People of Guyana: Early Development

Did you know? Because the United Kingdom was the last or final “liege” of British Guiana, the cultural influence of England’s Empire, (watch this!) may not unsurprisingly, linger on even today. The preceding sentence is a sampling of the quaint English grammar Rutgers forced us to unlearn. Also, it “pegs us” in one of three Guyana people groups:  

Based on age, a simple chart can represent beginnings of three Guyanese learners.

  1. Those whose childhood development ended twenty years before Guyana’s independence in 1966.
  2. Those whose childhood development ended around 1966. and
  3. Those whose childhood development ended twenty or more years after independence.

While we readily admit a chart of differing child development periods must be “more nuanced” for accuracy, our goal is to simply identify some educational and typically, cultural differences of pre-colonial and post-colonial Guyanese. See, as an example, many Guyanese baby-boomers either “back home” or in the Diaspora,” are equally likely to smilingly resonate to:

Children of the Empire, you are brothers all
Children of the Empire, answer to the call
Uphold your noble heritage, oh, never let it fall and,
Love the land that bore you, but,
The Empire – best of all!

The above is a sample of Royal Readers, common, legendary tome or book, that shaped the start of boomers and older siblings in Guyana. It was the Empire’s reliable tool for learning by “spaced repetition” of rhyme and verse. Added to the influence of my mom as my kindergarten teacher, Royal Readers steeped this writer into an unshakable love of reading and learning.

Today, technology led to Dennison’s “The Education System in British Guiana; pre-Independence in 1966”: “At the time of Independence in 1966, one British newspaper reported our country had the highest standard of education in the Caribbean and fourth in the world! Of course, now it is almost the reverse”.[1]

Without the angst of “pointed fingers” the above “smidgeon of discussion” nevertheless cites: 1. People in Guyana whose childhood development ended twenty years before her independence in 1966. 2. Those whose childhood development ended around 1966. and 3. Those whose development ended twenty or more years after Guyana’s independence.

My Brother’s Keeper

Did you know? Kissoon contends: A nation’s survival depends on its people having courage and humanity…

In, Guyana, we are not even slow in moving; we are not moving at all. Horrible things that modern civilization should reject are taking place in this country and like 30, 20, 15, 10 and 5 years before, these aberrations and immoralities just past without a whisper of condemnation.[2]

From the ‘safe” of Guyana’s diaspora, how well we remember the difference that doggedly drives division among her people groups – into veritable agents of simplistic hate. Sad. Why? Because on this side of the Atlantic, to racially separate East Indian from African American is certainly “not even logical as an afterthought.” And:

Up close, we get to know – the only “big difference” is – hair. But “truth is” skin and hair are just the narrow “goal posts” used to judge who is and who isn’t worth our time and caring. And with “time and caring” in mind, the Holy Spirit of Lord Jesus Christ reminds us:

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

Sensing the pain of “we are not slow in moving, we’re not moving at all” may be a jarring reminder of why we’re in  Guyana’s Diaspora. But it should equally prompt us “I am my brother’s keeper”, and reason as Esther’s uncle opined:  “…And who but God can know you’re here for such a time as this?  Our paraphrase of Esther 4:4.

Serving our siblings in Guyana doesn’t mean we get stuck in the “embroil” of her politics. Rather, we quietly seek the mindset of Jesus. Aware we’d be clueless sinners – yet – he died for us. With God’s help for such a mindset we can partner with GO! To help the young, the struggling and spiritually clueless get to know – and enjoy Lord Jesus.


Carlton J. Bruce aka Dr B.
GO! Editor & Ministry Partnership Development

[1] Geralda Dennison “Letters to the Editor” Kaiteur News, Georgetown. Guyana Accessed April 16, 2021
[2] Freddie Kissoon column, Ibid.