The importance of focusing on our education system as we tackle ethnic and racial discrimination

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Dear Editor

In my previous letters to the editor, I discussed the need to unite our country.  the obvious division that is premised on the belief that one group is superior to another. It is my humble belief that one significant means of tackling this issue is e through the formal education system.

Steve Biko once stated that the greatest weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed. The reality is that an educated and independent mind is difficult to manipulate. The education provided and thus received must however be grounded in truth and must not be tailored to manipulate the minds of those who are seeking the truth.

In Guyana ever so often there is a call for change in the history taught to our children. It is believed that the history currently taught neither adequately prepares young people for the realities they will face as they become more aware of their environment and the society in which they live, nor does it help them to answer the questions they may have about themselves. This is also the case regarding our social studies curriculum which should include intentional courses on civic education.

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Currently, in Texas, USA , there is a debate about a bill, labelled the anti -critical race theory bill, which seeks to reduce the ability of teachers to teach the truth about race, racism and white supremacy in the United States.

Critical race theory is not a new concept. It has been around for nearly 40 years and it basically highlights that race is a social construct and racism is more than what happens at an interpersonal level, rather it is systemic and institutional and thus negatively impacts an entire group while creating space for another to have unequal opportunities.

The extreme pushback by state legislatures in Texas among others on this issue, can and must inform us on  the lengths that groups in authority would go to prevent honest discussions on issues that affect not only African Americans but all non-white peoples around the world. Our responsibility here in Guyana must be to help our children learn the truth and know their history as this will help us all to better understand and appreciate each other, reducing the ability of anyone to divide and attempt to conquer us as we continue to work for unity in this diverse nation of ours.

Regards
Tabitha Sarabo-Halley



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