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|Political factor at centre stage of UG’s impasse|
|Tuesday, 03 July 2012 22:10|
THE present impasse that has enveloped our lone institution of higher learning was bound to take place, seeing that the political factor is always there at centre stage. When I say the political factor, I make mention of the hidden agenda of the warring factions on the university campus.
They are claiming to have "the rescue package for the university", but is this the main idea?
To quote one of the leaders of the latest mob justice group Dr Melissa Ifill, "the PNC would never give up until it gets what it wants." She may wish to be amnesiac about the above statement because it was made at a time when she was not thinking or probably it was made "so long ago" that she has forgotten, but I vividly remember it as if it were yesterday. Today, she has been converted by the surrogate mother Francis and is now one of the leading agitators in the ‘hen pecked bunch’.
The same could be said of their sympathising defector Professor Compton Bourne, who asserted that “in the next 10 years Guyana would be the place to be." I am sure he made that statement with a clear thought in mind that UG is part of Guyana and he would be in a state where the said institution operates. A gentleman whose main assets are in Guyana, one would think that Professor Bourne was not joking but dead serious about those remarks.
But here again they all have been converted into a new and enlightened way; down with the old backward thoughts. Therefore I can safely conclude that the main idea behind the latest tirade is not the physical plant, the lack of qualified lecturers or a raise of pay but something other than those factors, a more hidden but potent agenda.
The latest furore came about through the retirement of Freddie Kissoon and Professor Carrington; the University Union found it an opportune time to call a revolt. These reasons coupled with the fact that their boys in parliament have things "under tight control", then the only thing left is to go for the jugular. The smell of blood is in the air so let’s get them.
But let us put the political, which is "the factor" aside, and constructively analyse the situation. No one can deny the fact that in the 50 years of this government-run institution that great strides have been made. We have more departments and faculties offering a number of courses/degrees, we have the Berbice Campus at Tain among other major developments.
All of that growth and progress had to be effected with meagre resources coming from the sole funding agency - the government. Whereas funding from the private sector, which is the main beneficiary of the university's graduates, is not encouraging to say the least.
So there you have it; a university struggling to meet its operational costs in a hostile environment. Not forgetting the attraction and retention of qualified staff which is a major headache for the administrators. To attract and retain lecturers at an institution that pays 10 times less than their counterparts at UWI falls nothing short of a miracle.
My brother at the Berbice Campus would harangue me (expletives included) of my anti-Guyanese behaviour in not remaining at home to make a contribution to education. So, there is much to be thankful for with the little that became much as the government goes forward in its developmental thrust.
In the same vein, one cannot brush aside the fact that very many more projects have to get off the ground as UG looks towards the future. For our university to take its place as a modern institution, we must have an upgrade of its staff that are still at the Baucaulerate level, the fixing and proper maintenance of its physical plant while at the same time having a raise of salary for its lecturers commensurate with the level of employment.
All of the above factors I'm afraid, can only come to fruition with the injection of cold, hard cash which is not the easiest thing to come by when discussing a Guyanese university. Therefore, my point is, calling for protest action at a time when students are engaged in final exams and dictating to a university council what is to be done when you have not the wherewithal to run a dollhouse is not comforting either. It just exposes their selfish political motives which overrides an otherwise legitimately important issue, that is, the university’s improvement. The warring factions must sit down with the council and constructively carve out our own "peculiar developmental strategy" for UG.
- Guyana comes first
- Slain cop’s colleagues hold the key to who were the killers
- Millers exploiting rice farmers
- Sugar industry needs restructuring
- Agonising delay in accessing salary at Scotiabank
- Road users need protection from grass slashers
- Opposition continued effort to stymie progress is alarming
- Launching of operation El Dorado commendable
- High quality technicians are needed to man the Forensic Lab
- Why the deafening silence by Stabroek News, Kaieteur News on Sharma’s case?
- Ruel Johnson is plagued with blinkered vision
- Guyana's progress being held hostage to negative politics
- UG seeks private sector partnership to aid transformation process
- Is our situation ‘a chicken and egg’ scenario?
- Post Offices continue to make a sterling contribution
- Clearing up some obvious serious misconceptions as to the purpose, use and functions of the Lighthouse
- ‘Gay’ Guyanese speaks out
- Opposition antics are about gaining power by all means
- The leopard does not change its spots
- “Dis time na lang time”