The Guyana Geology and Mines Com-mission (GGMC) through the Ministry of Natural Resources has awarded a grant for a total of $100 million to the University of Guyana (UG) for the Faculty of Technology, supporting programmes, research and scholarships.
Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman, who engineered the grant, and UG Vice-Chancellor Prof. Ivelaw Griffith signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the grant, described as one of the biggest the university has received, at the latter’s office yesterday.
According to Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Paloma Mohamed-Martin, the grant was negotiated over an 11-month period as the GGMC had to satisfy certain conditions under its Act in order for the money to be disbursed.
A cheque for $45 million was handed over by the minister and Mohamed-Martin explained that the remaining $55 million would be used to purchase needed equipment and supplies for the Faculty of Technology.
Another $15 million will go towards training and scholarships at the institution and $16 million will go towards the improvement of classrooms and teaching facilities for allied and supporting programmes in the faculties of Health Sciences, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Agriculture, the Institute of Distance and Continuing Education (IDCE) and the Tain Campus in Berbice.
Funding will also be channeled towards supporting the School of Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation programmes, with an emphasis on the natural resources sector and to support research, curriculum review and development processes, marketing, media and stakeholder consultations.
UG yesterday said that the GGMC has been a longstanding partner of the faculties of Technology, and Earth and Environmental Sciences. In particular, the Geology Department, to which the commission has granted significant sums in the past, has been the main beneficiary.
The new MoU provides for the design and execution of geology, mining engineering and geological engineering programmes; re-tooling and equipping of the geological laboratory to the tune of $55M; curriculum design and enhancement, and provision of laboratory services to the mining sector; collaboration with other government agencies or private entities on areas of common interest for the purpose of participation in research projects for various areas, particularly in the geology, mining engineering and geological engineering programmes; collaboration on students’ internship attachments with GGMC; sharing technical publications based on assignments of the programmes done by scholars of GMMC; and collaboration on annual renewal of the agreement.
In brief remarks at the signing, GGMC Commissioner Newell Dennison said the commission will continue to support UG as it would like to see a university grounded in research and scholarships. He said while Minister Trotman had promised the support, it was for the commission to figure out how this could be provided for.
Trotman, on the other hand, pointed out that by supporting the university, the ministry is investing in youths, who are the future. He described the new MoU as the basis for a renewed and enhanced relationship between GGMC and the university and added that it is also a testimony of their pride in the institution and the fact that it is in good hands.
The minister also noted that while Guyana is going to soon be an oil producing state, the other pillars of the economy, such as gold and diamond mining, should not be forgotten.