UG must be de-politicized

Dear Editor,

There is no doubt that Mr Frederick Kissoon has done the bulk of the work in exposing the corruption of the ruling PPP in Guyana. Equally important he has shown unequivocally that UG lacks the basic infrastructure and capabilities to be a valuable tertiary educational institution that can lead Guyana in the age of science and technology.

UG is a political football for the two main political parties, PPP and PNC, which the PPP now controls. Mr Kissoon’s criticisms have drawn attacks from the PPP, the media outlets controlled by the PPP and curiously now from even his own publisher. The PPP is boldly attempting to remove their main critic, Mr Kissoon, as the PNC did with Dr W Rodney. This is the gravity of the situation.

At no time, in the past, did Mr Kissoon receive support from the UG administration and academics even when he outlined all the damage done to the university during the tenure of a former Vice-Chancellor of UG, Dr James Rose.

In fact, there was strong support from the deans and academics (including PNC parliamentarians) for the former Vice-Chancellor of UG.

The surprising awakening of the UG administrative and academic communities alike in calling for the rescinding of the termination (and rightfully so) of Mr Frederick Kissoon may well be because that the next person to suffer political firing is Mr Vincent Alexander, the former PNC executive.

He has been totally silent during the decline of UG under Dr Rose when his public mandate was to advocate the interests of women and youths.

The PPP and PNC have both always used ‘race’ to access power and in the case of UG bare-faced enough to neglect education for each successive generation of Guyanese regardless of ‘race.’ It is mainly children of the Guyanese working class who attend UG and have to pay for this destructive governance with declining education standards and facilities. (Dr S Beharry had written two letters in the local dailies appealing to Mr Alexander to act on behalf of the students.)

How will students view UG administrators and academics who were silent during the demise of UG under a former Vice-Chancellor but now have suddenly become supportive of Mr Kissoon whom they view with trepidation for exposing the poor treatment of students?

Will some students see the administration and academic support as another farcical move? What did the last Vice-Chancellor do that has improved the university’s status?

It was without labs and facilities before and it is still without anything. Will the university be used for more entrapment propaganda from the PPP’s LCDS act to follow? Is the administration laying the groundwork for the PPP’s LCDS at the students’ expense for infrastructural development and lab facilities?

Will they (PPP and PNC) want total changes in the university that will displace them from this comfortable political arrangement of privileges? These are only some of the players.

It seems that Mr Vincent Alexander’s pending termination more than all the work in exposing the PPP by Mr Kissoon has sparked the surprise awakening of some in the UG administration calling (rightfully so) for reinstating Mr Kissoon.

If each successive generation of students is being totally incapacitated by both the PPP and the ever silent PNC then they should make it clear that this cannot be tolerated any further. Instead of looking after their own plight it seems that this youth movement is disinterested in their own affairs but will march at length to have the candidate for Speaker position in parliament.

The students at UG and country-wide (independent of the administration and academics at UG) must call for an end to the political harassment and for the reinstatement of Mr Kissoon at UG as a lecturer, as well as for the total de-politicization of UG and the removal of Dr Prem Misir from the University Council.

In addition, youths must advocate the full reinstatement of Crichlow Labour College as an educational institution.  The students must make their own demands for a total change and total de-politicization of education be it at UG or elsewhere in the country.

This is the crystallization of the situation –it is now or maybe never.

Any demands short of this, are, as they say “same old – same old story” and all of Mr Kissoon’s exposures of the PPP dictatorial enforcements would be in vain.

Yours faithfully,
Anand Daljeet

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