Gajraj bemoans poor Maths, English performance at Agri School
- as 111 students graduate
The Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA), last evening graduated a batch of 111 students during its 48th convocation at the institution in Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara.
It was an event at which the agriculture sector’s impact on the economy was highlighted.
In attendance were graduates and their parents, Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, Permanent Secretary George Jervis and Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General, Anil Nandlall.
Minister Ramsammy, in delivering the key note address said that government continues to invest in training persons in particular for careers in the agriculture sector in recognition of the fact that the sector has helped the country to move from least developing to today being a middle income country, with the potential to continue the movement to an even higher middle income status.
This movement, however, will not happen unless agriculture in Guyana becomes more productive and is not just about “feeding our people” but becomes a drive towards “going from a low income country to a high middle income country and generating wealth for our families.”
This increased production, he said in a government statement, will be realised with better land utilisation for agriculture, and with better use of technology and more experience and young people in the agriculture sector.
He said that this therefore speaks to the government’s investments in training in the sector.
“Our task is very clear… countries that are so reliant on agriculture will fail unless they invest in agriculture training,” the Minister said.
Minister Anil Nandlall, who delivered the charge to the graduates this year, also reminded them of their importance, not only to the development of the agriculture sector but, Guyana as a whole.
He told them that they were graduating in an exciting time in the country’s history and in the world economy order where they will have to make a contribution to the global agenda of food security.
“You are important because you will contribute significantly to the agriculture sector, a sector that holds the future for Guyana and you are important because you are part of our plan for future Guyana as young people,” Minister Nandlall said.
He reminded them that agriculture has been the back bone of the Guyanese economy, and as well as formed part of the social fabric of the country and, they were therefore graduating “to serve a sector whose importance is indelibly marked in our country’s historical revolution and our country’s social and cultural architecture.”
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GSA, Brian Greenidge in his brief address thanked the staff of the institution for their continued support throughout the year and, encouraged them to continue to work together and support each other in the further success of the institution.
Chairman of GSA, Rudolph Gajraj expressed satisfaction with the institution’s continued success. Like Greenidge, he also spoke to the dedication and commitment of the school’s staff and faculty and praised them for achieving and upholding the exemplary status that the school currently holds among tertiary learning institutions in Guyana.
Gajraj also highlighted some pressing matters of concerns that require urgent attention among which was the quality of the institution’s entrants.
He said that some of the entrants’ performance in the core subject areas of English and Mathematics and the Natural Sciences remains below expectations and suggested remedying this by enlarging the school’s remedial programme.
Gajraj also said that the school’s fisheries course is running with a small number and that a solution to this problem needs to be found before the commencement of the next school year. Attracting students from the hinterland particularly, Region 8 is a problem, he said.
The students successfully completed the following programmes at the GSA institutions across the country – Diploma in Agriculture; (Mon Repos) with 28 graduates, (Essequibo) 5 graduates, Diploma in Animal Health and Veterinary Public Health 12 graduates, Certificate in Agriculture 15 graduates, Certificate in Fisheries 3 graduates, Certificate in Forestry (Mon Repos) 23 graduates and (Essequibo) 25 graduates.
Graduates’ award for Best Overall Performance included the Diploma in Agriculture, (Mon Repos) Andrew Amin, (Essequibo) Moneshwar Chandrapaul, Certificate in Agriculture, Tawana Patrick, Diploma in Animal Health and Veterinary Public Health Jamila Morgan, Certificate in Forestry (Mon Repos) Donnica Thornhill, (Essequibo) Melissa Retemiah and Certificate in Fisheries Studies Anthony Seepersaud.
The Chief Executive Officer’s prize went to Andrew Amin and the Chairman’s Prize to Melissa Retemiah.
No student met the criteria to be awarded the Gold Medal Prize which is offered to the student who performs outstandingly in the areas of academic and practical work and campus community service.