UG looks to STEAM to redress short comings in human capital

17th July, 2017 0 comments

Later this month the University of Guyana(UG) will undertake a Science, Technology, Engineering Arts and Math (STEAM) project to redress shortcomings in these areas.

Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Ivelaw Griffith, told the Department of Public Information (DPI) in a recent one and one interview, that this new initiative seeks to address the institution’s “human capital deficit”.

“So it’s a journey we’ve begun for some degree programmes to look at what we might need. That is something that the Technology Faculty will be doing,” Professor Griffith told DPI.

The University has begun to “take a hard look” at the gaps in the need for human capital at the institution Professor Griffith said.

The need to strengthen its human capital is even more necessary for the University as it is looked upon to help build capacity for the country’s new oil and gas sector.     “University of Guyana’s capacity to do what that industry requires takes significant investment overtime,” Professor Griffith pointed out.

The country’s highest educational institution has received assistance in this regard from the Ministry of Natural Resources. The Ministry has pledged $100M over the next three years to the University.

The funding is to strengthen the University’s human and enhance physical facilities of the Technology Faculty which churns out graduates who work in the extractive industries.

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Meet the man behind the 'Google of Guyana'

16th July, 2017 0 comments

When Triston Thompson and his cousin decided to launch information technology company IntellectStorm in 2014, they knew they would have an uphill battle.

“IT is not something that is adopted that much in Guyana,” the 20-year-old explained. “Businesses are still stuck in their old way of doing things.”

Thompson wanted to help bring his country into the 21st century. He had studied computer science and graduated cum laude from the University of Guyana. Through IntellectStorm, he wants to show people how the internet can be used as a tool to engage customers and build relationships.

Thompson calls one of his company’s products the “Google of Guyana.” This mobile app, called, is a resource on “everything Guyana,” from current news and upcoming events to businesses, restaurants and public services. was recognized by the Guyanan government as the official application of the 50th anniversary of Guyana’s independence and took first place at the PitchIT Caribbean Challenge in Jamaica.


Connecting with others

A challenge for Thompson was figuring out how to get the word out about his company.

“It’s difficult in Guyana to come into the entrepreneurial ecosystem and just sell yourself alone,” said Thompson, who grew up in a village called Melanie Damishana, about 17 kilometers from Guyana’s capital of Georgetown. You have to expand your network and get people to “know you and what you can do.”

Participating in a Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative pilot program helped him do just that. Thompson received valuable feedback on his ideas, and encouragement — “one of the most helpful things” about his YLAI experience. Since then, he has expanded his professional network and collaborated with another YLAI fellow on an IT application.

Thompson is optimistic that more IT solutions will catch on in Guyana and that IntellectStorm will become one of the top Guyanan tech companies. What’s next? More connections and stronger relationships with other entrepreneurs and businesspeople. “Even people in government can be good connections to build,” he adds. “You never know who could be the key to your progress.”

Connecting with other entrepreneurs has helped Thompson stay positive and focused on his venture, especially during the first year when funds were tight. “Being part of a community of entrepreneurs helps you to realize that you’re not alone, that your problems are not unique,” he said.

His advice to other entrepreneurs? “Surround yourself with positive people who will build you up and not tear you down.”

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UG's Tain and Turkeyen's capacity boosted with commissioning of Teleconferencing Platform

6th June, 2017 0 comments

University of Guyana Tain and Turkeyen’s students will now be able to access local and international classes from their respective locations. This was revealed today when the University of Guyana officially launched its Teleconferencing Platform at the Centre for Information Technology (CIT), Turkeyen Campus.

The commissioning featured a live demonstration of the Teleconferencing Suite’s capabilities with the participation of students on the Berbice Tain campus. It was explained that prospective students especially from Region Six, East Berbice Corentyne will now be able to access courses that are unavailable at the Tain campus but are at the Turkeyen campus without leaving their classrooms.

Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes said that the agreement between the Ministry and University is to ensure that there is more connectivity on the campuses and also to enhance education countrywide.

She explained that with the use of technology, distant locations are able to connect which makes it easier for students, teachers and lecturers. “This teleconferencing suite is one more step in the march of creating a higher level of digital connectivity for all citizens of Guyana”, Minister Hughes emphasised. She noted that there “is no time to pause” when the government moving to make Guyana a digital country.

Minister Hughes said that her Ministry recognised that technology around the world is changing rapidly and even though Guyana is behind, the prospect of “catching up” is exciting.” She expressed gratitude to Huawei Technologies, the University of Guyana, and E- Government Agency for “their tireless efforts in making the Teleconferencing Platform a reality.”

Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Professor Ivelaw Griffith said that this commissioning of the Teleconference suite is the result of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the University and the Ministry of Telecommunications. He stated that the Teleconferencing is “the renewing of vows” between the relevant agencies for greater cooperation.

The Vice Chancellor added that it is the memorandum of understanding  which will enable the presence of the University in a number of locations. He also expressed gratitude to the relevant agencies for their co-operation in bringing the initiative to light.

The teleconferencing suite is a 2013 gift from Huawei Technologies which was installed on the University’s Turkeyen Campus recently as part of the agreement for Technical Cooperation between the University and the National Data Management Authority (NDMA) of the Ministry of Public Telecommunications.

The NDMA first had to reconfigure the suite to the new fibre optic network connectivity requirements on campus before the teleconferencing was made possible.

In April, 2017 Minister of Public Telecommunications Catherine Hughes and University of Guyana’s (UG), Principal and Vice Chancellor Professor Dr. Ivelaw Griffith signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to boost the Information Communication Technology (ICT) platforms at the Turkeyen campus, in keeping with one of the major goals of the Ministry of Public Telecommunications to better equip UG to provide broad band internet access to students and lecturers.

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UG, Gov’t to sign MoU to upgrade internet at UG campuses

18th April, 2017 0 comments

The National Data Management Authority (NDMA) of the Ministry of Public Telecommunications and the University of Guyana will soon co-sign a vital agreement to significantly upgrade the internet and other ICT platforms on all University of Guyana campuses and Centres around the country.

This collaboration which began in late 2016 involved highest level negotiations between Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes, and Vice Chancellor, Professor Dr. Ivelaw Griffith.

According to a release from the Ministry, the University’s technical team was led by Professor Paloma Mohamed-Martin, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Philantrophy, Alumni and Civic Engagement and Communications; Dr. Fitzgerald Yaw, Director of the Office of Strategic Initiatives; and Rayman Khan of the Centre for Information Technology.  The NDMA’s technical team was led by its Chairman Floyd Levi and included Dr. Samantha Scotland and Director Malcolm Williams.

“Two teams have been collaborating over the past few months and together they conducted a detailed assessment of the existing fibre optic system on the Turkeyen, Tain and John’s campuses to determine what additional facilities would be required to connect them as a network.  The collaboration has also produced a campus Wi-fi hotspot system and saw the installation of two state-of-the-art Teleconferencing Suites at Turkeyen and Tain. These will be used in online delivery of courses between the campuses in Guyana and with international institutions.  The campus fibre network will also be connected to the Georgetown fibre optic network,” the release noted.

At the signing, the university is expected to demonstrate the uses of the Teleconferencing Suite, a gift from Huawei Technologies of China which the NDMA has reconfigured for compatibility with the local fibre network.  The collaboration between the University and NDMA also includes some key synergies at the Ministry’s Centre of Excellence in Information Technology (CEIT) which is located on the Turkeyen Campus.  The parties have committed to sharing research, instructional skills and materials.  The CEIT is funded by the Government of India.

For the Ministry of Public Telecommunications, this is a key element in its national ICT initiative which has Education as its main pillar.  From the University’s platform, the administration is gearing to achieve optimal delivery of tertiary level tutelage by upgrading the physical and technological infrastructure and Guyana’s human capital.

The MOU is expected to be signed by Minister Catherine Hughes and Vice Chancellor Professor Dr. Ivelaw Griffith by the end of April 2017.

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