By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The University of Guyana (UG) will soon commence civil works on 14 labs and will institute reform to the curriculum in the four science and technology faculties, thanks to a US$10M credit granted by the World Bank through the Government.
This is being done under the UG Science and Technology Support Project (UGSTSP) and is being executed by the Ministry of Education in close collaboration with UG.
The faculties to benefit are the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Natural Sciences and Technology and the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. The project focuses on improving the quality of science education through curriculum reform, support for research in low carbon development areas, improved physical infrastructure and capacity building.
According to UG’s Vice Chancellor Professor Jacob Opadeyi, there is no doubt that UG is behind in several regards. He however expressed delight to see the institution moving forward and expressed the hope that it will become a leading University in the region soon.
He said that there was a lot of work to be done and as such it is important for all stakeholders to work together. “UG is headed for the future and we are open for business.”
Meanwhile, Education Minister Priya Manickchand who was also present at the handing over of two signed contracts for the coordination and supervision of the project on Thursday (March 6) said that it becoming more evident the importance of tertiary education to national development, while underscoring the government tangible commitment in this regard.
“We must ensure that UG is ready and prepared to churn out graduates that cant contribute to national development, this project will no doubt accelerate the services offered by UG… this university is poised to play the role of fostering, human, national and social development,” the Minister stated.
Manickchand added “it is one thing to build buildings but we must ensure that we have Lecturers that are performing and students availing themselves and the market available for them when they exit.”
In the case of the curriculum reform, the University of the West Indies Consulting Inc. was awarded a contract to the tune of US$499,243 to coordinate and supervise the reform of 15 Bachelor’s degree programmes.
The consultants will commence by conducting widespread consultations with stakeholders both internal and external to the university. The consultants will then work closely with the faculties to complete the required revision within 36 months.
In the case of civil works, an Italian/Guyanese joint venture – Hydea in association with RPA Rossiprodi and sub-consultant CEMCO was awarded the contract at a cost of US$368,014.
The rehabilitation is expected to include new floor surfaces, cupboards, water and power systems, lighting, provision of air conditioning and furniture.
The budget for the rehabilitation works which is expected to commence in the third quarter of 2014 id US$4.5M.