Curtains come down on UG reading programme
THE curtains on Friday came down on the University of Guyana (UG) Library’s thirteenth annual “Reading is Fun” programme when participants were presented with certificates and prizes at the institution’s library at its Turkeyen Campus.
The programme was sponsored by Courts Guyana Incorporated for the past eight years to date and will continue to receive sponsorship. The programme had formerly run on its own for five years until Courts decided to give full sponsorship.
Customer Experience Manager of Courts, Shona Barker, said that “we’re happy to say that we were able to obtain a remarkable number of students and also able to meet with this programme as it continues to grow.”
At the ceremony there was a list of items portrayed by the youngsters who were registered as part of the programme. These items include dramatic poetry, an acoustic, a song and a skit.
“Items on the programme are used to show what they have gained and developed and to aid us in an evaluation of how we can do it [the programme] better” pointed out Gwyneth George the Chief Librarian at the University of Guyana.
George also pointed out that the programme targets what they call ‘vulnerable children’. For the past 13 years they have been working with the Sophia community of children whose ages range from 5 to 13. “The basic thing is reading but the programme does not only center on reading” George said.
The other activities which the programme aid in are health tests, educational tours, computer knowledge and creative work such as poetry. The youngsters were placed into a number of groups and they worked alongside skilled resource individuals who are exemplary in literacy and reading. These individuals consisted of members of the library staff and members from the department of humanities and education. The programme which runs three days per week for three weeks registered approximately 50 youngsters this year.
However compared to the numbers from the first two years when it had just begun, there has been a decline.
Article adapted from: http://guyanachronicle.com/2017/08/05/curtains-come-down-on-ug-reading-programme
Local Athletes offered full scholarship
The National Sports Commission (NSC) Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement with two athletes, providing them full scholarships to Monroe College. This was disclosed during the signing held at NSC’s boardroom.
It was announced that 12 athletes, were given full scholarships to the University of Guyana (UG) while two athletes were scouted and offered full scholarships by the Monroe College, United States of America.
In brief remarks, Director of Sport attached to Ministry of Education Department of Culture, Youth and Sport Christopher Jones explained that the agency’s initiative to provide scholarships to the athletes were due to their performance at the Caribbean Free Trade Association(CARIFTA) Games, earlier this year.
“The National Sports Commission (NSC) would make available to the two athletes namely Onassha Rogers and Claudrice McKoy, the same amount that would have been used to facilitate them at the University of Guyana (UG),” Jones noted.
Jones said the amount offered will be provided on a yearly basis and totals $230, 000 per year for four years including $50,000 deemed as miscellaneous fees. He noted that the miscellaneous fees provided will be the same amount paid for those attending UG.
Jones highlighted that the athletes who are slated to depart on August 18, will receive their first payment Friday August 04. He noted that though the two athletes have accepted the college’s offer, they will still receive the payment per the agreement.
“As stipulated in the agreement should there be some reason they (athletes) are unable to complete the scholarship offered by Monroe College, the payments will cease however should they decide to pursue at UG, then the payment will continue,” the Director of Sport added.
Onassha Rogers, one of the athletes slated to depart for the US, expressed her gratitude towards the NSC and the government for their support in her abilities and furthering her education. She said that she hopes to make Guyana proud for giving her the opportunity.
“First of all, I would like to say thank you to the National Sports Commission (NSC), the Director of Sport Christopher Jones for this contribution made. I am very excited and happy for this opportunity to further my studies and I promise to do my best,” Rogers said.
The Director of Sport noted that the agreement signed is part of the government’s mandate of honouring their commitment towards providing platforms for the athletes’ development.
Article adapted from: http://gina.gov.gy/local-athletes-offered-full-scholarship/
UG on course to addressing 'REP' problem - Vice-Chancellor
Faced with a “REP” problem for a protracted period, the University of Guyana [UG] is in desperate need of redemption. The way has already been paved for this renaissance but the problem must be recognised in order for it to be effectively addressed.
Several problems faced by the state university were recently amplified by its Principal and Vice Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Griffith. “UG has had an REP—Resources, Esteem, and Perspicacity—problem. I am quite mindful of the prescient proposition of Writer and Philosopher, Rabindranath Tagore: ‘You cannot cross the sea simply by standing and staring at the water.’ “Thus, on assuming the Vice-Chancellorship, rather than lament, I launched Project Renaissance, which aims to rebuild UG’s educational and economic enterprise and enable it to become a consequential national and international educational stakeholder,” asserted Professor Griffith.
Professor Griffith’s remarks were made during his inaugural speech after making history as the first Vice Chancellor of the UG to have a coronation ceremony. But Professor Griffith hopes to also make history by revolutionising the national university.
He observed that “this institution’s recent yesterdays have been characterized by neglect and stormy seas, with an interlinked three-dimensional predicament, which revolved around resources, both in relation to acquisition and management; esteem, internal as well as external, and notably in relation to academic credibility and brand; and perspicacity, in that the University had lost its intellectual spunk when it comes to critical inquiry and theoretical and applied research.”
He said that his vision for a renaissance project is both a dreaming and doing project. “Why dream, some have asked, when this University has suffered such neglect and for so long? This Renaissance Bridge Building Project has four main pillars, called imperatives, and six values,” asserted Professor Griffith.
According to the university’s Principal, the first imperative is capital investment, which involves human capital, physical capital, and brand capital. Second to this is academic enhancement, which Professor Griffith said, entails improving instructional credentials, curricula and andragogy [adult education], and introducing new educational programmes and research to address national and regional business, civic, and overall development needs.
He pointed out that the economic viability imperative is the third pillar. This imperative, he said, requires fortifying the major existing revenue streams, that is, government subventions and tuition fees but also expanding the revenue base, through alumni and corporate giving, grants, and merchandising.
The fourth Imperative, Alumni Engagement, entails reaching out to UG graduates within and outside Guyana, celebrating their accomplishments, and inviting them to aid the continued pursuit of our mission and goals.
“As one might suspect, pursuing Project Renaissance has daunting, Herculean elements. It entails facing and fixing, to quote writer James Baldwin, and it involves pursuing new ventures and setting new baselines, some of which are new to UG and to Guyana, although not new to the academy in many parts of the world,” said Professor Griffith.
“Understandably, then, decision-making often has been—and will be—tough. But, as Roy Disney once averred—and correctly so, in my view: ‘It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are,” said Professor Griffith who confidently underscored that “our Renaissance pursuits are guided by six cardinal values: Respect, Integrity, Excellence, Transparency, Inclusion, and Efficiency.”
But such values, according to the Vice Chancellor, cannot be merely platitudinous incantations; they must be lived. He added, “in relation to excellence, for example, Aristotle reminds us of the importance of habituation: ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit,’ he said. Living these values is particularly important at this period of Guyana’s contemporary history, as our nation has a considerable Respect-deficit and Integrity-challenged profile.
The onus is on us at the University to aid the alteration of this profile over time,” underscored the Vice Chancellor. Even as he pointed out that changes introduced at the university have started to yield laudable results, Vice Chancellor Griffith noted that this has not been without challenges and criticisms. He, however, noted that the University will continue to boasts of its success. This, he revealed, will entail the posting of a scorecard to the University’s website for the world to see.
UG launches innovative business school
IN keeping with the constantly changing economic environment, the University of Guyana (UG) on Friday launched its School of Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation (SEBI) with the aim of moving away from conventional teaching.
Members of the private sector, the education sector and other stakeholders gathered at the Roraima Duke Lodge in Kingston to witness the unveiling of the banner bearing the insignia of the new faculty.
The new school, which is set to open at the start of the new semester in September, will offer new undergraduate and graduate degrees, executive degrees and short-term programmes.
Students who were engaged in management studies through the university’s Social Sciences Faculty will be able to continue their studies under the new school, and even be able to pursue areas such as accounting, finance, and supply chain management among other things.
“Some of what is happening is, we will be shifting the management department and offering new degree programmes such as entrepreneurship,” Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Griffith said at the opening.
“Also, we will not be waiting to offer degrees, because we will have a number of courses and specifically tailored programmes that can be done in days, weeks and even months,” he added.
As opposed to the Faculty of Social Sciences, the school will be moving away from just creating opportunities for entrepreneurship in thinking and dreaming, and looking towards entrepreneurship in doing.
In order to ensure the desired outcomes, a thorough feasibility study into the project was done after the idea was first mooted in 2016.
The process included local, regional and international stakeholders, who explored several ideas that were later conceptualised into the school’s curriculum.
Professor Griffith alluded to the inclusivity of the project, pointing out that stakeholders visited areas in Regions Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) and 10 (Upper Demerara-Upper Berbice) in order to hear the views of persons who will potentially benefit from the SEBI.
DELIVERING THE PRODUCT
“We have come a long way, and we intend to start delivering the product this coming semester,” Professor Griffith said, adding:
“We have already sent out the implementation team, members of the technical unit and other persons in all the elements of the university who are working towards the actualisation.”
The team, he said, is now in the process of building the capacity of staff by hiring lecturers and administrative professionals.
The Dean Designate of SEBI, Professor Leyland Lucas, followed up on what the Vice-Chancellor said, adding that they have recognised the changes in the needs of the nation; therefore an institution that is responsive to its needs is necessary to ensure that the nation has the right skills, competence and capabilities.
“Everything we have set up here is geared towards providing the nation with what it needs to move forward in both the public and private sectors,” Professor Lucas said.
Their mandate is expected to be carried out through a system called “ESCAPE” (Ethics, Superiority, Academics, Professionalism and Engagement).
ESCAPE, he said, will be complemented by CEED-Centre for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, which will let persons who are majoring in other fields join forces with those in the management fraternity and create a money-making initiative.
Mexico’s Ambassador to Guyana, Mr Ivan Sierra Medel, was also in support of the intervention, noting that SEBI can become the strategic asset to take advantage of international best practices and successful experiences in specific fields of doing business.
He, however, suggested that in order to have dialogue with the world, UG needs to introduce aspects such as foreign languages, internships, mentoring and confidence-building at the school.
Members of the private sector echoed similar sentiments, but pointed out that tertiary education has remained stagnant for a while, so in order to tap into new opportunities, the work of SEBI will be necessary in developing the countries’ human capital.
Article adapted from: http://guyanachronicle.com/2017/07/09/ug-launches-innovative-business-school
UG launches business school
The University of Guyana (UG) on Friday evening launched its School of Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation (SEBI), with the goal of educating and developing leaders and managers to contribute to the advancement of the nation.
Speaking at the launch at Duke Lodge, UG Vice-Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Griffith thanked those who helped make the vision of the business school a reality, while saying that it represented a partnership to creating opportunities for not only entrepreneurship in thinking and dreaming, but entrepreneurship in doing.
Griffith said the SEBI would begin tuition from the next semester as a team, led by UG’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Planning and International Engagement Dr Barbara Reynolds, has already been created to start working towards delivery.
SEBI programmes, Griffith said, will facilitate significant cross-discipline collaboration, allowing students in other areas to participate. He also said its programmes and courses would be internationally-accredited.
Professor Leyland Lucas, Visiting Professor in Business Strategy and Dean Designate of SEBI, told the launch that while the nation needs change, it also needs an institution responsive to its needs and one that ensures that it provides the skills, competencies and capabilities needed to move forward.
He noted that SEBI’s programmes, which will include undergraduate degree programmes in Accounting, Entrepreneur-ship, Finance, General Management, Supply Chain Management and Tourism, and graduate-level programmes in Entrepreneurship, Management, General Management and Sustainable Develop-ment, can all move the country forward.
Lucas, who also addressed concerns about accreditation of the programmes offered by the school, said that it will be accredited by one of the premier accrediting institutions in the world. He assured those in attendance that the degrees earned from SEBI will be recognised globally as the institution is establishing relationships with other entities to ensure professional certification.
Giving his congratulatory remarks at the launch, Ambassador of Mexico to Guyana Ivan Roberto Sierra Medel was optimistic that SEBI will jumpstart Guyana’s economic development. He anticipated too that the school will bring together academia and the private sector, Georgetown and the hinterland, and Guyanese around the world. “Somebody has to provide the specific training not only in strategy to tap into markets but in harvesting the tremendous friendship that can be part in successful economic engagements with the world,” the Ambassador said. “SEBI can become the strategic asset to take advantage of international business practices and successful experiences in the specific field of doing business,” he added.
SEBI has emerged from exhaustive engagements between the university and both the public and private sectors, as well as the intellectual effort of a feasibility study team that included highly qualified Guyanese in the diaspora, many of whom hold key administrative and academic positions at highly reputable universities in the United States.
Article adapted from: https://www.stabroeknews.com/2017/news/stories/07/09/ug-launches-business-school/
Vice Chancellor justifies several senior appointments at national university
Some basic things to ensure the efficient management of the University of Guyana [UG] have been neglected for so many years that some people have accepted them as the norm.
This was the assertion of Vice Chancellor of the national university, Professor Ivelaw Griffith.
“There are some things for the management; for the efficiency of the economics and operations [that] we have neglected for years, so much so that people think it’s normal.
It is a university that has been so accustomed to managing on a shoe-string budget that people think that anytime you do a little, you are being profligate.”
The Vice Chancellor’s remarks were forthcoming in response to concerns about allegations that his appointment of a number of senior officials at the national university has resulted in the institution becoming ‘top heavy’.
The University last year released information to the effect that on August 22, 2016, the Finance and General Purpose Committee (F&GPC) – the second highest policy-making body after the Council – approved a proposal by the Vice Chancellor Griffith to comprehensively restructure the university’s leadership.
This move, it was revealed, was designed to create greater levels of efficiency and effectiveness and set the stage for innovation in academic and non-academic areas. The changes, which became effective on October 1, 2016, entailed having Dr Michael Scott, the immediate past Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, become Deputy Vice- Chancellor (DVC) of Academic Engagement.
The former DVC of Academics, Dr Barbara Reynolds, was named DVC for Planning and International Engagement, a new entity intended to streamline and extend UG’s international relationships and build new grant, research, and other relationships with other universities and with international organizations.
Dr Paloma Mohamed, a former Director for the Centre for Communication Studies and a former Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, now occupies the newly-created position of DVC of Philanthropy, Alumni and Civic Engagement (PACE), which has the mandate to enhance UG’s fund-raising, rebranding, alumni relationships, and public interchange, all of which are said to be crucial to the University’s renaissance.
Added to this, the new administrative team was expected to be strengthened with the establishment of an Office of Strategic Initiatives in the Vice Chancellery, to undertake institutional strengthening, project management, and allied services.
Appointed to head this area is Dr. Fitzgerald Yaw, Consultant on Governance, Sustainability, and Economic Development, who has worked across the Americas and the Caribbean.
Added to this, Ms Karen Wishart, who was the Programme Officer in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, was promoted to the first Chief of Staff in the Vice-Chancellery.
This promotion was said to coincide with the renaming of the Senior Administrative Group to the Vice- Chancellor’s Cabinet, which includes the DVCs, Registrar, Bursar, Human Resources Director, Director of the Berbice Campus, the Legal Officer—another new position—the Director of the Office of Strategic Initiatives, and the Chief of Staff.
But there have been numerous concerns voiced that the size of the university does not warrant the magnitude of appointments.
Vice Chancellor Griffith, however, made it clear that while the proposal was his to present, it certainly wasn’t suddenly conjured up upon his appointment as the principal of the university.
He explained that the University over the years benefited from a number of assessment studies intended to help improve its operation.
Among the most recent, was one completed by Hamilton Associates in 2012. The assessment in question, Professor Griffith said, not only recognised that the university was neglected in terms of its human capital, but went on to outline that it did not have sufficient lecturers or administrators for that matter.
He underscored that the one of the things that the Hamilton Report highlighted is that “the university is too big and part of why it has not done well is that it is running on a shoe-string budget, both on the lecturers’ side and on the administrative side.”
Part of the recommendation to help address the shortcomings of the University that is detailed in the Report is the appointment of at least four Deputy Vice Chancellors in addition to the Vice Chancellor.
But according to Professor Griffith, although he saw the need for the recommended measures to be implemented, “I said we can’t afford four [but] let’s move from one to three.” In fact, he noted that among the neglected human resource area of the university is the lack of a Civil Engineer, an Attorney and even a Chief Accountant.
“Partly because of the low salaries at this university, both on the teaching and administrative sides, we have had difficulty recruiting people,” said Professor Griffith, as he related that the recommendation for an augmented staff did not even taken into consideration the university’s current 8,000-plus student population.
Moreover, Professor Griffith has said, “what I have begun to do, and I make no apologies for doing this, is to try to right-size both the teaching staff and the administrative staff.”
“How are we going to get grants if we don’t have people to write them? How do you get the alumni to give back if you don’t have the mechanisms? How do you get the corporations to give, if you don’t have people who will wine and dine them and follow up with them?” questioned the Vice Chancellor as he added, “There is a lot of vacuous, misinformed commentary about big spending.”
The Vice Chancellor also made it clear that “I am going to always make the right decisions for the right reasons, irrespective of the criticisms, because sometimes the people don’t know the facts…So I would say to anyone the documents are there.”
UG's development hampered by serious pilfering problem - Vice Chancellor
A serious, protracted pilfering situation has been listed among the factors that have been hampering the development of the University of Guyana [UG]. In fact, the Guyana Police Force a few months ago was called in to investigate reports of theft from the Centre for Information Technology [CIT].
But according to UG Vice Chancellor and Principal, Professor Ivelaw Griffith, during an interview with this publication, CIT is not the only department of the university to be so plagued. The situation, he informed, is far-reaching and has translated to millions worth of items disappearing from various departments of the University.
This state of affairs has undoubtedly helped to contribute to the financial challenge that UG has been faced with over time.
“If we have to replace 17, 18, 19 million dollars a year of stuff, how can we progress as a university? These are equipment for classrooms, for offices, even some of the contractors [are stealing]; stuff are just being stolen from this University,” Professor Griffith related.
“This University has a lot of theft,” stressed the unapologetic Principal of the national university. And according to him, he has made no secret of the state of affairs, but rather, has shared information he has compiled in this regard with both staff and the student body as well.
“I’ve publicly said we don’t have drones coming… [so] it is staff or students, or people facilitated by staff or students, who are coming and stealing stuff.”
Professor Griffith said that during a meeting with Union representatives, for instance, he made it clear to them that “you have an obligation to help us deal with that…there are things that we have to do if we want a different environment.”
“We have to look ourselves in the mirror and say ‘who is going to fix these things?’ It has got to be us,” the Vice Chancellor asserted.
In fact, Professor Griffith said that in his quest to be transparent and share information, even before turning the CIT allegations over to the police, he had had the discussions with the unions of the university – the University of Guyana Workers’ Union and the University of Guyana Senior Staff Association.
It was only after this, he said, that “I called in the CID and they started with that building. What I said to the unions is that I am turning this matter over to the police, and the chips will fall where they may. When the CID is done with its investigation whomever they want to prosecute, I will say go right ahead.”
This happened a few a months ago. But according to Vice Chancellor Griffith, he has since learnt that there is an even greater pilfering problem within the maintenance department of the university.
According to the Vice Chancellor, he got information that suggests that the skulduggery in that department might have surpassed what has already been brought to the attention of the university’s administration.
“I said I know [what’s going on] but I didn’t know the full extent of it, but I have already put [the] Maintenance [Department] on warning that I am coming to them next,” Professor Griffith stated.
According to the Vice Chancellor, when one takes into consideration the persons who are already being investigated, there is a nexus between them and some people associated with the university.
During the month of April, Professor Griffith had called in the Police Force to investigate the allegations of theft of equipment and misconduct of staff members of CIT. The Manager of the Centre and several employees were sent on leave as an interim measure to allow the investigation to proceed without disruption of evidence, and to preserve a safe, orderly, and professional work environment. A temporary manager was identified to oversee the operations of the Centre during the conduct of the investigation which, Professor Griffith said yesterday, was ongoing.
Additionally, there are reports coming out from UG that the Ministry of Public Telecommunications was asked to conduct a forensic audit of the CIT operations at the Turkeyen and Berbice campuses and the four centres of the Institute of Distance and Continuing Education located at Anna Regina, Georgetown, Linden and New Amsterdam.
UG Rehabilitation programme graduates few, but too crucial to health care to discard - Health Sciences Dean
Although they are not named among the most popular programmes offered, those that fall under Medical Rehabilitation at the University of Guyana [UG] are no less important, especially when they suffer from conditions that limit the effective functioning of various aspects of their anatomy.
The knowledge gained from courses such as Bachelor’s Degrees in Physiotherapy, Speech-Language, Audiology and Occupational Therapy have long been found to be very instrumental in this regard.
It was against this background that the Rehabilitation Department of the Ministry of Health decided to collaborate with UG a few years ago to realise the Medical Rehabilitation programme. Thus far, the programme, which falls under the purview of the Faculty of Health Sciences, has graduated two batches consisting of not more than 12 individuals.
According to Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Dr. Emanuel Cummings, although the numbers are few, offering the Medical Rehabilitation programmes is still very relevant. He noted that while it was introduced as a general Rehabilitation Services Degree, the university with the support of the American Speech-Language- Hearing Association [ASHA], was able to apply some modification touches.
Under the broad heading of Medical Rehabilitation, the Rehabilitation Services programmes are coordinated by Dr. Shaine Villareal of the Philippines. The programme has also been gaining immense support from Peace Corps Guyana which has been bringing to Guyana very experienced professionals to assist with lecture sessions.
Also, local doctors who were trained in Cuba, and elsewhere, have also been lending lecture support. Other trained professionals within the public health sector have also been contributing their services.
Despite the high quality of the programme being offered, Dr. Cummings admitted that very few persons are attracted to the programme. He, however, attributed this to the fact that “these [programmes] are all new health care profession training [at an advanced level] to Guyana.” He explained that the Ministry of Health, several years ago, only offered such training at a certificate level.
The certificate programmes were offered for a period of 18 months and allowed persons to be trained in the various areas of rehabilitation services. Once completed these individuals would be qualified at the Assistant level and employed within the public health sector throughout the country.
However, with the higher level training at UG, the health sector is now in a position to recruit more qualified persons to cater to its delivery of rehabilitation services, according to Dr. Cummings.
Among those who have already taken advantage of the programme is Christine Alphonso. The ambitious young woman revealed that even after she had commenced studies at UG in the area of Biology she was not aware that the institution was offering a programme such a Medical Rehabilitation.
She confided that her interest in sports would have undoubtedly caused her to be attracted to the programme had she been aware of its existence. Moreover, when she learnt of the programme through a friend, Alphonso said that she immediately made a switch. She chose to pursue training in Physiotherapy and last year graduated among the second batch of students to have completed UG’s Medical Rehabilitation programme. She passed with distinction.
Alphonso is currently a Physical Therapist attached to an arm of the Rehabilitation Department of the Ministry of Public Health which is located at the Brickdam, Georgetown Palms Geriatric Home.
It was rather simple to enter the programme, according to Alphonso, who explained that once persons would have attained success at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examination, complete with Mathematics, English and a Science Subject, they can apply for the programme.
“I wanted to do this [physiotherapy] because I like sports a lot but I really didn’t realise that the rehabilitation programme entailed so much. You can help not just athletes or persons with sports related injuries but now I can even help people who suffer from stroke, arthritis, spinal cord injury and a lot of other conditions…once you have a limitation in movement you are referred for therapy and people really can get better,” asserted Alphonso.
She finds joy offering therapy to the several persons she has been assigned since joining the department in January.
Recruiting persons, such as Alphonso, back into the public health care system is indeed among the objectives of the programme, according to Health Sciences Dean.
“The programmes we offer are geared at improving the quality of life for persons who have a disability so that they can be incorporated back into society so if we are able to train one person and put them to work in audiology, for instance, that is a jack pot for us….there was a time when we didn’t have anybody.”
The Dean said that UG will be working in close collaboration with organisations such as ASHA to have some of its very successful graduates have access to even more advance training.
Dr. Cummings hopes that more persons will gravitate to the programme so that they too can benefit from training that can ultimately help to improve the delivery of service offered locally.
The Dean is convinced that with proper career guidance more students could be aware of the variety of programmes offered, not only at the vanguard faculty, but at faculties throughout the university.
Two World Bank loans signed for Education Sector and the National Payment System
The Education Sector is set to be boosted with the signing of a US$13.3M loan by the Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan and World Bank Senior Country Officer, Pierre Nadji. The signing was done in the Ministry of Finance’s boardroom, Lamaha Street, Georgetown today.
As part of the agreement, money will be allocated to the Ministry of Education for the Education Sector Improvement(ESI). Director of Projects, Management Division, Ministry of Finance, Tarchand Balgobin said, “This is government’s thrust in the development of the Education Sector, bearing in mind the Oil and Gas Sector and personnel training to respond to the developmental challenges that are before us.”
According to Director of Projects, the new project, the ESI will facilitate the development of a new curriculum framework and teaching guides, teacher training, strengthening of national assessment capacity and development of teaching materials. It is a successor programme to the Secondary Reform Programme.
The project will also support the University of Guyana’s Health Sciences Facility, Balgobin said. He noted that the loan will aid the University in achieving and maintaining regional accreditation for its medical programme through improved and sustained teaching quality.
The Projects Director explained that a new Health Sciences Education building, with modern training and laboratory facilities, will be constructed. The Ministry of Education will be the implementing Ministry for this project.
Additionally, a US$6M loan was signed for a National Payment System. The system is a technology driven process that seeks to engender and facilitate financial and other commercial transactions. Balgobin explained that, “What this does is to improve the way cash is handled in Guyana.” He said that it is more than the physical money transactions, the system includes the legal and regulatory framework, the institution policies, rules, regulations and procedures. The Bank of Guyana will be the implementer of this project.
Balgobin added that the Information Technology system is very important. He pointed out that this system drives the
electronic transfers and the clearing house mechanisms. He noted that the system affects both the national as well as the international economy and is an indispensable system ecommerce age.
He further said that the system will be applied to governmental transactions which include the Public Sector Payroll, The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), government pensions among others.
Balgobin said that it is envisaged that the system will roll-out to include all commercial transaction nationally. He explained that the Private Sector is expected to be a key stakeholder in the process as, “the system takes foot and becomes effective across the board.” This initiative will see Guyana forward towards the ecommerce industry.
Following the conclusion of the most recent Country Development strategy between the World Bank and government a significant increase in concessional resources has been announced for Guyana (approximately US$ 90M).
Looking ahead, government intends to focus this development support in the improvements to the Linden Soesdyke Highway; selected important technical assistance support to the emerging Oil and Gas Sector including studies, institutional development and capacity building and on a policy based lending facility, among other areas.
The University of Guyana: Challenge and Change
University of Guyana Vice-Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Law Griffith talks with The Guyana Review about the challenges that inhere in the transformation of The University of Guyana
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- The University of Guyana