Social services professionals graduate from Lesley University


After completing two years of rigorous postgraduate studies at Lesley University in the USA, 13 local school welfare officers, guidance counsellors and social workers graduated on Saturday with Master of Arts Degrees in Counselling and Psychology, Expressive Therapies and Mindfulness Studies.

The graduates are Oslyn Crawford, Juanita Cameron, Anand Sharma, Latoya Hillman, Pricilla Gonsalves, Vickchand Ramphal, Sewpaul Persaud, Stephen Bactawar, Onika Pearson, Sharon Dyall, Kaycina Jardine, Haimraj Hamandeo, and Azharuddin Zahaur, the Education ministry said in a press release. They are from the Education, Labour, Human Services and Social Security ministries respectively.

The students expressed gratitude to the government and United Nations Children’s Fund for affording them the opportunity to study at the Cambridge, Massachusetts university. They also pledged to use their newly acquired knowledge to do their jobs more effectively and make a more meaningful impact on children’s lives.

Sharon Dyall, a Senior Guidance and Counselling Officer in the Education Ministry in Region Three, said she plans to use her newly acquired knowledge to increase her “efficiency and effectiveness in trauma sensitive assessment, intervention and counselling techniques to address issues such as depression, domestic violence, suicide, learning and behavioural problems.”

The graduates with Education Minister Priya Manickchand (fifth from right in front row) and university officials. (Ministry of Education photo)
The graduates with Education Minister Priya Manickchand (fifth from right in front row) and university officials. (Ministry of Education photo)

“My experience as a student at Lesley University is one that has had a tremendous impact on my total life. The courses were all interconnected and interrelated and served as an excellent means for social work professionals. Whether the course was Power, Privilege & Oppression, Ways of Knowing, Expressive Arts as Therapy, the hands on experience made it easier to relate to clients and their situation and apply an intervention from a point of knowledge and experience, graduate Oslyn Crawford said.

Kaycina Jardine praised the professors’ patience during her course of study. She too pledged to use her newly acquired knowledge and skills acquired to make a meaningful contribution in the areas of student welfare and counselling.

“Apart from increasing my knowledge base in the areas of counseling and psychology, the experience at the Lesley University was very inspiring and fulfilling, Juanita Cameron said. “As a social services provider, I feel better equipped to handle mental health disorders.”

Over the past 10 years the education ministry recognised the increasing need for a wide range of social services and expanded the support services offered to students. It recruited an unprecedented number of school welfare officers and guidance counsellors and installed them within the sector countrywide. Further, recognizing the dearth of specialized postgraduate training available to these professionals at the University of Guyana, the ministry established a partnership with Lesley University – which is internationally renowned for its wide-ranging courses in the area of social work – to facilitate some of its leading social work professionals obtaining advanced level training in this field.

According to the ministry, after intense discussions Lesley University designed the programme especially for the Guyana situation, with specific focus on the areas of counselling and psychology, expressive therapies and mindfulness studies. To qualify for the programme, the participants needed to have a degree in social work, education or a related field and had been delivering support services to students and teachers in the education system or children who were being served by the Childcare and Protection Agency. Prospective candidates also had to write a persuasive essay justifying their eligibility for the programme.

The ministry extended congratulations to the graduates.


The graduates with Education Minister Priya Manickchand (fifth from right in front row) and university officials. (Ministry of Education photo)

Latest in Local News

default placeholder

Crane man shot after chopping wife, child to death

A man this morning chopped his wife and two-year-old child to death at Crane, West Coast Demerara and wounded his mother.

default placeholder

Brian Tiwarie blasts Ramotar administration over specialty hospital project

Businessman Brian Tiwarie yesterday rejected claims that his company had taken possession of containers belonging to the fired Specialty Hospital contractor and he accused the Donald Ramotar administration of grossly mismanaging the project.

The Kato school

Multimillion-dollar Kato school unsafe for children

The Kato Secondary School, which was constructed at a cost over hundreds of millions of dollars, remains unoccupied because it is not safe for children, Minister of State Joseph Harmon said yesterday.

default placeholder

Repairs underway to shifting Hope Canal bridge

There is a major structural fault with the $350m bridge constructed across the Hope Canal,  East Coast Demerara, according to Minister of State Joseph Harmon, who yesterday said the structure has repeatedly shifted away from the road.

default placeholder

National Assembly approves $800m in supplementary spending

After hours of deliberations, the National Assembly last night approved almost $800 million in extra-budgetary spending including on 6000 solar panels to “green” State House and an army exercise aimed at testing the preparedness of the Guyana Defence Force which was done last year.

default placeholder

Brian Tiwarie planning to establish newspaper

Prominent businessman and owner of BK International, Brian Tiwarie, is planning to open his own newspaper company here and has started the process.

default placeholder

Probe underway into stealth flights from Ogle

An inquiry has been launched into the circumstances surrounding how two planes left Guyana illegally from the Eugene F Correia International Airport (EFCIA) last Saturday, Minister of State Joseph Harmon said yesterday.

default placeholder

Finance Minister says unsure of UG ‘emergency’ funding needs

Minister of Finance Winston Jordan has said that he is unsure of the ‘emergency’ funding the University of Guyana needs to reputedly prevent a collapse of the  institution.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: