Guyana losing much-needed land surveyors; President Ali promises scholarships
Land surveyors are in high demand because of the ongoing construction boom but Guyana is losing those much-needed skilled workers due to limited higher education opportunities – an issue President Dr. Irfaan Ali has committed to addressing.
This issue was highlighted by Commissioner of the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission (GL&SC) Enrique Monize on Wednesday at the swearing-in ceremony of five land surveyors.
“Many of our surveyors have moved on because of the lack of higher education options,” the Commissioner lamented at the ceremony hosted at the State House in Georgetown.
Land surveyors are trained in-country at the Government Technical Institute (GTI). The newly sworn-in surveyors are Elijah Persaud, Royston Washington, Tedwin Roach, Mark Nicholson and Terron Roberts.
According to Monize, land surveyors interested in advancing their surveying education usually travel aboard. He, however, acknowledged that the government’s GOAL scholarship programme includes at least one programme for land surveyors.
But some of the surveyors, Monize said, pursue further studies in geology, geography, engineering or public management.
Because of Guyana’s ongoing construction boom and the government’s plans for the physical transformation of the country, Monizie underscored that surveyors are all the more crucial.
“We have seen a phenomenal increase in development projects
“…land surveyors are usually the first person on the land as they are responsible for providing the cadastral, topographic and other studies for the execution of projects,” he underscored.
But there is another challenge.
The Commissioner also said that there is a limited number of surveyors in the country. In fact, of the 75 land surveyors listed at the GL&SC, the Commissioner estimated that only about 40 to 50 personnel are active.
Comparatively, in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), an island much smaller than Guyana, he said that there are 160 registered land surveyors.
With the evident challenges, Monize lobbied the government for sponsorship opportunities that would allow local surveyors to pursue higher educational opportunities.
And almost immediately, President Ali committed the government’s support to the country’s land surveyors.
“We will set aside annually a number of scholarships that will suit your field,” President Ali told the gathering.
The President also stressed that the work of the land surveyors is crucial to Guyana’s construction boom, and in providing trustworthy services to Guyanese.