Paruima – Where the Children Play, where they Learn and Love
Written by EDYOU FM Staff on May 18, 2023
Opinion Piece By: Simeon Browne
Life in the Upper Mazaruni District must be an experience to live for, where the air is clean and welcoming to the creative mind. May I tell you about it?
I recently visited the region as part of a team from ‘EdYou Fm’, mandated to bring awareness of the Ministry of Education’s Radio Station, its content and focus and, the reception and impact it is having particularly, in those remote places beyond Guyana’s coastland.
Paruima is a small village accessed by a seemingly quiet river variably populated with rapids, which gives the impression of emerging titans from the 2021 film ‘Eternals’. And while stream-like at narrow parts, the river’s promise of a battle for your life is sharp and certain of fulfilment, should any incident be had on the journey.
The contrast, however, is more evident near the village, which exudes a taste of a meadow-like setting, surrounded by mountains and extensive landscapes made beautiful even by the rains, as it does addictively so there. Upon arrival and to my amazement, this haven is not without information communication and technology advancements, with a critical focus on access to village authorities and educational content. It is this aspect of things that outlines the efforts of the people and their value for education. The children of a community just short of two days by foot from neighbouring Venezuela can access education in a facility that promotes learning and development for the future, a most unique yet pleasing-to-the-heart kind of finding. A finding that reminded me of Guyana’s growing but already great appreciation for better education.
I failed to distract myself from the musical abilities of the pupils of Paruima Primary. Our meeting with the seniors of the school’s educators dictated statements of awesomeness and dedication. Most of the children travel from far-out mountain settlements to school daily, but school is important. An earlier meeting with members of the council communicated that very well, in both the depth of their discussions and particularly with their use of language; their enunciation was proper, and their mannerisms were also good. But that should not infer that it is expected not to be so for citizens in those far-reach areas. If anything, it highlights an apparent reality of a wholly-followed value system; as such, it is commanded upon the upstanding and patriotic – and seen when we look at Guyana’s academic affluence to the world. Music also teaches the mind to have better-focusing ability The relation between music and chemistry, for example, denotes themes of balance, dedication, critical thinking, and constructing.
Now, at the school, we use the forum to talk about the Ministry’s ongoing talent endeavour. We hoped to capture those unique talents and skills of the children of the community so that we would later share them for all of Guyana and the world to see. The children of Paruima Primary are part of the school’s choir, and they sing very well. With our videographer Patrick Ramsammy on the cameras and assistance from our Network Coordinator Faye Stuart, we recorded a beautiful performance of ‘Let us Cooperate For Guyana’, first in English, then in their native tongue. We saw the performance of poetry and spoken word, and when that was over, loud cheers that must have been by wind echoed in the mountains; what an unexpected treat. I took the opportunity to paste EdYou-Fm stickers on the outside of the school, but even then, I was not alone; I was surrounded by people I believed to be some support staff of the school complex, equally tuned in to the singing and shouting of the show inside.
This was a most pleasurable experience for me. I had endured a three-hour journey by boat; I have deliberately implied the awesomeness of this place while withholding the true nature of this letter.
That all reminded me of the experiences on that journey of the different lives of the people of Guyana. But it is those differences that create upstanding and unique citizens. It is done with the children. They are already adhering to ways that will prepare them for responsible adulthood.
I would later tip my hat to the School’s headmistress, who accompanied us to the dock for our departure ride back to central Kamarang. Life in the Upper Mazaruni District must be an experience to live for, where the air is clean and welcoming to the creative mind – where the river reaches out to the land above, and where the children play, where they learn and love.