Berbice campus classes to start by month-end/early October
Registration begins tomorrow

By Daniel DaCosta
Stabroek News
September 21, 2000

Classes at the Berbice Campus of the University of Guyana (UG) at Tain, Corentyne are now likely to commence by this month-end or early October with the formal opening coming soon after the commencement of classes.

This disclosure was made on Monday by head of the task force responsible for overseeing the institution's establishment, Dr Marlene Cox at the handing over of the keys at the Tain campus.

Speaking at the mid-morning ceremony, Dr Cox also reiterated that the demands made by the Turkeyen-based teaching staff of the Social Sciences faculty, including remuneration and duty-free concessions, were receiving the full attention of the university's administration. The issues, she said, will have to be resolved before classes can begin at the Tain annexe.

Disclosing that to date some 123 students have accepted places at the campus, she told the small gathering that the figure included 54 teachers. The initial intake, she said, would be around 150 students.

Dr Cox explained that the campus will be headed by a director supported by nine administrative staff and will include lecturers and a four-member library staff.

The campus will have three divisions: Art and General Studies, Education and Social Sciences with the programmes being two-year, under-graduate diploma and certificate courses.

"It is anticipated," she explained, "that the Berbice campus will have its own complement of full-time lecturers as time goes by while another possibility being explored is to teach between the two campuses by Distance Mode Technology.

Registration for classes will commence tomorrow at Tain while furnishing is expected to be completed within two weeks.

Minister of Education, Dr Dale Bisnauth in brief remarks, expressed the hope that the new campus will be opened soon and that it will be relevant to the development needs of Berbice.

He remarked that he would like to see the university engaged not only in academic pursuits but also in helping Guyanese to understand the dynamics of a plural society.

"We can never exploit our vast resources in a responsible way, in a way that the country as a whole will benefit, until we have a large enough cadre of persons who are educated and skilled. Until then, we would not be able to move along the road to development." Towards this end he expressed the hope that the campuses would appreciate the importance of education in development.

Dr James Rose, acting vice-chancellor, said in his presentation that "the extension of university education to Berbice represents a positive response to a long-standing demand for tertiary education in Berbice which can be traced back to 1953.

"Over the years Berbicians have remained convinced of their entitlement to a university campus and have consistently articulated this demand. The seriousness of the demand attracted the attention of the university's administration," he noted.

Work on the campus began in June by Courtney Benn contracting services and was completed during the first week of this month, despite persistent unseasonal rainfall. The keys were handed over to Dr Cox by manager of Courtney Benn contracting services, Darren Nurse.

Among those attending this ceremony were pro-chancellor Dr Joshua Ramsammy, UG's registrar Dr David Chanderbali who chaired the proceedings, Mayor Roy Baijnauth of Corriverton and Mayor Deonarine Jankie of Rose Hall.

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