UN meets with MoE to discuss language barrier

first_imgInflux of VenezuelansThe United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) recently presented the findings of a study conducted in Mabaruma, Region One (Barima-Waini), to assess the situation which found that there is a need for infrastructural development, education and cultural reintegration among others.Representatives from Voices GY presenting the findings from a study (MoE photo)The Education Ministry met with the team from Voices GY on Friday, where an assessment was conducted on behalf of the UNHCR.In a post on social media, the Ministry said, “The needs assessment focused primarily on education for Venezuelans and returning Guyanese in that region. Some of the major issues that were highlighted today (Friday) following the study were the existence of a language barrier, cultural integration and infrastructure”.“As such, recommendations were made by the UNHCR and the Voices GY representatives to address these issues so that there can be improved access and quality of education in the communities that are located in that region,” it added.Meeting with the team were Education Minister, Nicolette Henry, Chief Education Officer (CEO), Marcel Hutson, Senior Secondary Education Officer, Ameer Ali and Technical Facilitator, Kerwin Jacobs.The parties committed to future collaborations to fill the gaps and achieve their objectives in the education sector.While there has been no formal request from the Guyana Government for funding, the United States (US) stands ready to provide aid to help with the influx of Venezuelan migrants here.Currently, Guyana is benefiting from US funding through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to facilitate the thousands of Venezuelans fleeing their homeland.In March, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) injected some US$1.6 million into Trinidad and Tobago to assist with Venezuelans moving there.Thus far in Guyana, there are approximately 5800 Venezuelan migrants – double the amount recorded six months ago – and this number is expected to increase daily.On this note, US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch noted that while the situation is not a “serious concern” to the Guyana Government as yet, it may soon become one due to the heightened influx of migrants from the neighbouring Spanish-speaking country.“In the past, the majority of Venezuelans have been on the border. But a few weeks ago, there was a vessel with about 140 Venezuelans that came right into Georgetown. So that is an indicator that maybe things are worsening a little bit,” she noted while adding that recently she met a Venezuelan working in a restaurant in Berbice, which is quite a long way from the border.The current crisis engulfing Venezuela is now in its fifth consecutive year and according to a new United Nations report, almost a quarter of the once-wealthy South American nation’s population is in dire need of help, with a whopping 94 per cent of Venezuelans living in poverty.International media reports say the internal report highlights that some seven million Venezuelans “or about 24 per cent of the total population currently living in the country are estimated to have urgent priority needs for assistance and protection”.last_img