Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Young people are the primary beneficiaries of this year's Budget, says Culture Minister

As part of its commitment to sustainable development in Guyana, Culture Minister Dr Frank Anthony said, his ministry will be holding special workshops for emerging writers in schools as well as establishing a Music School during the year.

Frank Anthony

As the budget debate ran into its second day yesterday, Dr Anthony, who also holds the ministerial portfolio for Youth and Sport, declared that young people are “the primary beneficiaries of this budget”. He indicated that there had been several initiatives which sought to particularly target youths. Among these are special programmes equipping them to deal with social issues.

Responding to concerns raised by PNCR-1G MP Africo Selman on Monday regarding the absence of a National Youth Policy, Anthony said there is currently a National Youth Policy. Anthony said that the ministry will be moving to upgrade the policy this year with the help of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Meanwhile, regarding the establishment of the music school, Anthony said it was observed that persons had limited opportunity to learn practical and theoretical music within the country. A specialized team has been developing a curriculum even as the instruments have already been procured. According to Anthony, shortly, the ministry will be recruiting the teachers to start this programme.

The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport will be sponsoring a special essay competition in schools and the writers of the best 30 essays will be trained during a creative writing workshop to be held in August. This workshop will be conducted by UK-based Guyanese Professor David Dabydeen. During the workshop the children will develop creative pieces which will be performed in December 2010 at the Festival of Words in honour of National Poet Martin Carter. These pieces will then be published, the minister said.

“We feel that this investment by the government will not only help to preserve our rich literary legacy but will also develop a new generation of writers and poets,” Anthony said.

The minister also outlined specific efforts being undertaken to improve the National Museum and the Walter Rodney Archives, which he emphasised, were being treated as very important entities in the country.

Further, Anthony announced that his ministry is also committed towards developing theatre in the country. He said that it is seeking to arrange a national drama festival to have playwrights and actors display their talents. He said this would be held at the National Cultural Centre (NCC). He added that plans are also in the pipelines for the establishment of a National Theatre School at the NCC He also added that repairs on the roof of the NCC will be done this year.

Additionally, Anthony said that the ministry’s effort in developing sports infrastructure has been gaining momentum. The minister pledged that the long-awaiting Olympic-sized pool “will be fully operational by the middle of this year”. He said that this had been delayed due to the lack of technical expertise on the part of the local contractors, but he said they have since collaborated with an international firm.

Work on the racquet centre on Woolford Avenue is ongoing and phases should be completed during the year. In addition, Anthony said it is expected with the assistance from a donor agency, a Resource Centre, which will house a library and conference facility, will be erected.

“In 2010 our flagship infrastructure programme will be the development of a synthetic athletics track,” the minister said. The Guyana Amateur Athletic Association is a partner in this project, he added, while noting that a design firm was already hired and following a feasibility study of four sites, one site has been recommended.


  1. Indeed the government has always focused on improveing the lives of the youths of Guyana.The governemnt has the youths of this country on theirs and do their best in providing facilities so that the youths can learn and be more equip at a level...........

  2. This is good. Shows that this PPP government is really serious about the future of our children

  3. The Administration’s focus on youth empowerment has been proving rewarding with hundreds of youths now imbued with a variety of skills. The fact that these infrastructures are being erected means that the opposition cannot use lack of sports facilities for the youths to occupy their free time.

  4. Another positive outcome by the party imitative, and this is a fact because it is evident if one was to take a review, they would see the improvement in the youths progress, whether be it academic or in some entrepreneur skills which gives them a step in life. These efforts put forth by the minister are major developments in the country and for the youths thus always catering for the welfare of these children is really trying when it comes to the welfare of the children, but that would be too difficult for the opposition party to figure that out....