The worse life one can live is one of ingratitude. Against this backdrop, I publicly thank His Excellency of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, and, by extension, his Government for recognising my gifting and allowing me to serve for two years beyond retirement as Chief Education Officer. My career as an educator and, more so, as Chief Education Officer spanning more than 33 years could have ended disastrously after being sent on extended leave for doing what I do best: serving the children and people of this nation. There was a deafening silence on this matter by those with a penchant for talking.
It remains a mystery why someone without a deep understanding of education delivery would attempt to malign their greatest human resource asset at the nation’s children’s expense upon the pandemic’s arrival. But a good man can never be kept down.
One night, I was going through my ordeal, still grappling with why someone would perform such a dastardly act. I was asleep around midnight when my wife brought my cell phone, saying the President wanted to talk to me. Out of sheer compassion, I heard President Ali say, “You cannot finish like this. Go to Priya.” I did, and she welcomed me with open arms. The President and I had no prior relationship, yet he reached out to me. They tried to bury me but did not know I was a seed.
During the extra two years given to me, I was able to impart years of accumulated wisdom, knowledge and skills to the younger officers in the Ministry that have been a contributory force to their efficiency and effectiveness in the execution of their roles, particularly during the pandemic. I left the CEO’s office not in despair but with a smile. As an Executive Director of the National Accreditation Council, I am at the heart of education delivery at the level posts secondary and tertiary institutions such as universities and colleges, a job I relish. Thanks to all my supporters and those who offered kind and encouraging words.
I closed by asking these questions to every citizen of this country. What do you want to be remembered for? What will your legacy be when you die? Is it one who thrived on chaos and controversies or one who brought enlightenment, peace and goodwill to the brothers and sisters of our country? The time for healing in this nation is now. Together we can do the extraordinary.
Dr Marcel Hutson