A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed yesterday between the Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Professor Ivelaw Griffith, for the upgrade of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) platforms on all University of Guyana (UG) Campuses.
During the signing which was held in the Vice Chancellery Building, on the Turkeyen Campus, Professor Griffith who expressed his elation and gratitude to those in attendance, described the signing as “symbolic” while adding that it is a substantive demonstration on what the university intends on doing over time. Speaking briefly on the agreement which was signed by the minister and himself, Griffith noted that it is a combination between process and product. “…It talks about things we will do ‘process wise’ to enhance the relationship between the two entities, all to the benefit of the students and staff, all to the benefit to Guyana at large,” Griffith said. The professor added that an upgrade in the internet service on the campus will enable education and research to be carried out in the way it should be done in every international university.
Hughes who also spoke during the signing, opined that their goal is to better equip the university to provide broadband and internet access to all on campus. She also informed that in the past two months, her team has had a progressive and hands-on relationship with UG in trying to attain such goals, as set out by her ministry. The team has conducted a detailed assessment of the existing fibre optic system on the three campuses so as to ascertain how they could be connected as a network.
The minister who reminded those of the struggle of poor internet access on campus, explained that they have been able to use their eGovernment network to create a wireless fibre optic ring to connect UG to the eGovernment’s network. Hughes noted that in time, they will equip all lecture theatres and some of the hot spots around the campus with internet access, and in places wherever students are gathered. “Our focus is ensuring that many locations within the university have wireless internet access at a level that facilitates proper productivity and expansion,” Hughes said.
The minister also added that the ministry plans to do much more, as there are plans to set up an interconnection between the Turkeyen Campus and the Tain and John Campuses in Berbice, which she said, will facilitate video conferencing in real time. Hughes said that it will really be an incredible time for learning.
“We want to make sure that we are investing as much as possible, and dealing with some of the challenges that we know the University of Guyana faces,” the minister said. Apart from the signing of the MoU, Minister Hughes also handed over 20 laptops to the vice-chancellor, who received the donation on behalf of the university’s lecturers. “We are committed to ensuring that Guyana ups the ante when it comes to the use of ICT in the way we do things, in the way we provide services, and the focus on UG just highlights the commitment,” the minister noted.