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Free …education 

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Back in 2023, during the Budget Debate, the Minister of Education had announced that, by 2025, tuition at UG would be eliminated!! And a bold beginning was made retroactively in this direction when it was announced by Pressie that all GRADUATES who’d remained in our dear Mudland and had student loans outstanding would now have that albatross removed from around their necks!!
Guyana would once again have FREE education from nursery to university!! But unlike with Burnham, where the education got you larwah, this time there would be jobs available for our university grads!! And that’s another reason that the Opposition should’ve been dancing in the aisles, since it was Desmond Hoyte who’d introduced tuition – after the PNC’s founder leader Burnham had continued the Jagan policy of free tertiary education!!
In all fairness to Dessie, however, tuition was part of the bitter medicine he’d been forced to swallow from the IMF in 1989. He had to grovel, because the “goadie-inducing” debt inherited from Burnham effectively forced Guyana into international receivership! The IMF “conditionalities” demanded privatising the Burnham-nationalised economy – and imposing tuition to attend UG.
When Jagan was returned to office in 1992, he couldn’t very well return free tuition, since we were still being “mannersed” by the IMF!! Bharrat Jagdeo, as president, had to perform a Herculean task to get the PNC’s US$2.1B debt written off. So, when the PNC replaced the PPP in 2015, they could’ve easily removed the tuition from UG, but not only did they not do it – they actually RAISED it!! So, they should’ve run around the floor of the National Assembly with Priya on their shoulders last year, no?!!
But now that we’re gonna have free university education, your Eyewitness sees some challenges ahead. Right off the bat, the Government’s gotta find a method to ensure that tertiary educational needs at our stage of development are satisfied. At the moment, half of the UG grads come out with degrees in International Relations, Sociology, and subjects in the Humanities. And they whine about not getting employment as “university graduates”!! Tell your Eyewitness, for goodness’ sake, what use is an IR graduate to a businessman trying to ensure his business pulls in a profit to pay the said graduate?!
Guyana needs technical personnel for all the jobs opening up in the oil and gas sector and the coming downstream industries. Plus specialists for the diversification of the agriculture sector, that’ll keep us viable after the O&G runs out. Meaning that UG needs a radical makeover in its structure and curricula. It gotta be more like a polytechnic and an agricultural university.
Would you believe there’s a Tokyo University of Agriculture? Maybe that’s why their Waygu beef sells at US$300 per pound!!
Free must be focused!!

…the children
Fat lot of good free tertiary education’s gonna do when teachers from nursery to secondary schools have been striking for – among other things – the right to strike and still be paid!! Now, what kinda education they’ll be passing on to our children – our country’s future?? That they really don’t have to work when they get their “education”??
Your Eyewitness knows there’s been this woke critique of our educational system since the days after slavery: that it’s supposedly indoctrinating us into willingly being trained to work for “the man” – who’d then get all the moolah while we get the scraps!!
But jeez!! That kinda socialist and communist thinking has been thrown out for ages. Why, even the PPP – which was the first to adopt and the last to hold out – has just announced its “bye-bye birdie!!” Now, what your Eyewitness thinks is that the teachers’ motto should be “Ever forward – never backward!!”
And as such, they should sit down with the Government to negotiate a decent wage structure going FORWARD!!

Your Eyewitness has some free advice for the Opposition: quit whining!! Even their supporters are getting sick and tired of their complaining about the PPP’s full court press of their constituency.
Why don’t they try campaigning in the PPP’s supposed “strongholds”??

The post Free …education  appeared first on Guyana Times.

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