One hundred and sixty- four persons graduated on Saturday at the tenth Convocation of the University of Guyana Berbice Campus (UGBC) in a variety of disciplines.
The event, which got underway shortly before 17:00 hrs, began with the Graduands’ Procession to the Square. This was immediately followed by the Chancellor’s Procession, led by the Pro- Chancellor, Dr Prem Misir; the Mace Bearer, Vice- Chancellor, Prof Lawrence Carrington; Director of UGBC, Prof Daizal Samad; the guest speaker, CEO of Neal & Massey Co Ltd Mr Doodnauth Persaud; the Bursar, Librarian, Members of the Academic Staff, Members of the Council, Chief Marshall, President of the Students’ Society, Deans of the various faculties and Registrar, Mr. Vincent Alexander.
The Guyana Police Force Band was on hand to perform beautiful renditions of ‘My Heart is Beating’ and ‘Duet in Dixie’, which stirred the congregation to loud applause.
In his address, UGBC Director, Prof Daizal Samad noted the increasing central role the Berbice Campus plays in the heart of the communities across the region.
“Over the last three years, our campus has grown to be debatably the most central and most successful enterprise in Berbice. And we have become so because we have had great help”, he posited. He credited the Government of Guyana, the regional authorities, private sector, Chambers of Commerce, Guyana Police Force, lecturers, members of the diaspora among many others “who have in their many numbers extended kind words…and generous donations”.
He thanked the media for taking an “unwavering interest in what we are doing on this campus”.
Dr Samad said that ties were established and strengthened over the past year with the Neal & Massey Group of Companies. He then named various private sector individuals such as Hemraj Kissoon, Sattaur Gafoor, Aubrey Blackman, Mr. & Mrs. Henry Sookhoo and Mr. Soudesh Ramdeholl, whose sterling contributions mean well for the tertiary institution in Berbice.
He stated that his campus wants to continue to “share what we have with our community rather than see what we can get for our own individual gain”.
“There is little or no room for that kind of selfishness, and I must confess some degree of impatience with such an attitude”, the Professor added.
An “amazing jump in enrollment numbers and financial solvency” at the campus were some of the new developments which the Director discussed. He urged the university to have “serious reform from inside and out and from top down” One of the ways this can happen, he said, was by engaging the private sector by”first listening to them.
“We must listen to people like Sattaur Gafoor and Yesu Persaud, Aubrey Blackman and Hemraj Kissoon, among many others”, he said. “We must together find ways for them to take part ownership of our University…even as we make it clear that the primary owners of this UG are the working men and women of Guyana. We must let them know that our students are clients…that is the unique nature of business called university”.
He extended an invitation to corporate Guyana to assist the campus “by being part of programme identification and creation, curriculum reform and design, and course subject matter”.
To the graduands, he noted that being educated means having the ability to measure your own ignorance. “And that is a difficult thing indeed. It means being willing to learn for the rest of your lives and to gauge how much you do not know”, he said. He noted that the greatest enemy of education is arrogance. He urged the graduands to use their new qualifications and talents for the general good of others. “And all of this comes out in the way we speak and write. You can measure poor writers…by counting the number of adjectives used in language. You know the lack of substance by the inflation of language. The great writer almost disappears in writing”, he posited.
Degrees, Associate Degrees, Certificates and Diplomas were then handed out to the respective graduands and these were later conferred upon the graduates by Dr Prem Misir. Several outstanding students received prizes and trophies, including Mahendra Prasad, Shashi Kala Ade- Thomas, Adel John, Akeisha Benjamin, Fazeena Chase, Savitri Marimootoo, Monish Bisnauth, Mooneswar Rashdari, Andrea Bisram and Imran Sacoor. Delivering the Guest Speaker’s message was CEO of Neal & Massey, Mr Doodnauth Persaud.
The Valedictorian this time around emerged out of the School of Education and Humanities, as Tain Primary School teacher, Mr Deochand Mathur Jaiprashad took the top honours with the Highest Grade Point Average. He was awarded the Republic Bank Award. In his Valedictorian address, he outlined the many sacrifices that he had to endure during his study. He noted that education increases one’s productivity. Quotes in his speech included Woodhall (1997), who posited the importance of the human resource and human capital as “the wealth of a nation”. He linked the human resources to the economic development to one’s country.
“Some persons love to dream; others wish that they could dream, while others live their dreams”, he stated.
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