Sometimes doing business in Guyana is like pulling teeth
I went to the Ministry of Education’s department in the Queen’s College compound to uplift my daughter’s examinations certificate and was told by one of the staff that I could not collect the certificate because my daughter had to give me an authorization. I told the staff member that my daughter is a minor and I am her legal guardian, but the staff member maintained that I could not collect the certificate without the authorization. So I produced my daughter’s birth certificate and my national identification card, and the staff member still insisted that it is the policy of the ministry for the child to give an authorization and that they were not even certain that I was indeed the mother of the child.
I told the person that the legal document of proof that I am the mother of the child is the birth certificate and another legal supporting document of proof of my identity, is my ID card. I then started to make the argument that the policy is flawed and possibly illegal since it gives authority to a minor and that I am not aware that the law gives the child that authority.
My minor child cannot transact any legal business without my consent as the legal guardian, so how is it that the ministry has a policy such as this? Anyway, the staff member proceeded to a supervisor and then returned to inform me, that that it is the policy of the ministry. I spoke to the supervisor myself and after much argument on my part, was granted permission for the certificate to be issued to me.
While I understand that a certificate is a very important document and the intention of the Ministry of Education is to secure the credibility and integrity of the distribution process, policies and rules must be properly rationalized. In this instance, the requirements for distribution should be the production of key supporting documents, such as the birth certificate of the student, an ID card or passport of the person uplifting, etc. A minor child cannot authorize a legal guardian to transact legal business on their behalf.
On another point, this certificate was there since 2013; the Ministry of Education should have a system in place to distribute such documents by mail, even if it requires a mailing fee at the time of paying for the examinations.
I am very hopeful that this new government will not only modernize the hardware (the physical structures) in Guyana but the software (the mechanisms for achieving development and increasing efficiencies ‒ human and other) too.
Sometimes doing business in Guyana could be like pulling out a tooth.