Education consortium formed to push training in extractive sector

21st November, 2018 0 comments

Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana (UG) Professor Ivelaw Griffith (at centre, seated), flanked by representatives of the various local technical institutions which signed on to the HECEM (Samuel Maughn photo)

IN response to the need for high-quality education and professional development training in the extractive sector, particularly oil and gas, the University of Guyana (UG) has joined with local technical institutes to form a Higher Education Consortium on Engineering and Mining (HECEM).

The idea, which was conceptualised a few months ago, came to fruition on Monday after the institutes and UG formally signed a pact, paving the way for further collective discussions on topics related to oil and gas and mining.

Among the institutes which signed on to the agreement were the Critchlow Labour College (CLC), Government Technical Institute (GTI), the Upper Corentyne Industrial Training Centre (UPITC), the Linden Technical Institute (LTI), Essequibo Technical Institute (ETI), the Board of Industrial Training (BIT), Ministry of Education (MoE), the Guyana Industrial Training Centre (GITC) and the Council for Technical and Vocation Education.

The signatories believe that the HECEM was “long overdue” but, still comes at an important time when the country is preparing for the production of oil in 2020. The agreement states, that in consideration of the national development needs of Guyana to provide high-quality education and professional development training for the expanding oil and gas, mining and extractive industries in the country, the institutions have agreed to form the association to collectively address national development issues through education.

Vice Chancellor of UG, Professor Ivelaw Griffith, said the university has been part of the preparatory phase and will soon add a Master’s and Associate Degrees in Petroleum Engineering to the university’s programme.

“As we pursue those journeys and prepare for first oil and beyond, we must build a partnership with government, build a partnership with international community and build a partnership with industry,” said Griffith, adding that it is all part of preparation for “first oil.”

The university has started to hire, and search for competent and qualified lecturers who will be responsible for the new programmes. As UG gears up for oil and gas, the institutes which are part of the HECEM will also be part of the knowledge sharing and improvement phases.

Part of the objectives of the HECEM is to develop new curricula and joint programmes which would address the national development needs. The consortium will also foster and promote academic collaboration aimed at supporting the pursuit of the strategic national agenda.

In order to ensure that the objectives are met and order is maintained, HECEM will have a chairperson and an executive council. Members of the consortium will meet quarterly or as determined by a simple majority.



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