A cadre of internationally distinguished experts will be leading plenary sessions at the Guyana International Conference Centre (GICC), Liliendaal, during August 12-14, under the theme, “Sustainable Development: Science Education, Research, Innovation and Enterprise.”
The three-day exercise is the first international research conference hosted by the University of Guyana’s (UG’s), Faculty of Natural Sciences in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. It will serve as a platform for the hosting of a biennial research conference in the natural sciences and to commemorate the University’s 50th anniversary.
Prime Minister Samuel Hinds who opened the conference on Monday, advised that on the question of science, he is of the view that in these times, “every citizen should have a minimum grasp of science in order to understand in some degree, the world in which we live.”
The Prime Minister shared also his view that science is important not for its body of knowledge or the technology that it constitutes, or derivatives of the discipline, but also, and no less importantly for “the intangible concepts and ideas, way of thinking, the world view, which is inherent in science and technology.”
He posited that science education is essential and important and worthy of great attention in the selection of topics for education delivery.
The Prime Minister also examined how the discipline can be developed in Guyana. Among one of his suggestions was having greater importance be placed on knowledge delivery at the level of the primary school. He said his position is to have the allocation for science education placed in such an order that much emphasis is on ‘bringing up more rapidly the primary, then secondary, then tertiary level.”
He suggested more distribution of money for all schools, or if not feasible “bringing up more the schools which have been less endowed up, so that overtime there will be converge of all schools at one desired attainable level.”
Persons working in science and technology in Guyana should develop closer working relationships, he said, “in a spirit of mutual respect and a sense of earnest engagement in a sense of common purpose and development of our country and people.”
Vice Chancellor, Professor Jacob Opadeyi said that over 47 papers will be presented during the three days. He said his aspiration is to have over 100 papers at the next conference.
Professor Opadeyi said the conference is an important initiative of the University and is part of an agenda of involving all in the understanding of science and technology and its importance in the development of Guyana.
The speakers will include Professor Arnoldo Ventura, a well known international authority on the development and application of science and technology for socio-economic development.