananda for bringing this matter to the public’s attention, and pledge our continued support to SVN for the excellent results consistently produced by this private Hindu school.
C Persaud; N Singh;
R Sukhoo; T Mangal;
V Teekah; N Persaud;
M Sookdeo, and other