Guyana shows the way

Metric Views has come across an interesting letter in a newspaper published in Georgetown, Guyana.
Extracts are reprinted below (acknowledgements to Stabroek News The UK authorities could learn from the determined approach to metric conversion adopted by this former British colony.

The entire world is moving in the metric direction, Guyana needs to catch up
Thursday, December 20th 2007

“Dear Editor,

I take this opportunity to thank the many writers of letters in the letter columns of the three daily newspapers for their interest in the subject of metrication and the lively debate on the question of accuracy, margin of error etc.

Let me take this opportunity also to enlighten the various writers that since the re-launching of the National Metrication programme by the GNBS in 1996, the approach taken was one of education and sensitization and the following strategies have been used to get the metric message across to the Guyanese consumer:

* Think Metric Training programmes and practical exercises for all sectors including the education sector.

* The conduct of surveillance exercises countrywide at municipal markets, shops, supermarkets etc. where proprietors are shown how to price and label in metric.

* One to one education visits conducted at all commercial entities.

* Sector visits at Government Ministries, public and private sector organizations including Non-Governmental Organizations to determine training needs and carry out training when necessary.

* Distribution of ‘fact sheets, brochures, conversion tables etc.

* Live television programmes done in workshop style.

* Issuing letters of misuse to defaulters.

* Providing answers to consumers who request information via telephone.

* Setting up of a National Metrication Committee to assist the national metrication drive.

* Publication of articles and advertisements in the newspapers and other periodicals.

* Scheduled verification and calibration of all devices in metric units.

In conclusion, the GNBS wishes to inform consumers that 98% of the world’s trade is conducted in metric units and even the United States which is taking steps to change over, though it uses the imperial system of domestic commerce, uses the metric system for all its scientific work and for international trade.

The entire world is moving in the metric direction, so Guyana needs to move ahead and stop delaying the change over of the process by hanging on to the imperial system.

Yours faithfully,

Evadnie Benfield

Head, Information Services

For Executive Director

Guyana National Bureau of Standards”

Doesn’t it sound familiar?

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