This article was first published on the 9th of December, 2019 by Patrick Carpen.Last updated: December 9, 2019 at 16:37 pm
While the Ministry of Education and the Guyana Teacher’s Union (GTU) are in conflict over the decision by the Ministry to ban Christmas party in schools, a recent online survey carried out by Guyana, South America online blog indicated that the majority of Guyanese are happy with the Ministry’s decision to end Christmas parties in Guyana‘s schools.
Out of a total of 156 persons who responded to the survey, 70 persons indicated that are they happy with the decision, 10 persons indicated that they disagree with it, while 70 persons indicated that they do not care or are neutral.
Earlier this month, the Education Minister, Ms. Nicolette Henry, through a formal notice to teachers and educators across Guyana, announced the Ministry’s decision to ban Christmas parties in schools across Guyana and replace it instead with a “properly supervised luncheon.” All students must be dressed in school uniform for the Christmas Luncheon and only Christmas carols will be permitted for music. Further, the event must be concluded by 14:30 hrs.
Up to last year, the traditional annual Christmas parties in schools allowed for students to “dress up” in exotic attires as well as the use of loud and largely uncensored music. The Ministry has indicated that these practices have resulted in undesirable behavior and incidents involving students.
The decision by the Ministry to ban Christmas parties in schools across Guyana has been met with loud applause by the majority of Guyanese, however, it is not without its opponents. Former Minister of Education, Ms. Priya Manickchan has condemned the move. In a social media post, she stated:
“It seems that the Ministry is conceding that it is unable to manage schools in a way that gives children wide and varied experiences that allow them to learn and socialise, even as they are thought to do so in a responsible manner.” – Former Education Minister – Ms. Priya Manickchan.
In addition to that, the Guyana’s Teacher Union has indicated their gross dissatisfaction at the move, labeling it a “backward and hasty step.”
“So you’re banning Christmas parties because of skimpy clothing and music…what happens during Mashramani which is also promoted by the Ministry of Education?” – General Secretary of the GTU – Corretta McDonald. (Paraphrased)