Government officials on Sunday visited Tapakuma, Region Two, to hear the residents’ concerns as the ministerial outreaches continue across the administrative regions.
Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton and his Personal Assistant with a resident of the Tapakuma community
Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton who led a team to the indigenous community, told residents that, “we have got an open door policy, we don’t know it all, we can’t stay in Georgetown and make decisions for you (Tapakuma), neither can we remain in Anna Regina and make decisions for Tapakuma,” he added.
Dr. Norton noted that the Government believes in freedom of speech, and it will not jeopardise anyone for criticising them (Government). “We want to let you know that that’s a thing of the past. It is the master, the mistress, the teacher in the school who has to know what’s going on, to tell us, and he must be free to criticise us,” he added.
Minister Norton added that this government is interested in the country’s development, and will make every attempt to see it (Guyana) develop.
Shavon Thomas, a teacher at the Tapakuma Lake Primary school, told Minister Norton that the community is thankful for the bus that the president presented to them last year. She said the school is in need of new batteries for their solar energy system. She added that the school has a printer and they are in need of ink cartages, but it is expensive to source and she was hoping the ministry can help in his regard.
Thomas said, “Our eastern wall here, we don’t have many teaching aids hanging because again during the rainy weather the rain seeps
A section of the residents during the prayer at the start of the meeting in Tapakuma
through and wet the aids, and we also have our windows falling off.” She added that the headmaster did create a work plan and submit it to the ministry, and is asking for Minister Norton to look into it because education is important to the community.
Galton Fredrick, a worker at the Dawa pump station, asked for the government to fix the access road leading to the pump. Fredrick is also calling on the minister to run a social cohesion training since the community’s council is divided. He explained that the training programme will help to overcome the divisions in the community.
The residents also raised concerns and made recommendations to have a women’s group, a better access road leading into the community, support for the school feeding programme, and more health workers. They also thanked the government for adding their community as one of the 25 to benefit from the e-Government system.
Minister of Social Cohesion Dr George Norton interacting with Toshao of Tapakuma, James Schadde
Minister Norton told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that he was really impressed with how informed the community was, and he will make a special effort to keep them more informed. He added that the concerns coming out from the community will be shared with the ministers under whose purview they fall, and every effort will be put in place to correct all them.
Dr. Norton added, “I am defiantly going to take up the challenge of informing the community more about social cohesion, by trying to have a workshop here, like we have been having in different other communities.”