Former Registrar of the University of Guyana, Vincent Alexander is insisting that former law student Clairmonte Cox, who claimed that his exam results were withheld for ten years, was never wronged by the University of Guyana.
He has placed the blame on Cox, who he said failed to repay his loans in the stipulated time. The former law student had aired his grievances in last Sunday’s edition of the Kaieteur News.
Kaieteur News had made several attempts via cell phone to reach former Registrar of the University, Vincent Alexander, in an effort to include his response in the article.
However, it was only after the piece was published, that Mr Alexander responded to the article via a letter to Kaieteur News.
In that letter, he stated that “While it is true that initially the University, at the end of the programme, engaged Cox on the possibility of paying-up the fees, he was not forthcoming, thus the University resorted to the position that Cox had not registered (not paid fees) for two years and was not entitled to results for examinations taken in defiance of clear stipulations that he was not entitled to sit the examinations.”
The UG Council Member elaborated that “It is a verifiable fact that Cox was granted a loan in the first year, on condition that he commenced repayment immediately, on a monthly basis. He never honoured that commitment/obligation and as such was refused loans in the subsequent two years of the programme.
Thus, his fees were not paid and he literally ignored all notices of his non-entitlement to sit examinations. And, in collusion with members of the University’s staff sat examinations, the results of which he now argues he is entitled to.”
Alexander is contending also, that there was no hiccup on the part of the Ministry of Finance, in relation to Cox’s student loan.
“Cox was in default with regard to his first loan. He was not granted the two subsequent loans and consequently did not pay his fees for the two remaining years of his programme.”
Alexander is also contending that Cox’s claims of having three years to repay his owed fees, is nothing “but another fabrication of Cox.” “The University has no such facility,” Alexander added.
He said, “It is true that some three years after the University had ruled on Cox’s matter, he did come forth with an undertaking of the Ministry of Finance to grant him loans retroactively. At that time the University had already disengaged three years prior and moved on.”
Cox, armed with a number of stamped documents, from both the Ministry of Finance and the university, had accused UG officials of withholding his examination results for a decade. After engaging the courts, the Central High School teacher was finally provided with the outcome of his three-year-long studies. But, it showed that he had failed two subjects.
Not satisfied, Cox, upon receiving the results, went back to the court, seeking a comprehensive review of the examination.
Before engaging the court in 2012, Cox said that he spent years ensuring that all the internal avenues were exhausted. He wrote his final letter to the University in 2011, and got a response from the then Registrar, Vincent Alexander, who claimed that the institution hadn’t any examination results for Cox, since he was not a student at the University.
Simultaneously, Cox, according to records, received additional letters from UG officials, acknowledging that he was a student, but that he needed to settle all his outstanding balances before receiving his examination results. Cox has admitted to have been lagging in payments, but insisted that he still had ample time to settle his arrears.
“So I never understood how they could’ve just refused to give me my results,” he said.
A document dated September 7, 2012, signed and stamped from the Ministry of Finance, shows the date of the first loan agreement to be September 1, 2000. It highlights the repayment period to be six years, ending August 31, 2006.
At the time, Cox had only paid 10 instalments on his loan, and had fallen short on 34 such payments. Cox, who at been pursuing what was supposed to have been a vibrant career in law, was required to pay a monthly instalment of $5,015.00. The “repayment total” was pegged at exactly $300,041.00.
Nonetheless, as it relates to the court actions filed by Cox, Alexander is contending that, “when Cox first filed his action against the University, the University’s administration was never served notice and was not aware of the proceedings until after the court had ruled in a case in which there was no active respondent.”
The Former Registrar said that the notice was served on Pro-Chancellor Dr. Prem Misir, whose office took no action, and allowed the court to hear the matter in the absence of any response/defence from the University.
“It is anyone’s guess as to what the outcome would have been had the University been able to present its case,” Alexander said.
He highlighted that when the Pro-Chancellor informed the Council of the University of the matter and its outcome, it was too late for the University to have appealed.
“I know of no other instance when the Pro-Chancellor was the recipient of a court order on behalf of the University. It is worthy of note that this matter was brought to the Council’s attention by a member and that only then the Pro-Chancellor’s office acknowledged receipt of the summons and the court order,” Alexander added.
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