…As school commissions computer labStudents of the Kwakwani Secondary School in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) are expected to have a wider knowledge of the technology field because that educational institution was recently gifted with 15 new computers and new air conditioners for the commissioning of its computer lab.A student of the Kwakwani Secondary School cutting the ribbon to officially open the Computer LabThe generous donation was made by Rahaman Razac of R. Razac Business Enterprise as part of his corporate social responsibility to the community’s development.Head teacher of the Secondary School, Pamela Adrian, in her brief remarks at the opening of the facility, expressed gratitude to the businessman, the Guyana Forestry Commission, and Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman for making the event possible.Adrian noted that the event is a “memorable moment” for the school, and she pointed out that the donation is evidence of Razac’s understanding of making technology an embraceable tool to use in classrooms. She said the hardware now allows students to experience the era of digital explosion and develop their minds.Minister Trotman, who graced the opening ceremony with his presence, expressed his satisfaction and happiness for the contributions made. He urged students present to properly care for and utilise the equipment received in ways which would aid in their educational development.“We are in the age of technology; computers are the new slate. I challenge you all to make use of this technology and take care of it. Leave the computers in good standing for those coming after you, and focus on your schoolwork and studies.” Trotman admonishedResidents of the community also commended the businessman for the donation, and noted that it would now assist the secondary school and the entire community, since most of the students would benefit.The Minister and the GFC expressed their continuous commitment to the educational development of youths of the community, and to Kwakwani’s overall development through the natural resources sector.
BY UTAMU BELLEOver 200 workers under the Community Infrastructure Improvement Project (CIIP) in Linden have been issued termination letters, to facilitate the rehiring of about 50 less workers under a “superior contract”.This newspaper understands that approximately 300 persons from both Wismar and Mackenzie, Linden were initially on the programme, however under the superior contract which is expected to take shape sometime next month, only 250 would be hired. This has created some amount of disagreement by some workers, who are at odds with the decision.Speaking on the issue, Linden Town Clerk Jenella Bowen explained that the programme which is conducted through the municipality of the Linden Mayor and Town Council (LM&TC) has undergone some restructuring, based on agreement with the Ministry of Communities.Region 10 Chairman Renis Morian“There were several discussions between the Ministry of Communities and the CIIP project. PS (Permanent Secretary) is aware and all the other players from the ministry, as it relates to this project. A decision was made where we would have 250 persons working instead of 300 persons…we would have started with Mackenzie, having termination contracts for the persons on Mackenzie. So what happens is that the entire CIIP programme will be restructured based on the Council’s agreement. Everyone will be terminated and then people will be rehired. There were 300 persons on, but now we have to bring that figure down to 250”, the Town Clerk indicated.She added that the decision was based on an agreement with the Ministry of Communities, which was embraced by the Council.Bowen further stated that some workers had agreed to uplift their termination letters and that all were terminated to facilitate the rehiring process in both “fairness and justice”. The workers, she noted, were given a one month notice of their termination.Bowen said workers under the programme will continue working 4 hours per day, for 16 days in this month for the usual payment of $12,500. However, come September 5, when the re-established work process commences, the work time will be 8 hours per day, for eight days and the payment increased to $25,000. NIS would also be deducted, according to Bowen.Linden Town Clerk Jenella Bowen“So instead of working 16 days it is 8 days, 8 hours a day…I think that the system can work. I think that it’s for the betterment of the community. I will embrace it. Many of the persons from what I know are single parents. Many of them mothers, and for that I am grateful…and I know the Council will also embrace the project”, the town clerk said.Regional Chairman wants letters rescindedMeanwhile, Region 10 (Upper Demerara- Berbice) Chairman Renis Morian has called for the letters of termination to be rescinded, since he noted it has created a lot of uncertainty and uneasiness among the workers who depend on the project for a living. He said the decision was not made in “fairness” and proper consultation should have been made to prepare the workers for the changes to come.“You have people in Region 10 who are unemployed, who are doing the CIIP work. So you have a contract that for whatever reason, you’re pulling this contract because it is alleged that you have framed a superior contract. You’re pulling this contract now and there’s a long uncertainty period. I’m saying, pull back the letters. When you’re ready with your new contracts, call the people…I’m saying to the Minister of Communities and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communities that those letters should be withdrawn…you don’t just pull a contract and leave a man hanging in the air and you know a man was earning…it has to be discussed with them and they agree…”, Morian stated.The regional chairman said he hopes that good sense will prevail regarding the issue. He recently stated that he was given all assurance by the minister that this will be done.