By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana (UG) Professor Jacob Opadeyi has issued an apology to students of the Bachelor’s Degree in Education Programme for not consulting them on recent changes made to the program.
On Monday evening (March 3) dozens of students of the programme protested outside of the School of Education and Humanities, Turkeyen Campus for what they say were ‘arbitrary’ changes instituted.
Speaking with iNews on Thursday, March 6 Professor Opadeyi said he was not pleased when he learnt of what had happened and promised that a public apology will be forthcoming from the administration soon.
“When we make changes, we are supposed to consult with students and make sure that they understand the changes… I was not pleased when I heard about it, a student rep should have been in midst,” he added.
Among the changes were that the two-year bachelor’s programme was increased by one year and students had claimed that that some of the new courses are repetitive.
To this end, the Vice Chancellor said if errors were made which see students repeating courses there will be a revaluation and students will be offered exemptions where necessary.
In addition, the students are also protesting a $36,000 hike in tuition fee; the initial fee was $127,000 but was raised to $172,750.
On this note, the VC said there may be some challenges. “If they are doing three years work in two years then they should pay three years fees… we are strong on the view that you pay three years fees,” Opadeyi said.
He gave all assurance that in the future students will be consulted whenever such changes are to be made. He reminded of a Staff/Student Liaison Committee that he formed when he became VC just over a year ago which is mandated to meet twice every semester to get feedback, particularly from students.
The degree programme was initially a four-year programme; however, as a prerequisite, students had to undergo a two-year Certificate of Education Programme before commencing the degree programme.
With this certificate programme, students were given an exemption of two years from the degree programme.
Changes to the programme were made by the Education Ministry as part of a plan to reform the education system. The plan involved the Education Ministry, UG and the Cyril Potter College of Education.