New UG teleconferencing suite to widen access to education

University of Guyana (UG) students will now be able to access local and international courses without having to leave either the Turkeyen or Tain campuses due to the institution’s new teleconferencing platform.

The teleconferencing suite, which was a gift from Chinese company Huawei Technologies to the Government of Guyana in 2013, was set up and commissioned yesterday by the Ministry of Public Telecommunications and UG at the Centre for Information Technology.

Minister of Public Telecommunications Catherine Hughes (right) cutting the ribbon at the commissioning of UG’s new Teleconferencing Platform with Vice Chancellor Ivelaw Griffith (second, right), Dr Paloma Mohamed and Head of the e-Government Unit Floyd Levi.

During the commissioning of the suite, which featured a live conferencing demonstration between the Turkeyen and Tain campuses, it was explained that local and international courses can now be accessed over the video conferencing platform, which will significantly benefit students.

According to Minister of Public Telecommunications Cathy Hughes, the initiative represents another step in the march towards creating a higher level of connectivity among all citizens. She said technology all over the world is changing rapidly and Guyana has been far behind but the ministry is excited at the prospect of “catching up.” “With the use of technology we recognize that we can connect distant locations which makes it easy…,” Hughes said, while adding that she was hopeful that as UG expands, there will be similar equipment on other campuses and other learning institutions.

Meanwhile, UG Vice Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Griffith, who expressed his gratitude to the ministry for the equipment, noted that the new platform was birthed through a Memorandum of Understanding that was signed between UG and the Ministry in April to upgrade Information and Communications Techno-logy (ICT) platforms on all UG campuses.

According to Hughes, the ministry, through the e-Government Unit, has connected 84 schools and 20 educational institutions, including the Guyana School of Agriculture and the Cyril Potter College of Education. She added that it has also created and connected 56 ICT hubs in a number of communities across Guyana.

Hughes said the National Data Management Authority of the Ministry of Public Telecommunications had to reconfigure the teleconferencing suite to the new fibre optic network connectivity requirements on the campuses before it could be activated for use.

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