Oct 22, 2008 News
Unless everything is in the clear, in terms of the relevant persons accepting the current state of the University of Guyana, it is very unlikely that classes could resume next month, according to a university official.
Reports reaching this newspaper have revealed that following a meeting yesterday with the relevant stakeholders, it was confirmed that the convocation activity, which is usually scheduled in the normal academic calendar to take place at the end of the second week in November, will have to be postponed to a date to be announced later.
Kaieteur News was informed yesterday that the University Administration will soon be preparing a release to this effect for the benefit of the public.
Education Minister, Shaik Baksh, had last week disclosed that classes at the university are expected to resume by the early part of next month, which was regarded as “grossly misleading.”
Meanwhile, the University of Guyana Student Society (UGSS), through its President Jason Benjamin, is still adamant that the university will not become fully operational until January 2009.
“We believe that as it is, there is no way that the university can be ready before January. They will have to prove us wrong…,” said Benjamin during a brief interview with this newspaper yesterday.
In addition, he said that an unavoidable delay in the convocation activities is inevitable since the files of several students were left on the campus during the asbestos removal process, thus their documents could not have been processed.
And according to Benjamin, he intends to have that matter addressed, adding that he expects to meet with Deputy Registrar, Vincent Alexander, to discuss the status of the registration process.
Meanwhile, it was related to this newspaper that no attempt has been made so far by the Ministry of Education to return the university to the control of the institution’s administration which has the responsibility of declaring an opening date.
Since July 1, last, the university was handed over to Government to facilitate the removal of asbestos from several buildings.
Among those that were reportedly affected are Physics, Chemistry, Health Sciences, the Original Library, the Original Faculty of Arts, the Social Sciences, Faculty of Education, and the Administrative Buildings, the Staff Club, Technology Laboratories, the original Technology Classrooms, Technology Mechanical Workshop, the George Walcott Lecture Theatre, the Small Lecture Theatre, and the Cafeteria.
It was anticipated that the process would have been completed within two months, allowing for the regular September opening of the university.
An inspection of the buildings on Monday revealed that the sanitation has not been completed with some of the structures, primarily parts of the library with fragments of asbestos materials.
It was in this regard that the UGSS and the University of Guyana Workers’ Union had indicated their intention to take protest action, if necessary, to ensure that the university returns to an appropriate atmosphere, before it can be regarded as ready for normal operation.
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