Visitors to Mayreau have done more for education on the island than the Unity Labour Party (ULP) government, MP for the Southern Grenadines, Terrance Ollivierre says.
Ollivierre, a member of the main opposition New Democratic Party, told a town hall meeting in the tiny southern Grenadine island that
visitors to Mayreau have gone back to their home countries and set up foundations to help the children.
“But you have your own government fail to do anything to assist the children of Mayreau. And that is a low down, dirty, wilful sinful act. And we should never let them forget it…” Ollivierre told a town hall meeting in Mayreau on the weekend.
He said that he will address the situation if the NDP is elected to office in the next general elections, expected by year-end.
“If I am in any government of the New Democratic Party and anybody comes here to go down on the beach to have a meeting with you and to insult you with 50 dollars for your children, I will walk out that government because you deserve better than that and I am saying to you any boat fee, the New Democratic Party government, this government, has to pay the whole fee for you, the people of Mayreau,” he said.
Ollivierre said the government pays bus fees for some students in certain parts of the county.
Residents of Mayreau access secondary education on Union Island, another island in the southern Grenadines.
He noted that, in addition to the boat fee to and from Union Island, secondary school students from Mayreau have to pay land transportation and have to find money for lunch.
“Where is your damn conscience — God forgive me — in order to help the people of Mayreau to get an education?” Ollivierre said.
He said “the bigger picture” and the plan is to establish an improved educational facility in Mayreau.
“Sooner or later, there will be no boats. You will not have to be travelling by boat,” he said, adding that he has met with education planners in the NDP and [they] have set in place a plan to improve education in Mayreau.
He said there are people from Mayreau with degrees who have not returned to the island, but the NDP will create opportunities for them by building a school that caters from pre-school right up to secondary school.
“So our bright sons and daughters who want to stay here can stay here,” he said, asking what will happen to the development of the island when the best and brightest leave.
“The school will run in such a way where you have teachers who will teach from all levels, pre- primary and secondary,” Ollivierre said, adding that it will also offer skills training lessons.
“So all I am saying to you, young people, we, in the New Democratic Party, we always talk about you, we care about you, and we want to see you make something of yourselves and to make your parents and the island of Mayreau proud.
“Because sometimes when you look at the talent and skills that are being wasted on this island, you want to say to that government that you have there presently, ‘What are you doing? And you talking about you love people but we know you don’t love Grenadines people. So we are gonna move you aside and bring in a government that will help the people of Mayreau develop’,” Ollivierre said.