[www.inewsguyana.com] – The University of Guyana Workers Union (UGWU) and the University of Guyana Senior Staff Association (UGSSA) have outlined the areas of priority that the APNU+AFC administration needs to handle while noting their commitment to working with the new Education Minister, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine.
In a joint press statement, the Unions said they expect that the verbal commitment enunciated by Dr. Roopnarine “will be matched by an adequate financial one noting that faculty, staff and students look forward to the day when classes will be held in well-equipped lecture rooms rather than the ‘stables’, when snakes, horses, cows, stray dogs and other animals are not regular visitors to our walkways and environs and, when visits to faculty and university offices to get basic tasks completed are not met with apologetic shrugs because ‘there is no ink, paper, white board markers, ’ or ‘the printer, photocopier isn’t working.’”
In addition to the funding crisis, the Unions are urging that the Minister simultaneously address an equally critical problem, namely the governance crisis at the University.
The unions contend that grave deficiencies currently exist at two levels at the level of the University Council and at the Administrative/Management level.
With respect to the council, the Unions stated that “the University has always suffered from a dictatorial, authoritarian structure that gives the ruling party excessive influence through the University Council. In April 2012 the two staff Unions along with the students’ Union, the UGSS, petitioned Parliament requesting a review and urgent change in the UG Acts and Statutes to ensure the depoliticisation of the Council.”
“The UG Unions expect Dr. Roopnraine to speedily ensure that the UG’s Acts and Statutes are changed to ensure that those appointed to serve on the Council have the adequate qualifications/experience to contribute in a meaningful manner.”