Sep 30, 2012 News Comments Off on UGBC launches Writing Centre
By Leon Suseran
The University of Guyana Berbice Campus (UGBC) last week launched a Writing Centre, the first of its kind in this part of Guyana this week.
Dr Jerry Jailal, lecturer at the university noted that it was another innovative idea of UGBC in responding to the needs of students and wider community. Writing, he posited, and use of language is at the heart of academic excellence and good communication, yet, he noted, writing is a problem all over the world even in developed countries.
“Students have problems with written and oral language. Harvard and Brown Universities in the U.S.A…They have writing centres,”.he stressed.
The idea for a writing centre at UGBC is credited to Professor Daizal R. Samad, Director of the campus.
“I have known Professor Samad to be an innovator and a transformational leader, someone who not only wishes, but who works hard at being a doer and implementer,” Dr. Jailal said
Professor Samad, at the launching ceremony, in speaking to a group of English lecturers including Ms Camanie Khedaroo and Ms Pamela Rose, among others, as well as the Research Methods class, stated that the writing centre is meant to strengthen English language usage across the board and on the campus, irrespective of disciplines.
The centre is equipped with six “cutting-edge” computers, one serving as a central monitoring device; all are fully connected to the internet with high- speed connectivity. There is also wireless access for additional lap-tops; an overhead projector that could convey internet downloads or centralised computer teaching tools to all the other computers including the campus’s computer centre. There is also a live central screen access, so that meetings with the main campus at Turkeyen can be done right in Berbice without having lecturers travel to Georgetown, cutting on costs.
Samad noted that they plan to use the strong students as tutors “to facilitate strengthening other students who are not as strong or who are just downright weak, so we will have student volunteers managing this under a faculty member”. An outreach, too, is planned to the CXC Candidates, “and we know that English Language usage is a problem and the thing is, that people have been complaining and I have not seen much concrete being done to solve that problem— this is concrete!”
Samad stated that UGBC has spent some $8M for lecturers to travel from Berbice to Turkeyen for meetings from January to June this year. “Now that’s a lot of money, man, $8M! But we could use this centre for small meetings and use things like Skype. It means no traveling; it means we save time and money”.
GT&T, he noted, has identified the campus as a potential ‘hot- spot’ location for its network.
Within two years, Samad noted that the campus envisages the establishment of a Centre for Academic Studies (CADS) which will be charged with responsibilities such as student- advising; short certification courses; outreach activities; teaching and learning excellence; orientation; the writing centre; retreat- type activities on campus; career orientation; peer tutoring and mentoring and student counseling.
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