Free university education mooted as gov’t rolls out pro-youth election campaign

The incumbent David Granger-led administration appeared increasingly poised to target, again, youths in its bid to be reelected at general elections likely to be held later this year.

The campaign by the governing A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) coalition to target youths, Guyana’s single largest voting block, took aim at the education sector where the majority of University of Guyana students are 35 years and under.

Addressing a government outreach on the Essequibo Coast, a traditional stronghold of the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo told residents there that government was considering scrapping university tuition fees if the coalition is victorious at the next general elections.

“President David Granger and I are looking at the possibility of abolishing fees at the University of Guyana in our second term in office. I want to assure you that you have a government that cares,” Nagamootoo was quoted as saying at the Aurora Secondary School in Pomona, Essequibo Coast.

The Prime Minister’s announcement came amid growing calls by youth and community organisations for university tuition fees to be scrapped in light of the impending oil revenues.

Free education at the University of Guyana ended in 1994.

Prior to Nagamootoo’s disclosure on Wednesday, the clearest indication of a renewed emphasis on the youth segment of the population came over the Independence Day weekend activities when young people took centre-stage at the flag raising ceremony. President Granger’s address to mark the occasion was dedicated almost exclusively to the importance of young people.