Bisnauth, Thakur call Tain celebration fruit of labour

Guyana Chronicle
December 2, 2002

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MINISTER of Labour, Human Services and Social Security, Dr Dale Bisnauth said Saturday that, despite birth pangs, the first convocation at the University of Guyana (UG) Berbice campus was to celebrate a “fruit of labour".

He said history is about many things, first it has a habit of attracting myths which become shrouded too often than not and the origin of Tain has its own.

Bisnauth said people believe the branch was meant to supercede and eventually replace Turkeyen and the resources for Turkeyen would be channeled there to the disadvantage and deliberate impoverishment of the former.

He added that, in this country, where nothing is ever simple and perception is almost always through the lens of partisan politics, the whole project had been touted in some quarters as having a political and not educational motivation.

Bisnauth said the People’s Progressive Party/Civic Government is painfully aware that, however rich this country may be in natural resources, without the development of its most valuable and precious resource, its people, it would remain only potentially rich.

"We are aware that, unless we have a sufficiently large cadre of appropriately educated, suitably skilled, even multi-skilled people, we, as a nation, will be in trouble. We will be unable to make a quantum leap".

Deputising for President Bharrat Jagdeo, whose brainchild he said the campus is, Bisnauth said young Guyanese must be educated in the relevant arts and sciences and be technically and technologically equipped to function in the several sectors and sub-sectors of the national economy.

“Only so will we be able to exploit our natural resources in the interest of all our people”.

Bisnauth, who previously held the portfolio, acknowledged that education is one way out of poverty and said that is why the Government is putting emphasis on it.

He said Tain is an attempt to make tertiary education accessible and affordable and that is the rationale for is establishment, nothing more, nothing less, nothing mystical.

"We need education for the equipment of our young people with life skills, including communication, linking skills computation and problem solving, technical and vocational skills to make a living and enable them to manage their lives".

Earlier, the graduands, led by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor James Rose, entered the university square in a procession to receive their respective academic certificates at the history making ceremony in the presence of well-wishers and academic staff.

Campus Director, Dr Parsram Thakur agreed it was a time for celebration, with a sense of accomplishment and triumph over anxieties and adversities.

In his report, he said 135 students were registered in 2000, 144 in 2001 and 177 for the 2002/2003 academic year.

With the degree programme on the way, 52 students are already on register in the fields of education and public management.

Thakur explained that, due to the significant growth in student population, availability of teaching staff has been limited, causing courses to be left untaught and the plan is to have Berbice-based staffers.

The programme was opened and closed by Dr Rose amidst musical renditions performed by the Guyana Police Force Band, under the baton of Assistant Commissioner Cecil Bovell and a cocktail reception followed.

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