AEA scores a first amidst UNDP praise

Guyana Chronicle
July 13, 1999

UNITED Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Assistant Resident Representative, Dr Theo Gittens has underscored the pivotal role the Adult Education Association (AEA) has in gearing youths to meet challenges of the 21st Century.

He said the organisation has a critical part in training young people for the new millennium because some of them would not make it through the formal system.

Delivering the feature address Friday at the annual graduation of AEA in the National Cultural Centre, Gittens referred to the poor performance of candidates who sat the primary and secondary school examinations and remarked that they "need to catch up and re-tool themselves".

For the first time, a batch of students graduated with Junior High School certificates and special awards were presented to distinguished persons for aiding the AEA.

Those so honoured were Anglican Dean of Georgetown, Reverend Oswald Trellis, Director of the Dharm Shala, Mr Harry Ramsaroop and former University of Guyana (UG) Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dennis Craig.

Gittens, the Guest Speaker, observed that the opportunities provided by the AEA are of crucial importance, as other similar institutions "have faulted".

"AEA has been a pillar of strength and will continue to be so," the former sociology lecturer at UG declared, adding that it has been providing adequate resources and support to youngsters and continues to discharge such services effectively.

The AEA caters for young people not attending secondary school, too and has offered a wide range of courses since its inception 40 years ago.

Gittens said the AEA would maintain its teaching of adults, as well, in the technical and improved communication skills required for globalisation.

He said employers and investors bemoan the lack of certain knowhow in Guyana as its affects production and investment and knowledge in those areas is an indispensable element in any strategy for the survival of Guyana.

Gittens challenged the younger population to think seriously about educating themselves to face the problems of the new millennium.

He said the unemployment rate for individuals between the ages 15 and 24 remains 30 per cent and is the highest compared to any other group.

However, UNDP, with assistance from the Government, plans to review the statistics in the near future.

Meanwhile, Gittens charged the graduates to recognise the contributions AEA has made to their lives and continue to help it.

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