UG sets the record straight

31st December, 2018 0 comments

– amidst talks of ill-preparation for Oil & Gas

THE University of Guyana (UG) has affirmed that it is taking measures to ensure students of Guyana can become prepared for the emerging Oil and Gas industry.

Tenth Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The University of Guyana, Professor Dr. Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith highlighted recently that the university has announced courses specific to the industry, since July 2018.

The flyer posted earlier this year, in July, announcing some of UG’s measures to prepare students for the Oil and Gas industry.

Griffith made his comments at the heels of contentions made by former government Member of Parliament (MP), Charrandas Persaud.

“[There is] no programme at the university to deal or to educate the youngsters– you the youngsters– in oil and gas,” Persaud said in a recent video of himself posted online.

The former MP stated further that come 2020– when the production of oil is expected to begin– the country will require more than just the “cleanup man job” and the “labourer job”. Instead, he posited that a skilled workforce is required.

Setting the record straight, Dr. Griffith stated: “Contrary to what was claimed recently as part of our nation’s high political drama, UG has been preparing for first oil and beyond for more than a year now.”

On his Facebook page, Professor Griffith said: “In July of this year, this flyer [which announced the introduction of the programmes] was published in the local newspapers, posted to Facebook, and still is available on the UG website.”

These programmes include an Associate Degree in Science (Petroleum Engineering) and a Master’s Degree in Science (Petroleum Engineering) and will be offered in conjunction with the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT).

Earlier this year, the university announced that the two programmes would be launched in January 2019, at a symposium which will feature Principal of UWI St. Augustine, Professor Brian Copeland, who is also the former Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the UWI.

In addition to the offering of these two programmes, the university has also made fundamental changes to its faculty to facilitate the focus on preparing students for the industry.

The university’s Faculty of Technology has been renamed the Faculty of Engineering and Technology. Within this faculty, a Department of Petroleum and Geological Engineering is also expected to come on stream in January 2019.

And in November, UG, alongside several other post-secondary education institutions, began the process of establishing a Higher Education Consortium on Engineering and Mining (HECEM), which is intended to guide education and professional development training for Guyana’s energy and extractive industries, including the oil and gas sector.

While the former AFC MP, Persaud, lamented that little is being done to prepare Guyanese, especially the youth, for the emerging industry, Griffith reminded that UG has been in fact facilitating this preparation.

Persaud voted for the no-confidence motion brought against the coalition government recently. In the video he posted on his Facebook page, he highlighted several issues, including UG’s ill-preparation, which caused him to lose confidence in the government.

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