Expanding the university

Guyana Chronicle
August 5, 1999

IN THE absence of any definitive study on the reasons for the disparity in the figures referred to in today's letter from a reader on the University of Guyana admissions for the new academic year, the case seems to be stronger for expanding the institution into other main population centres.

The reader urges the Government to expedite the establishment of a UG campus in Berbice, an issue that has been gaining wider support recently.

If the figures provided are accurate, the University of Guyana seems not to be reaching out to a large segment of the population and this is a matter that the Education Ministry, other government agencies and the university administration should look into.

If there is a logical explanation for the apparent `skewness' in applications for admission, that should be issued promptly and quickly.

This is not a comforting picture because it seems that many young people and other potential students from critical areas of the country are being shut out from a university education.

The reader outlines possible reasons for the disturbing trend in the figures provided and the conclusion bears careful consideration.

"The result...will only mean one thing - the skilled stock of population will remain in Georgetown therefore exposing the entire nation to the whims and fancies of political gladiators", the writer warns.

The advice also bears stressing:

"The Government must act quickly towards devolution of power to other regions and expedite plans to establish a Berbice campus of the University of Guyana."

As we have noted before, education has been placed as a priority for the countries of the hemisphere to help the people of the region cope better with the challenges of the new millennium.

The sector also continues to get top budgetary treatment by the Guyana Government and the rehabilitation of the education system continues apace.

New schools are being regularly opened and others repaired as a matter of course throughout the country.

There is still a long way before the education needs are fully met in this country and there has been much movement forward.

But something seems to be just not right from the breakdown of the UG applications for admissions according to the regions, provided by the reader, and this has to be investigated as another matter of priority.

This may not be the full picture and there may be compelling reasons for the current situation.

If the call has not been sounded before, now seems to be an opportune time for another wakeup call to those responsible for such matters.

A university education should be made more easily available to more young people from other parts of the country.

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Guyana: Land of Six Peoples