-biggest commitment by company to any agency
A $60 million MoU signed yesterday between UG and GT&T will fund capital works, the provision of two Mbs of dedicated bandwidth, retooling and refurbishing of the computer laboratory, and several other projects over a three-year period.
During the signing ceremony, which took place in the Education Lecture Theatre (ELT) of the University of Guyana (UG), Radha Krishna Sharma, CEO of Guyana Telephone & Telegraph Company (GT&T), said that $20 million will be released to the university annually each year until 2017.
He noted that the agreement represents the highest dollar-value commitment the company has made to any agency, adding that the contribution stemmed from the company’s belief that supporting UG, Guyana’s premier educational institution, should be priority as “such support will benefit a wide cross-section of students.”
The contribution will facilitate several subcontracts, including the delivery of two Mbs of dedicated internet bandwidth to the Centre for Information Technology (CIT) at the university at an overall cost of $1.2 million monthly. This endeavour in particular will be welcomed at the university as staff and students who rely on the CIT have and continue to complain about slow internet speeds.
Sharma also said that $4.4 million will facilitate capital works deemed necessary by the university.
Meanwhile, 57 of the CIT’s computers will be retooled and refurbished as the university looks to improve the performance of the units. Again, students and staff have complained about the many inconveniences encountered when utilising CIT’s computers, many of which are dated. Ten million dollars of the sum is set aside for this undertaking. These works are expected to commence immediately, Sharma said, further stating that the laboratory will be re-commissioned at the commencement of the coming academic year.
GT&T, Sharma said, also plans to provide additional routers and access points with the intention of enhancing the delivery and distribution of the improved bandwidth, while providing UG’s administrative staff with closed user group service packages to increase savings, thereby offering greater value for money. The funds also contain amounts to finance the work study/internship arrangement UG enjoys with the telephone company.
GT&T was instrumental in setting up the CIT’s laboratory. According to Sharma, GT&T equipped the facility with 57 Dell Pentium 4 computers and other items when it opened in 2004. Together, the investment amounted to $10 million. “The company also provided high-speed internet access to the laboratory. We also facilitated and continue to provide the technical requirements to host the university GY domain,” Sharma said yesterday.
Also, for several years, GT&T has been partnering with UG to provide scholarships to five persons annually for persons to study in the field of technology and natural sciences.
“Education is pivotal to moulding the minds of young people and (to) develop the intellect and academic skills to pave the way for entry into the work force and a better quality of life. In this regard, the UG is uniquely positioned to make a contribution that is a life changing experience for young people,” Sharma said.