The 53rd graduation exercise at the Guyana School of Agriculture saw 113 students qualifying in various capacities. The ceremony was held on Wednesday August, 09, 2017 at the school’s Plant Science building in Mon Repos, East Coast, Demerara.
Students graduated with Diplomas in Agriculture, Animal Health and Veterinary Public Health; Certificates in Agriculture and Forestry.
The keynote address was delivered by Minister of Agriculture Noel Holder who encouraged the graduates to make differences in their respective spheres of influence.
“In the present day, there are many problems; unemployment, poverty, unnecessary deaths, etcetera. You can be the change in your life. This graduation tells you that you are ready to get into action. I urge you to assist in creating a Guyana which will be different. One that is safer, with less unemployment, less poverty, no global warming.” The Minister noted.
Minister Holder further pointed out that the power to make the difference lies in their hands since they have access to the world’s most advanced technology. He added that this power to access must be used for “grand purposes, not squander it away for silly purposes. Get ready to make the apparently impossible, possible.”
According to Minister Holder, the school has engaged the National Accreditation Council for higher standards to be met through the regulations. He noted that “several capital projects (fire protection and electrical rehabilitation) are geared towards providing a safe environment.”
On the note of introducing standards, a Policy on Agricultural Education as well as a Strategic Plan for the School can be expected. This will focus efforts on rationalizing the use of resources towards the achievement of stated goals. Minister Holder announced that the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)of the United Nations Office in Guyana has agreed to include the development of these two documents as part of its work programme in the 2018/2019 biennium.
Representative of the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), Dr. Cyril Roberts also a former GSA graduate, tasked with giving the charge to the graduates said, “As you commence your activities in the world of work, I would encourage you to learn as much as you can about the position and the role that you are supposed to be playing, Understand Agriculture, like cricket, is a team sport so you must learn how your role interacts with other roles for the team to go on and win.”
Most of the graduates will now be able to find employment at government agencies such as the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), the Guyana livestock Development Board (GLDA) and other agencies undertaking agricultural related work.
Others will become self-employed and even go into farming of crops and rearing of livestock. Even as Technicians and Associate Professionals Minister Holder told the graduates that each now has the opportunity to be the generation that will bring an end to world hunger, contribute to food security, alleviate malnutrition, and help the agriculture sector adapt to climate change.
The Chairman of the GSA board of Directors, Dr. Thomas Richmond, in his remarks outlined a number of recommendations that have been compiled by the board for the improvement of school’s day to day operations and management.
Among these recommendations was proposed rental of the school’s auditorium and sale of produce by the school which can garner income for the school’s administration. This in turn can bring subsidisation to the fees required for attendance.
The best overall graduating students for each of the programmes offered are as follows:
- Diploma in Agriculture – Nafira Mokhan (Mon Repos campus)
Munishwar Rampersaud (Essequibo campus)
- Certificate in Agriculture – Nadeen DeJonge
- Diploma in Animal Health and Vetrinary Public Health – Meghan DeSantos
- Certificate in Forestry – Delon Peneux (Mon Repos campus)
Mitchell Vieira (Essequibo campus)