Education Minister schools MPs on poor conduct
Feb 26, 2021 , Source - https://www.kaieteurnewsonline...ent-on-poor-conduct/
Kaieteur News – In her introduction to her budget presentation, Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, admonished the House, but particularly the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) opposition for its poor conduct in Parliament.
Minister Manickchand’s schooling comes on the heels of a Kaieteur News article published on February 23, which exposed the hurling of racist, homophobic, and sexist insults from one Member of Parliament (MP) to the other during the opening of budget debates.
Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand
In that article, Kaieteur News had highlighted various cases of the verbal mudslinging. In one case, it was the Opposition Leader, Joseph Harmon, who had shouted to Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister Kwame McCoy, “I have a ‘lil’ boy for you.”
Shortly after, MP Catherine Hughes had shouted to Minister McCoy, “Rainbow! Rainbow! Rainbow!” This is a known reference to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) flag.
Against this background, the Education Minister said to the National Assembly yesterday, “In 2021, we cannot use people’s sexuality or sexual orientation, or what we believe it is or ought to be to disparage people. We cannot in this house. And it must be condemned and it must be rejected… I say here and now, to any person of the LGBTQ community, you have a friend in us. We will not tolerate disparaging any member, putting down any member of that community, or using the idea that someone could be to disparage that person.”
Kaieteur News, in that same February 23 article, had exposed how MPs would insult other MPs for their infertility, as was done by coalition MP, Geeta Chandan-Edmond. At the beginning of that MP’s speech, the Attorney-at-Law had wished belated birthday greetings to Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall. But she did not stop there, as the coalition MP took a jab at the childless AG by saying, “I am a proud mother of two children. All the credit goes to my husband.”
With this, Manickchand wished “to condemn in the strongest language” the disparaging of those suffering from infertility complications. She said, “People are struggling with fertility issues. On both sides of this House, you have them. For people to use their own children as a reference point to hurt others in this House is reprehensible, and it speaks of a calibre that is not worthy of being in this House. And it must not happen again!”
The Education Minister, before moving onto the crux of her presentation, reminded the House that the conversation should not be about a MPs weight, hair or their style of dressing. “We are better than that!” she says, “This country requires and deserves more!”