UG’s IDCE Leads the Way in Providing Equal Access to Quality Education Irrespective of Persons’ Geographical Location
The University of Guyana’s Institute of Distance and Continuing Education (IDCE) is leading
the way with fulfilling the University’s forward-thinking vision of ensuring one graduate per
Guyanese household by 2040. Just recently, the Institute churned out 643 graduates in several
disciplines who are all now fully equipped with skills needed to join the local workforce or
will further their studies in their chosen fields.
In the last of five virtual graduation ceremonies held in March, the graduates from five
Centres spread across Guyana - Georgetown, Anna Regina, New Amsterdam, Linden and for
the first time, Bartica, were praised for staying the course and successfully completing their
studies amidst a global pandemic. Those graduated included 383 from Georgetown, 74 from
Berbice, 127 from Linden, 12 from Bartica and 47 from Anna Regina.
The courses pursued by the graduates included; Project Management Online, Supervisory
Management Online, Occupational Health & Safety Seminar Course, Proficiency in
Mathematics, Early Childhood Education, Care for the Elderly, Industrial Relations and
Management, General Law, Food and Nutrition, Information Technology among others. This
is in addition to those IDCE students who had completed Degree and Diploma Programmes
and graduated in earlier ceremonies along with the others from the University’s Turkeyen and
Registrar of the University of Guyana, Dr. Nigel Gravesande, noted that the IDCE has been at
the forefront of promulgating the University’s development agenda in keeping with its mission, which is; “to provide equal access to quality education to individuals and groups
irrespective of geographical location”.
Vice-Chancellor Xi, Prof. Paloma Mohamed in her remarks applauded the graduates, noting
that they had “risen as the cream of the crop in difficult times”, which serves as a testament to
Prof. Mohamed expressed that the pandemic was unpredictable, however, the University had
already begun thinking about the design of the University’s future, its accessibility, more
inclusiveness, and to be more relevant to persons across the country. As a result, she said four
aspirational goals were discussed, the first of which entailed IDCE.
“Our first aspirational goal was to have one graduate per household. Why? For the most part
of the world the science tells us that a graduate or a person who even enters a University is
the best prognosis for success for a family, for a community and of course if you have a
whole lot of these people, for your country,” the VC said.
The VC noted that Guyana is on the brink of tremendous opportunities but citizens will not
be able to benefit if they are not fully ready and thus the role of the University of Guyana as
the only State University is to equip Guyanese with the necessary skills to be ready.
The VC thanked IDCE Director, Dr. Jacqueline Murray and staff, for adequately
implementing the initiatives being taken in terms of expanding the reach of the IDCE
programmes across the country and for increasing the number of courses being offered.
She also congratulated the five valedictorians - Darica Thompson (Linden), Keshia Hamid
(Berbice), Verina Singh-Rasheed (Anna Regina), Niola Fiedtkou (Bartica) and Shontell
In her comments, Singh-Rasheed encouraged her colleagues to embrace change and adapt to
the new environment. “We took the step to engage in the courses here at the IDCE because
we realized that where we were, where we wanted to be and what was changing around us
meant that we too needed to do something! We needed to better equip ourselves if we were
going to push forward in the rapidly developing world around us”.
“So, today I would like to base my message on that of us being service providers. We all
understand that having a business or skill and using it to earn is all about being a service
provider. As we approach the end of our journey together, ask yourselves what makes you a
great service provider”, she added.
Hamid who topped the Berbice Centre also commended her colleagues who persevered
throughout the pandemic to achieve their milestone. “At the beginning of this journey, we
were optimistic and had a clear picture of our destination, although we expected challenges,
nothing could have prepared us for what we were about to face. Today is proof of our
perseverance to accomplish this milestone”.
“Working hard is vital in achieving your goals, we are graduates of the University of
Guyana’s Institute of Distance and Continuing Education, people who are intelligent and
resourceful and contribute significantly to today’s ever-changing world. We may not yet fully
comprehend the value of all the things we have learned here, but recognize that if we do the
things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves”, Hamid added.
IDCE Director Dr Jacqueline Murray, in her remarks, assured that the Institute is committed
to providing equal access to quality education to individuals and groups irrespective of
geographical location. She noted that since its establishment on January 02, 1976, the IDCE
has delivered a menu of continuing education, personal, and professional development
programmes across the country.
The IDCE caters for a wide cross-section of persons ranging from ages 16 and above. The
unemployed, including out of school youths, are also given a chance to upgrade academically
or technically with the aim of creating jobs for themselves, making themselves job ready, or
to pursue higher education. Additionally, the Institute caters for persons already employed
regarding their professional development and to pursue higher education. For a full listing of
programmes and courses being offered by IDCE visit: https://idce.uog.edu.gy/.
- The University of Guyana