Ansa McAL Trading Limited marked 25 years of operating in Guyana today. As part of the company’s one-year observance of its Silver Anniversary, it has launched its Public Service Award Programme.
The initiative was launched today at the company’s Beterverwagting, East Coast Demerara office. Managing Director of Ansa McAL, Troy Cadogan explained that although the programme is being launched as part of the company’s Silver Anniversary, it will continue afterward to be an annual feature on the company’s calendar.
He said that under the programme, there will be a teacher of the year, nurse of the year and police officer of the year award for the period 2017-2018. According to Mr. Cadogan, the winning public servant in each category will be awarded $500,000. In addition, there will be 30 consolation prizes whereby 10 teachers, nurses and police officers will receive $50,000. The awards will be presented at a special ceremony held next year.
“We’ll be honouring the excellence of the best teacher in the country, the excellence of the best nurse in the country and the excellence of the best police officer in the country.”
Mr. Cadogan said that on most occasions, the negative stories of these three professions are told and the positive sides are not celebrated.
“We feel that these three professions are often downtrodden. With the emergence of the private schools, the public-school system is in need of a shot in the arm whereby to me, we need to showcase the excellence that is in the public-school system. Everywhere you go you hear about the negative stories of nurses and every time you talk about a policeman you always hear about the negative part of the police trade.”
According to Mr. Cadogan, the initiative seeks to raise the bar in the three professions, to inspire teachers, nurses and police officers to strive for excellent service while being recognised for their efforts. He explained that the awardees will be chosen from nominations made by the regional offices for each profession. He said that an independent and impartial judges panel will review the nominations and make the selection from that pool of names.
Further, Mr. Cadogan said that there will be a social media aspect of the programme whereby nominees will be able to canvass for votes online. He said that this will only account for 10 per cent of the total votes.
Mr. Cadogan said that his company takes its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) seriously and boasted, “No other company in Guyana has a bigger social conscience than Ansa McAl.”
Representing the Ministry of Education at the launch was Assistant Chief Education Officer (Nursery), Ms. Ingrid Trotman.
She expressed that the Ministry welcomes the initiative of Ansa McAL with the view of honouring the most outstanding teacher.
“We are very pleased to be on-board with you. We are also happy that it is not only teachers but the nurses as well as the police officers are being recognised. The Ministry of Education looks forward to your continued support.”
Meanwhile, the Guyana Teachers Union was represented by its General Secretary, Ms. Coretta McDonald and President, Mr. Mark Lyte.
According to Mr. Lyte, the GTU is extremely happy that the company chose to recognise the contribution of teachers. “Where we sit at the Guyana Teachers Union, we know it will be difficult to identify one teacher who is outstanding because across this land we have so many outstanding teachers who serve but we will do our best to ensure that the most outstanding teacher is identified.”
Further, the Union’s General Secretary said that the GTU considers the initiative a bold step taken by the company. She said that it is well known that teachers create all other professions; however, on the other hand, teachers are not being recognised for their contribution to the society.
“With this launch and initiative, the GTU is saying thank you to Ansa McAl and that we are prepared to work with you every step of the way. We’re on-board and we will do whatever we can to make things happen.”