Reis disappointed with quality of UG graduates
By Chamanlall Naipaul
Guyana Chronicle
February 22, 2003

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`One gets the impression that mediocrity is the standard by which success is now measured'

MANAGING Director of Banks DIH Limited, Mr. Clifford Reis has expressed disappointment with the quality of graduates being put out by the University of Guyana (UG).

Delivering the keynote address at the launching of the Open/Career Day at UG yesterday, he said that from the perspective of industry and the private sector, the graduates from the institution lack the ability to translate knowledge to practical application.

He added that mediocrity seems to have become the norm and called for a review of the education system at the primary and secondary school level to address this deficiency.

"One gets the impression that mediocrity is the standard by which success is now measured," he contended.

Reis expressed the view that the education system should be capable of producing individuals who are able to rise above the ordinary to meet the challenges of economic competition and international trade.

However, he noted, "the commitment to achieving higher standards as a whole must be clearly demonstrated by both the institutions of learning and the students who attend the same."

Reis also rejected the contention that because Guyana is a Third World country, the education standard is in its present state, adding that perhaps this has been repeated so often, that it has now been accepted as a fact

In a world where the competitive edge is essential, raising standards to the levels comparative to other parts of the world is an imperative and not an option, the business magnate pointed out.

"Our institutions of learning must be equipped to deliver high standards in terms of the quality of teaching and the structures which are put in place to support and uphold the quality delivery of education," exhorted Reis.

Alluding to the increasing role of Information Technology and Computer Science in the developmental process, he called on the administration of UG to make an assessment of the programme being offered there to determine whether it is achieving the objective of imparting the knowledge and skills to students, rendering them suitable to the needs of the private sector and industry.

Vice-Chancellor of UG, Professor James Rose, also speaking at the ceremony, said he was heartened by the response shown by both the public and private sectors in their response to the Open/Career Day.

He felt that the presence of the large number of firms which set up booths is an indication of their commitment as frontline stakeholders towards improving the standards of tertiary education.

Despite the difficulties and the challenges facing UG, the Vice-Chancellor said there have been positives for the institution during its 40-year history, pointing out that last year more than 1,000 students graduated in various disciplines, while some 19,000 have graduated since its establishment in April 1963.

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