President Dr Irfaan Ali during a virtual message at the 57th convocation ceremony of the University of Guyana (UG), which took place on Friday at the National Cultural Centre (NCC) congratulated the more than 3000 graduates and reaffirmed that the nation is rooting for their success.
“Always remember that your nation is behind you, rooting for your success,” was echoed by the President while urging them to use their newly acquired talents to transform Guyana into a modern, affluent, and forward-thinking nation.
The Head of State emphasised that Guyana’s potential is limitless because of the discovery of enormous oil deposits. The nation’s economy is modernising, diversifying, and expanding at a rate never seen before, opening up chances for everyone to participate, he noted.
“We need you, our talented graduates, to actively engage in fashioning our nation’s future,” he added while urging them to make smart use of their education.
He told them that their experience at the University of Guyana has given them a strong foundation, as well as knowledge and skills while emphasising that education is the secret to opening the door to success.
However, President Ali warned the graduating class that their degrees and diplomas do not ensure success.
“Certification alone does not guarantee success. You need the right attitude and values if you are to test the limits of your ability,” he advised.
“In this regard, I encourage you to rediscover your passion and pursue it with perseverance and a willingness to adapt to change. I encourage you to be lifelong learners, to stay curious, to embrace change, and to be part of innovation and innovative ideas.”
“Seek opportunities also to make a positive impact on the lives of others. Whether through your professional work, volunteering, or community engagement. A new Guyana awaits you and your contributions will be instrumental in shaping our nation’s destiny.”
“Seize the moment, make the most of your education, and be the change-makers who will lead Guyana to even greater heights. Our nation needs individuals like you who are ready to share the path ahead. I have no doubt that you will rise to the occasion and make us all proud.
“The path to progress and prosperity has been laid. As you step into this exciting future, the opportunities that lie ahead are as vast as the horizon itself,” President Ali continued. Thus, he told the graduates that now was their chance to shine and urged them to take advantage of the opportunity rather than wait for it to present itself.
Education Minister Priya Manickchand, however, stated that she believes the graduates’ achievements will encourage them to produce more in their respective fields.
She said that the goals and expectations for the growth of this relatively young country through the calibre of the people it produces shaped the institutional architecture of UG.
“As you now take your place among the thousands who have successfully emerged, we can only hope that you will fully internalise and appreciate the binding responsibilities you now take on as children of Guyana’s soil,” Manickchand noted.
“As you now look across our highly diverse and complex landscape, I fully expect that you will do so through a different lens from when you entered. You are now charged with being problem solvers. The cohort of intrepid, critical-minded trailblazers ushering in a new era of prosperity.”
As a people, Minister Manickchand explained that they are all too familiar with the longstanding challenges Guyana has faced in the areas of health, education, the need for sustainable infrastructure, and the adequacy of food, water, and energy, to name a few.
But through the graduates’ commitment to professional service to this nation, “We will be able to address these challenges, devise a new dispensation and future reality,” she noted.
“It is your innovation and proles that will enable us to embrace these changes with confidence. Most of all, the quality of our citizens is our greatest asset. I charge you to ulitise the knowledge and skills you have acquired to advance our common humanity.”
“The Guyana we know and love is a compendium of shared struggles and accomplishments. We must now devote our efforts towards achieving our collective objections within a context of greater comradery and passion for each other’s reality. We must find ways of engaging our fellow citizens within an environment of trust and goodwill towards each other.”
As they find their calling in this world, the Education Minister implored the class to share their talents widely and freely and “be rooted in your Guyanese-ness” while being citizens of the world.
“Guyanese can be found on every corner of the globe and as such, you must carve your niche with the sure knowledge and confidence of having a solid foundation and strong value systems and the appropriate disposition to make a significant difference in the world.”
This year’s convocation ceremonies are extremely special as the university is proudly celebrating its sixtieth anniversary under the theme “Consistently We Rise, Changing the World in Infinite Ways”. The 2023 convocation ceremonies for graduates of the university’s Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown Campus started on Thursday and will conclude today at the NCC.
The convocation for UG’s Tain Campus will also be held on November 18 on the university lawns at Tain Settlement, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).
So far, the ceremonies have been blended with the large majority of the graduates attending face-to-face and the remaining participating virtually.
Also, this year, UG will confer honorary doctoral degrees on 10 outstanding Guyanese in various areas of expertise during these special 60th-anniversary ceremonies. A portion of these awards have already been given out.