(May 18,2023) - The Ministry of Education rejects as wholly untrue and malicious the claim by the APNU/AFC that a unit under the APNU was set up at the Ministry of Education to address the Housing revolving fund and that said unit was dismantled by the new PPP/C Government.
At a press conference today where the Leader of the Opposition, Aubrey Norton, known APNU MP Ganesh Mahipaul and backbencher Coretta Mc Donald were present, the party made the preposterous and bogus claim that "as a matter of fact that housing project was there since 2006 where we asked for a revolving housing project and that house lots be given to teachers in other areas across this country. Those have never ever been brought to light or we have not been able to successfully bring that on board except for when the coalition came into office, the coalition decided at that time they were going to put together a unit at the Ministry of Education to deal specifically with the housing revolving project. By that time, we would have already been able to acquire $200 million, even more now...and that’s where the coalition decided at the Ministry of Education that we were going to have this unit. Every aspect was put in place to have that unit in operation but when the PPP came into office in 2020, they disbanded that approach. We had another offer to them where we were going to use the Guyana Public Service Credit Union to administer this project, they have also thrown that aside."
The Ministry of Education puts on record the facts of this matter. Those are as follows 1. In or around 2006 the then Bharrat Jagdeo-led PPP/C Government struck a historic agreement with the Guyana Teachers' Union which gave to teachers, inter alia A. salary increases, B. access to duty-free concessions C. scholarships to the University of Guyana. D. Uniform allowance E. risk allowance. And F hard lying allowance etc.
That agreement came to an end in or around 2011 and was renewed by the PPP government again. Notably when the agreement expired under the APNU/AFC teachers were unable to enjoy any of those benefits and the GTU was unable to meet the Minister of Education or any senior Govt official leading to a national strike in or around 2018. This is a notorious fact.
In 2006, $200 million was placed into a fund by the Bharrat Jagdeo Administration. No further money was given by the APNU. That money remains in a fund. At no point was a unit established in the Ministry of Education or anywhere else in the Govt. under the APNU/AFC as was claimed at the Opposition press conference. Indeed, a proposal was made for same but the APNU/AFC led Ministry of Finance refused to allow any such unit.
The Ministry calls on the Guyana Teachers’ Union to correct this malicious, bold-faced untruth so as not to interfere with the healthy negotiations that have begun between the Government of Guyana and the Union. Particularly the Union would recall the options discussed at the last meeting for the usage of the money currently in the Fund. It would be a shame to allow those talks to come crashing down because it may be in the interest of the Opposition to have unhappy teachers.
The Ministry calls on the main Opposition APNU/AFC to be responsible, truthful and sensible in their representations and consider the damage it does to itself when it allows its members to be untruthful about matters that are easily verifiable and where the truth is already in the public domain.
The Ministry is also inviting teachers to understand that the APNU/AFC appears at this point to have no interest in teachers benefiting from any service or expressions of love by the Government. Ask yourselves what would be better for this political party in Opposition: teachers enjoying the benefit of negotiations between their Union and the Government or teachers striking on the road. The Government invites teachers to reject persons and parties who are attempting to use them as pawns in their various quests for power.