Guyana’s Student Society (UGSS), after the student body picketed the Ministry of the Presidency last week, demanding an audience with the Head of State.
After more than a week of waiting, President Granger finally met with representatives of the student body, where he pledged to continue to address ongoing concerns.
“By the time the next academic year starts, most of these problems will be dealt with. Of course, not completely, but we would like to have some of these problems rectified. So we will try to rectify these before next semester and when the Minister of Finance is back in the country, I would like to engage him and it will be in the presence of the Vice Chancellor and the Chancellor, if he is still here, and the Minister of Education. This is a grave situation and I would never try to sweep this under the carpet,” President Granger told the students.
Among the issues raised were the lack of lecturers, lack of furniture in the classrooms, the presence of animals on campus, lack of recreational facilities, absence of practical assessments, functioning and equipped laboratories for first and second-year students, what are considered unhelpful policies of the University and the perception of lack of respect and regard for the welfare of students by the University’s administration.
President Granger said the meeting was “sobering”, adding that while he was aware and had been disturbed about the diminishing conditions at the University for several years, he had never expected that it would reach to such low levels. “What you have described here, which I do not doubt… is very grim. The standards of sanitation and even the infrastructure are unacceptably low,” he told the students.
Meanwhile, UGSS President Joshua Griffith, in an invited comment, said the discussion with the Head of State was frank and open and focused mainly on the issues that have been affecting students at the campus. He noted that the commitment given by the President was heartening.