Political turmoil grips Guyana: Educators call for transparent elections results

Political turmoil grips Guyana: Educators call for transparent elections results

Dear Editor,
The views and ideas of the following are purely those of educators in the teaching profession who mould the nation’s children. These persons are in no way politically affiliated to any party in Guyana. As professionals, we work in the classrooms to teach without prejudice and bias. Since no public statement was made by the Guyana Teachers’ Union, we are forced to publish this article to highlight our concerns. The political climate has cast a dark cloud over Guyana. Everyone is affected. As educators, we are deeply concerned about the impact the March 2 Elections are having on our country.

Our school system is built to ensure each learner is empowered with academic knowledge and moral values. Truth, honesty, cooperation, and, respect, especially for the laws of Guyana, are taught at a very early stage to students. An educated nation is expected to behave maturely and responsibly, especially our leaders whom Guyanese have trusted with our votes. The present state of our country leaves us to wonder if the incumbent Government of Guyana is truly practising what they are preaching.

“Education is generally regarded as a basic requirement for the socio-economic transformation and advancement of societies. It is a prime ingredient in human resource development and the overall development of a nation. This is well recognised by the Government of Guyana and education reform exercises are therefore a regular feature of the Government’s development agenda” (Ministry of Education website). Taking the aforementioned into consideration, is dishonesty, indecency and fraudulent computation of numbers part of the regular reform exercises for the nation?

Delayed elections results have negatively impacted the social, political, and economic state of our country. The daily ordeals that have plagued the media have highlighted the social disintegration, political and economic instability and threat of weakened international relations that presently lurks over Guyana.

Post elections activities have contributed to social unrest in Guyana. Be it in the form of protests to court cases, or otherwise, social media has been tracking these daily developments, and keeping our citizens informed. Every citizen has that the civic right to their political affiliations and beliefs, however, when these very beliefs and affiliations have overpowered rational thinking that has led to our innocent children being targeted in and out of schools, well let’s just say that it was a recurrence of the darkest of days during colonial times that Guyana has experienced. For those who cannot recall history, Martin Carter’s poem “This is a Dark Time My Love” attempts to give a summary of those very dark days. Do we intend to sit silently and witness our once free and beautiful country return to the days of bondage?

What happened to One People, One Nation, One Destiny? Are these just mere words? Don’t they have any meaning anymore? As Guyanese, we should never have allowed political affiliations to be the death of our once free country. We should never have allowed our political emotions to give birth to the monsters that were within that are destroying relationships in our country. What about social cohesion? Doesn’t this exist in our beautiful country any longer? Do we as people want to witness, experience and contribute to the return of colonial days in Guyana? Are we truly Guyanese?

The General and Regional Elections have struck destructive blows to our education system. From poor attendance at schools to disruptive classrooms due to race, ethnicity and parental political affiliations, teachers have had their work cut out for them before and after the March 2 Elections. Both of these situations have caused a setback in curriculum implementation and by extension, postponed school activities which aim to promote social bonding, tolerance, acceptance, and unity in and out of schools.

Is this the message and kind of education to which we as parents want to expose our children? Do we want to contribute further to the ethnic divide in our country? Our children are the future of tomorrow and if we don’t guide them on the right path and instil in them the values that promote harmony then there will be no Guyana tomorrow. For the once independent and beautiful Guyana would have been sucked up by the existing hate and political and ethnic divide like how a black hole sucks up everything in outer space. Do we as Guyanese want to sit idly and witness the slow and painful death of our once glorious country?

Guyana is weeping! If you just forget about that hate that has filled your hearts and listen you will hear her cries. The constant battles between our leaders for political power have crippled Guyana. Our nation continues to be held at ransom because of a few greedy, power-hungry individuals who fail to deliver credible elections results on time.

Additionally, the venom, racists’ remarks and vulgar display spewed by some politicians and citizens have continued to influence our charges of young impressionable minds which presently affect social cohesion in our schools. Is this what our country has turned to? Has the blatant disregard for rules and laws become the order of the day? These subliminal messages continue to create a highly chaotic and explosive state in our nation. Not forgetting the cognitive and moral influences they have on the general population of the country – mental fatigue of citizens, persons’ distrust for the political system, blatant disregard for the supreme law of the land – the Constitution, dishonesty in the judicial process and psychological effects on young minds.

Our leaders need to take a stand! Guyanese need to see democracy prevailing. Our only request is for transparency in the results of our elections. It is incumbent that we eradicate this political turmoil that presently grapples Guyana. Therefore, for the benefit of all Guyanese and the future of Guyana, we join with all stakeholders, in the call, asking GECOM and all political parties, especially APNU/AFC, to publish all Statements of Poll so that a true and thorough national verification of the ‘actual’ votes cast at the March 2 Elections can be done at the earliest.

Such a move will erase all possible doubts from people’s minds and direct GECOM towards producing credible elections results which can be accepted locally and internationally. The future of Guyana depends on all of us. As a people, we need to stand united. There is still a beacon of hope for Guyana. Let’s all join in the struggle to restore glory and democracy in our nation.

Concerned teachers

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