Graduates of the University of Guyana for the 2020-2021 academic year were urged to utilise their degrees and skills to contribute to the development of Guyana and simultaneously change their own circumstances.
“You are the generation in which Guyana’s future resides and it is you to whom we look to realise ‘One Guyana’,” President Dr. Irfaan Ali said in his virtual address to the ceremony on Friday evening.
Approximately 2,600 persons will graduate from over 50 disciplines at the 55th Convocation for the Turkeyen Campus and the 20th for the Tain, Berbice Campus. This is the second series of virtual graduation for the university.
President Ali said the government has recognised that the past two years have been extremely challenging but especially so for the education sector with the onset of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is to your credit that despite these challenges you have persevered and are today proud graduates of this noble institution. Your country needs your expertise.”
“Guyana is on a transformative path of development towards a modern and diversified economy, one which will attach extreme importance to the development and retention of its highly skilled and knowledgeable graduates,” President Ali said.
With their education, President Ali said doors and opportunities will open for them to contribute to the nation’s development.
The President said the government has also recognised the transformative power of education and as such will continue to pump resources to improve the sector.
Specifically, for the University, President Ali said they will continue to equip the tertiary institution with relevant tools to expand the programmes. President Ali guaranteed that by 2025 university education in Guyana will be free.
“Our aim is to create a large and highly skilled human resource pool, Guyana’s future will be assured if we can continue to train and retain our human resources to propel our country’s transformative agenda,” President Ali said.
In concluding his speech, the President congratulated the graduates as well as their parents and all who supported them, their faculties and staff of the university.
Meanwhile, Guyanese businessman, philanthropist and former politician Stanley Ming was one of this year’s featured speaker who echoed the President’s sentiments and said he hopes that the graduates remain in Guyana and engage in careers that are fulfilling to them and beneficial to the development of Guyana.
Mr. Ming explained that for Guyana to develop sustainably, a significantly large workforce is needed.
“My advice to you is to establish partnerships with your fellow graduates and Guyanese of all races,” Mr. Ming stated while explaining that he was fortunate to have friends who have stood the test of time and friends with who he has partnered in business and other areas.
Mr. Ming further advised that if the graduates decide to start their own companies, they must ensure that their employees are paid and treated well. He said the same respect that applies to the CEO must equally apply to the domestic help.
He urged the graduates to courageously stand for justice, for community and for what is right.
“Your education gives you a foundation to think differently, be courageous in your approach to develop Guyana for all,” Mr. Ming said.