Schooling on…

…UG schooling
Referring to the outraged squeaks emanating out of UG – after President Ali’s announcement that his government was negotiating with UWI to provide distance learning to 20,000 Guyanese – our Education Minister said, “there was no intention to replace UG”. But that’s not the point, is it? UG had absolutely failed to satisfy Guyana’s developmental education needs and the President had absolutely no choice. We don’t have to go too far back.
The moment oil was struck in May 2015, UG and the high-priced “Cabinet” that runs it knew that Guyana was going to be a player in the oil industry. Our closest acquaintance with oil was when we drove up to a gas station and told the attendants to “fill ‘er up”! We knew zilch about what educational skills the industry would demand. Now FIVE YEARS LATER, the UG mandarins just indignantly asserted that they had the “mandate” for higher education in the land and they’re not brooking any sharing with UWI! But the question is, what did they do about that MANDATE after oil was struck?? And the answer is “not a damned thing!” They left the Guyanese people in the embarrassing position of the fella who’s frantically trying to build a latrine when he just can’t hold it in any longer!! We know what’ll happen, don’t we? And it ain’t pretty.
UG has, therefore, abdicated whatever mandate it had. And since the Ali Administration can’t be twiddling their thumbs if they expect to achieve the ambitious developmental goals they have set for the country, the President made an executive decision for Guyana!! Make available to Guyanese all the programmes UWI offers! Not so incidentally, the newspapers have been chock-full of ads from foreign universities from England to Australia – and not to mention the degrees offered via Nations – -offering Bachelors and Masters in any number of subjects. Why hadn’t UG complained about their “mandate” being undermined?
The fact of the matter is that UG’s been allowed to run a subsidised monopoly in higher education for far too long. And like all monopolies, they’ve become fat, bloated and top heavy – with an inordinate percentage of their funding going to the mandarins in charge. They’ve also dumbed down the quality of their graduates by not just reducing their entrance requirements to five CSECs (unlike 3 CAPEs for UWI) but by accepting whatever remedial certification that places like Critchlow Labour College offers! How relevant for Guyana’s developmental needs are the thousands that graduate with International Relations degrees year after year after year?
Our policy can’t just be free quality education from nursery to University.
It must be free QUALITY education….

….forging Board’s records
What could be more reprehensible than trying to make a dead man take the fall for the obscene land scandals at Peters Hall? Especially when the dead man is a former official of NICIL – its CEO even – and is not around any longer to defend his name. I am sure you know, Dear Reader, that there were several eye-popping issues in the fraudulent deal that saw hundreds of millions being paid to a certain PNC lawyer.
Among them was the arcane – but most pertinent – issue of how come the latter could flip the leases awarded to him for the figurative acorn when this was prohibited by NICIL’s SOPs? Then – “lo and behold”, as they say in the good book whenever a miracle is about to happen! – the lawyer for the just-fired NICIL CEO being grilled announced that there had been a special Board meeting by the now dead CEO, where the requirement had been cancelled!!
How gullible do these people think Guyanese are?

…The Bishops’ inferiority complex
There was a most poignant letter from a graduate of THE Bishops’ High School in the press. It confirmed your Eyewitness’s worst fears that all the teachers’ bullying another graduate had complained about on social media was true.
Pitifully, it’s all due to their insane competition to compete with Queen’s.