GUYANA: NATIONAL PRIDE – Commentary

NATIONAL PRIDE

MAY 26, 2016 | BY Kaieteur News | FILED UNDER EDITORIAL,

Guyana 50th Anniversary Logo

Guyana 50th Anniversary Logo

Opinion - commentary -analysisFifty years ago, today, Guyana broke free from the Monarchy to chart its own destiny. There was no golden handshake as has been the case with countries like Suriname that gained its independence from Holland. Instead, Guyana was pretty much left to work with the systems left in place by the colonial rulers.

It is not that these systems were all bad. For example, we continue to maintain the judicial system that allows for a preliminary inquiry ahead of an indictable charge. There are still the public service, the police force and the postal service which, until the advent of improved technology, remained the main link between families and friends.  

Independence and the ensuing economic hardships of the 1970s forced Guyana to develop what is now a vibrant agricultural programme. This is perhaps the most important and impressive thing that has come out of being independent.

Up until May 26, 1966, Guyana was a market for the British farmers and fishermen. So it was that the people of this country became hooked on imported salted cod, what they called Irish potatoes, canned foods and salted meats. The locals were not allowed to make their own preserved foods. Even fruits that formed the basis for cakes had to be imported.

There was something else that emerged from being independent. Guyanese could aspire to the highest heights in the social order. The title of Police Commissioner, once reserved for an expatriate was now open to Guyanese. Even the principals of the leading secondary schools were expatriates.

Having achieved these things and ensured the transformation over the last fifty years, there are times when people sit back and sometimes wonder whether independence did not herald a certain complacency among Guyanese.

The work ethic today leaves a lot to be desired, and this seems to be a carryover from the school system. During the colonial days, punctuality was the order of the day. Children could not go to school late without a valid excuse; events began on time and appointments had to be maintained.

Left in control of our own destiny, our leaders ignored punctuality to the extent that lateness went unnoticed. Respect for authority also went through the window, because suddenly people were confronted with friends and relatives in senior positions. This was licence to be casual in the face of authority, and we allowed it to happen.

The advent of the new government has reshaped the national policy on punctuality, at least at the official level. State events once more start on time, and this is a resurrection on the importance of punctuality. Press conferences hosted by the government begin at the stated time. It is time that this trend spread throughout every aspect of national life.

Every country would experience development with the advent of technology. The result is that over the past fifty years the once wooden city has become like many cities, with tall concrete and glass structures. The roadways have been developed to facilitate movement across the country. Roads now exist where there were none; more schools have been built.

Yet there has been a return to the past, with the return of private schools. People have been led to believe that unless they pay for their children’s education then those children would be at a disadvantage. This seems to be a reflection of a decline in the quality of teaching in public schools.

To fuel this perception is the inability of graduates from tertiary institutions being unable to spell or to fill an application. Passes at English Language and Mathematics are below par, contrary to what operated in the past.

The conclusion is that there needs to be some rebuilding in areas that were well established in the pre-independence years, but we should also take pride in our many achievements and developments. Where the British failed to develop the infrastructure, we did. Where they failed to develop our farming communities, we did.

And above all, we did develop that which we never had in the pre-independence years—national pride.

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Comments

  • ndtewarie  On May 27, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    I AM GUYANESE

    I am Guyanese by birth
    And I’m very proud of it
    For its tropical worth
    Its loving country spirit

    Our people’s company
    And patriotic outlook
    Makes me darn happy
    When others forsook

    Us a humble people with great pride
    I feel I can do anything
    Like I’m on a top super coaster ride
    In all efforts reaching

    For the stars with my basics
    Getting pleasure solving problems
    Avoiding all the licks
    Like porknockers looking for gems

    Cause to me it’s like a breeze
    As others abroad struggle and fret
    All because I’m a Guyanese
    I’m always jolly never get angry yet

    Coming from a well-run country
    With its untouched eco-climate
    Now we moving we are free
    Moving away from racial hate

    We’re a warm hospitable people
    With an enviable education system
    Anywhere we show we are able
    Yes Guyana my warm no-snow gem

    A super bird’s watcher’s paradise-
    For hobbyists far and wide
    They come to see our rare bird flies
    And satisfy their curious ride

    And when I die abroad or here
    I’m telling them “Le me stay hay nah”
    To my loved ones let them share
    And bury my shell also in Guyana

  • Clyde Duncan  On May 28, 2016 at 1:22 am

    “Yet there has been a return to the past, with the return of private schools. People have been led to believe that unless they pay for their children’s education then those children would be at a disadvantage. This seems to be a reflection of a decline in the quality of teaching in public schools.

    To fuel this perception is the inability of graduates from tertiary institutions being unable to spell or to fill an application. Passes at English Language and Mathematics are below par, contrary to what operated in the past.”

    I just had this discussion on another thread – a lot of us would fail to pass the school leaving examinations of our grandparents. By the time we were in school about 60-years ago, the standard of education was being lowered, so much so that you needed to graduate from high school to successfully write our grand-parents school leaving tests – our children need a university degree to accomplish the same standards.

    It is called “INFLATION”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s