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PM calls for co-operation during Population Census

PM calls for co-operation during Population Census

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The call for greater co-operation by the general public as the date for the 2011 population census rolls around has been made by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.{{more}}

Dr. Gonsalves was speaking at Frenches House on Wednesday, February 23, during the launch of the census, which is set to begin on June 12.

Acknowledging the importance of a census in the political realm, where constituency boundaries can be determined in the case of an elections, or to add or subtract seats, he said that the reasons for the exercise are for far more than the constitutional electoral functions.

“We get a lot of data to guide us in policy making,” he said.

“Take the simple matter of the age cohorts. We need to know how many children under the age of five, under the age of three. That is important for Early Childhood Education. When we are going to place Early Childhood Education centres, we have an objective basis as to where there is a greater need….”

“For old people… we are living longer than we used to… the number of the aged keeps rising. Now think of the implications that will have for health care, the national insurance system and home care for the elderly, not just by the state but by the private sector….”

The Prime Minister also pointed out that the census will also aid various national agencies to provide the necessary and appropriate services to the general public.

He also touched on the issues of migration and labour participation rates, saying that these were of critical consideration in the fashioning of socio-economic policies.

“So when you are in a village saying you not giving any information, you’re actually hurting yourself because you are denying the policy makers the opportunity to get data to fashion public policies to assist with the development of the country…. I am urging everyone to let’s get on board.”

Dr. Gonsalves said that the process in which the census is undertaken is the accepted way to garner the range of information needed for policy decisions, and the fact that a census is entrenched in the country’s constitution, there is no debate as to whether it will be done or not.

The census is usually taken every ten years, with more questions expected to be found on the questionnaire, than during the last census of 2001.

The census is expected to cost about EC $2 million.

Wednesday’s launch also saw presentations of the rebased National Accounts, and the new Consumer Price Index.

Awards were also handed out to winners in the Central Planning Division’s Slogan Competition, which was won by Campden Park resident Rodcliff Noel, for his slogan ‘Your number matters to us, get counted for 2011 census. Rayshawn Shallow of Yambou placed second, and Carla Harry of Belair third; and the Essay competition, which was won by St. Martin’s Secondary School student Dart Alexis Haynes, with Odancia Lynch of the Bishop’s College Kingstown second, and Dillon Hamilton, also of the Bishop’s College Kingstown, placing third.(JJ)

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