Access to educationPresident David Granger has said that education is the gateway to equality, and it will pave the way for employment and empowerment.President David Granger presenting the Presidential Awards Shield to the Head teacher of the Kako Primary School, Stephanie Krammer-GeorgeSpeaking on Thursday during a visit to Kako Village in the Cuyuni-Mazaruni section of Guyana known as Region 7, the President said it is for this reason that his Administration has been placing much emphasis on boosting teachers’ capacity, and enhancing education delivery and access through increased budgetary allocations and the introduction of innovative programmes, such as the Buses, Boats, Bicycles + Books and Breakfast (the Five Bs) initiative.President David Granger, along with Minister Dawn Hastings-Williams and Head Teacher Stephanie Krammer-George, participated in a ceremonial ribbon-cutting exercise to commission the newly-constructed dining hall at the school.The Head of State had visited the village to join the residents and students in celebrating the 29th anniversary of the Kako Primary School, where he told them that, as President of Guyana, he is a partner in the development of their village and the country as a whole.“We want to make sure that every child is given the best possible start in life. If you cannot read, if you cannot write, if you cannot count, if you cannot spell, then doors will be closed to you… Every Guyanese is equal, and every Guyanese must be given equal opportunities; and the way to achieve that equality is through education. If we want to ensure that children have equal opportunities, we must ensure that they have equal access to education,” the President is quoted as saying by the Ministry of the Presidency.In this regard, he urged the Toshao, village councillors, members of the regional authority, and residents to inform the Government of any impediments to access to education, so that urgent steps can be taken to remove them.“If there is anything keeping a child from school, let us know, and we will try to solve that problem,” he said.President Granger spoke of the importance of education in securing meaningful employment. He noted that in this age of technology, people must advance their skills so that not only can they be employable, but able to create employment for themselves and for others. Technology, he said, can help people to venture into agro-processing, whereby they can process their ground provisions, fruits and vegetables and seek competitive markets in and out of the country, rather than having to take their raw produce out of the village to sell, risking spoilage and other such disadvantages.The President said that is why the Government is working to ensure that communities like Kako get a reliable supply of energy, which is vital if residents are to move in the direction of agro-processing.The Head of State also urged the residents to ensure that they stay informed on what is happening in their country, and what programmes and projects are being undertaken for their benefit. “We want you to be educated and empowered. You must be able to exercise your rights as citizens by being fully informed,” he said.Public Affairs Minister Dawn Hastings-Williams, who is from Kako Village and had attended the Kako Primary School, urged the children to keep studying and to ensure that they attend school regularly.She noted that the institution continues to churn out individuals who have gone on to excel in their various fields, such as head teachers and health workers. These persons have served not only Kako, but other hinterland communities.The President and Minister Hastings-Williams have handed over a quantity of equipment to the village, including a music system and sports gear; and with the Christmas season fast approaching, they also distributed toys to the children of Kako.Chairman of Region Seven, Gordon Bradford, and several regional officials were also in attendance at yesterday’s event, which culminated with the cutting of the ribbon to officially commission a new dining hall for the students of the school.