Jobs must be created for UG graduates
-vice-chancellor urges at convocation
Stabroek News
November 13, 2006

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The Guyanese society must guard against the "sad waste" of human resources by creating adequate employment possibilities for young graduates of the University of Guyana in particular or other nations would, UG Vice-Chancellor, Dr James Rose says.

In remarks at the 40th Convocation of the University of Guyana at its Turkeyen Campus on Saturday evening, Dr Rose said "if we do not care for our youths and encourage their aspirations some other nations would. After all, migration is as attractive today as it ever was."

Dr Rose's remarks substituted for the feature address which was down on the programme as one of the items but for which no name was mentioned.

Absent, too, on this occasion was the Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Dr Bertrand Ramcharan.

Stating that he knew how frustrating it was for those going into the job market to find that there are no openings available, Dr Rose said that over the years he has come across many young people bursting with raw and creative energies being frustrated at the lack of opportunities to put their talents to work.

Urging graduates to be part of the corps of people to care for future generations at UG, he said that chapters of guilds in developed countries could do much to garner both goodwill and mobilize human and financial resources for the university to strengthen its programmes and services.

Congratulating the graduates, he cautioned that after their brief celebrations they would have to return to the "school of hard knocks" where they might find it a little harder to achieve than at UG but to be prepared to use their knowledge gained to face the challenges.

He noted that UG has had to face many challenges to advance to the stage where it was today but the institution, he said, was not singular in this regard. Universities the world over, he said, have had to re-examine their roles, priorities, programmes and budgets and general modes of operating to retain their validity, credibility and relevance in a rapidly changing competitive world.

He said that without a doubt UG needs more resources to further improve its standards in an environment that was becoming more challenging nationally, regionally and internationally. He assured that the university was searching every available source to secure additional funding to enhance the quality of programmes and services.

Speaking directly to the graduates, Dr Rose said that in addition to their personal ambition Guyanese expect a great deal from them. Urging them to give some service to the country that gave them an opportunity for a university education and to aid in its development, he said there can be no worthier cause than to serve its people and no happier reward than to be allowed to advance their development. Guyana, he added, needs its young people with the knowledge and skills necessary for nation building.

Speaking too of the university being a centre of life and liberty and where people form lasting relationships, he said that Guyana has to rapidly come to terms with its cultural identity, especially at times and in places that tend to emphasise the separate elements - of race, religion, politics and culture.

These are all enriching elements of society and must be perceived as elements of oneness, he said, "we many have ancestral roots in every other part of the world but those roots have intermingled over centuries nurtured by the land and the waters of Guyana."

It should be noted that apart from the absence of the feature address on the programme, noticeably missing from the convocation souvenir booklet were the names of the graduates and the list of the awardees.

Winning the coveted President's Medal was Sandra Wilson, a teacher, who was also the valedictorian, from the School of Education and the Humanities. In her remarks she congratulated her colleagues and made note of those who had to face the challenges of travelling to the Turkeyen campus every day of the school week from far-flung areas such as Linden.

The second best graduating student was Bonita Elias of the Faculty of Natural Sciences who copped the Chancellor's Medal. Receiv-ing the Prime Minister's Medal for the Medical Sciences was Dharshanand Maraj and receiving the Prime Minister's Medal for the Bachelor's Degree in Public Management was Ramnarine Makerdas.

The best graduating law student was Tanya Warren who was awarded the Pro-Chancellor's medal. (Miranda La Rose)