Saturday, March 27, 2010

Let us not put our children out to work at 13 years old. Please.

Kaieteur News letter. Let us not put our children out to work at 13 years old. Please.

March 27, 2010 | By KNews | Filed Under Letters

Dear Editor,
It is with great trepidation that I write this letter because once I reply to Randy Persaud’s question in last Sunday’s KN, the letter writers will all come out in full force and criticize not only me, but my entire family, for whatever ills or sins they feel we have committed. So be it.
I do not know who Randy Persaud is. I have seen letters from him in the daily newspapers for a while now and have surmised that he works for the current government. This is not a criticism of you Mr. Persaud, but information for you to consider. All I ask is that if you or anyone feels the need to reply to me, let us stick to the topic at hand.
There is nothing wrong with a child delivering newspapers or doing odd chores for pay if the pay is for pocket money for the child who is saving for his/her future education, or to buy electronic equipment or fancy clothes or to go to a restaurant with their friends. What is objectionable in Guyana is that most of the children working are the bread winners for their families. They do not attend school and the jobs are not part time, they are full time. Pass by Bourda Market any day and you will see them selling during school hours. This is just one example.
I am sure you have read of the children in Berbice (and elsewhere) who do not go to school because their parents cannot afford school clothes or passage money, or money to buy food and books. This is the reality of Guyana. My neighbour here in Georgetown used to board a lad but for whatever reason she can no longer do so. He lives just over the river. When I met him one day this school year and asked why he no longer goes to school he says that he had to move back home and his mother does not work and he has no money to travel to the GTI every day. He is 15 years old. That is the tragedy of Guyana.
We have read recently of the super salaries of Presidential Advisers. Don’t we all wish we could be Presidential Advisers? If some of that money could be re-distributed to poor children to pay for school books and uniforms, to give them just one meal a day in school, to resuscitate the dairy industry so that every child under 16 years of age can get 1 litre of milk a week, to start making cheese and yogurt, to bring back the big buses or even school buses for children whose parents cannot afford to pay for them, Guyana would be a better place. We would not have so many child criminals.
We need to educate our children. Education is the only way out of poverty Mr. Randy Persaud. Let us not put our children out to work at 13 years old. Please.
I recommend that you and other members of our government study and implement the Bolsa Familia programme in Brasil which transfers a reliable sum of money every month to families below the poverty line in exchange for verified school attendance and clinic visits for children and I promise you Guyana will be a better place to call home.
Jennifer Bulkan

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