Gov’t unveils Media, Communications Academy on Press Freedom Day

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As the world observes Press Freedom Day, the Guyana Government on Tuesday officially launched the long-promised Guyana Media and Communications Academy as hundreds of media workers met for a massive two-day conference and symposium at the Arthur Chung Conference Center, Liliendaal.

The Academy was unveiled by Minister with Responsibility for Public Affairs in the Office of the Prime Minister, Kwame McCoy.

He said the groundbreaking academy will be virtual, offering those persons who secure a free license from the government, access to world-class learning and certification opportunities across the industry.

Additionally, persons will be allowed to pursue learning from a selection of 2000 courses at various universities and levels of certification.

Minister with Responsibility for Public Affairs in the Office of the Prime Minister, Kwame McCoy

The government will partner with Coursera, which was launched in 2012 and is now one of the largest learning platforms in the world, to ensure the successful functioning of the academy.

McCoy said the government has consistently paid attention to training for media workers.

“When we came to government, we launched a full round of training for the state media in collaboration with private media and the Ministry of Education to offer a wide range of study opportunities.

“We have strengthened many other mechanisms within the state media and continue to look at ways which continue to make a difference in the media fraternity,” McCoy added.

The issue of training for media workers was also addressed by President of the Guyana Press Association (GPA) Nazima Raghubir who reported that the GPA has collaborated with a number of agencies, including state entities and foreign missions, to provide training.

However, she said the GPA does not support the idea of the Guyana Media and Communication Academy as a standalone entity.

Instead, she proposed that the resources be put into further strengthening the University of Guyana’s Centre for Communication Studies through which tertiary-level recognised credits can be awarded.

“We support the intent of continuous training and the GPA stands ready and willing to endorse and provide such training through the established and accredited University of Guyana,” she said.

The Academy was conceptualised as a needed intervention that could help to upskill and further professionalise the local industry for the rapidly transforming socio-economic landscape, with media and communication practitioners across the public and private spectrum being provided the opportunity to gain world-class competencies and certifications, as part of the government’s national retooling efforts.

Importantly, the Academy is expected to fill the existing void with regards to professional skill-based accreditation for local industry players, as registrants will be able to attain the professional status of ‘Accredited’, ‘Specialist’ or ‘Expert’ Practitioners; based on successful completion of prescribed courses for the various study streams under the Academy’s ‘Continuous Media Education’-CMED Platform.

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