Alterations must be approached with caution – Toshao warns

first_imgAmerindian Act amendmentsThe revision of the Amerindian Act is a vital part of addressing Indigenous peoples’ rights and development, and it is crucial for the amendment to be carried out with caution.Vice Chairman of the National Toshaos’ Council, Lenox ShumanThis warning was sounded by the Vice Chairman of the National Toshaos’ Council, Lenox Shuman, as the week long debates of the National Toshaos Council (NTC) conference comes to a close.He further asserted that the relevant parties have only scratched the surface in the discussions for the amendment of the Amerindian Act.“We have gotten our toe in the room. I would say we need to be reminded that the revision would affect 212 communities and over 70,000 people so it must be done in a very careful manner,” he said, adding that the people should not expect that the revision would be completed within a year.“We cannot look at the revision of the Act being done in a single year… what we have done is simply scratch the surface,” Shuman continued.The NTC Vice Chairman said debaters need to take a very “careful and cautious approach because what we don’t want is another Act of 2006 because it would lead to our continued destruction,” he said.Shuman, however, acknowledged that the conference was a success and noted that the Council is pleased that they were given a great opportunity to control the agenda and chair without any political interference, which he pronounced was a very good start.Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, was adamant that the purpose of the Amerindian Act catered for the needs of the Amerindian people of Guyana and said the People’s Progressive Party/Civic will never, at the national level, support any changes that will erode the rights afforded to the Amerindian people.He had urged the Toshaos to enquire diligently about the benefits to be accrued by any proposed changes and if, however, the answer is in the negative then it is the duty of the Amerindian people to fight against the changes.Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Minister Sydney Allicock admitted that there are some hiccups as it relates to the submission of proposals for the revision of the Amerindian Act.According to the Minister, in 2015 they had discussed the need for the strengthening of the Amerindian Act and when he addressed the Executive Council on the first meeting, he had vowed to take to Cabinet a menu of the amendments of the Act for approval and present them to the National Assembly for passage into law.Allicock related that he had requested the Council to submit within two weeks, written proposals for amendment but none were submitted.He expressed his willingness to work with them to strengthen the Amerindian Act, but pointed to the fact that he is still awaiting their submissions.The revision of the Act was high on the agenda for this year’s NTC conference. The Minister stated that they are also pursuing an extension into the Amerindian land titling project.According to Minister Allicock, the Government believes that the Indigenous people’s land issues are critical to nation building. And they are certain that with an extension to the project, they will be able to address this matter in a very significant way.He added that contrary to what some will have them believe, the Government continues to offer significant support to the sustainable development of indigenous villages and communities across Guyana. (Jeanna Pearson)last_img read more

PARENTS SET TO TAKE TO THE STREETS OVER SNA CUTS AS DONEGAL TD DEMANDS ACTION

first_imgThe Special Needs Parents Association is calling all parents to attend demonstrations on Wednesday at Market Square in Letterkenny as a local TD called on government representatives to oppose cuts.Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Charlie McConalogue is calling on the government TDs in Donegal and across the country to oppose a further 12% cut in education supports for children with special needs.The Dáil will debate a Fianna Fáil motion over the next two days, calling on the government to reverse what it describes as a ‘deeply damaging cut that will hit every school in the country in September’. Deputy McConalogue explained: “All Deputies have the opportunity to do the right this week and put a stop to the direct targeting of children with special needs for further cuts in September.“This motion deplores the 12% cut in resource teaching hours announced last week – a cut that will hit more than 42,500 students with special education needs. The cut directly contradicts the government’s decision to match the increase in pupil numbers with an increase in mainstream teachers in September. We believe that it is unfair and unreasonable that children with special needs are not being given the same treatment.”The Fianna Fáil motion calls for a corresponding increase in resource teaching hours and Special Needs Assistants to cater for the increase in the school population in September.It calls on the government to lift the cap on resource teaching and SNAs to ensure that every child with special needs receives at least the same level of support that they received this year. It also calls on the government to set a strict timeframe for the full implementation of the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act and to provide a proper and coordinated framework for the inclusion of all pupils in suitable education settings.Deputy McConalogue added: “This erosion of special education must stop. I am appealing to all TDs to stand up for local schools and stand up for the most vulnerable children within the school system. Support this motion and ensure that no child with special needs suffers yet another reduction in support when schools resume in September.” PARENTS SET TO TAKE TO THE STREETS OVER SNA CUTS AS DONEGAL TD DEMANDS ACTION was last modified: June 25th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:PARENTS SET TO TAKE TO THE STREETS OVER SNA CUTS AS DONEGAL TD DEMANDS ACTIONlast_img read more