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Guyana establishes Core Group for improving higher education standards

Executive Director of the Caribbean Area Network for Quality Assurance in Tertiary Education (CANQATE), Michael Bradshaw delivering the installation address for the Guyana Core Group. The group members are (left to right), Coordinator, Vincent Alexander; Administrator, Natasha Singh-Lewis; Communications Coordinator, Len Singh; Programme Coordinator, Grace Alleyne; Mobilisation Coordinator, Yvette Irving; Outreach Coordinator, Daniella King and Executive Member, Wazir Baksh.

Guyana on Tuesday formally established a local chapter of a Caribbean-wide network that seeks to harmonize the quality and standards of tertiary education as far as possible.

Delivering remarks to install the first seven-member core group, Executive Director of the Caribbean Area Network for Quality Assurance in Tertiary Education (CANQATE), Michael Bradshaw said the local body would be expected to work along with that regional organisation and the National Accreditation Council towards achieving a common standard for higher education.

Bradshaw said doing so would be very important given the Free Movement of Skilled Nationals regime of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) for work and further studies. “It is important that we have bodies like this core group supporting the National Accrediting System  so that we can have similarities or comparabilities in our higher education qualifications in the Caribbean and even beyond,” he said.

Heading the seven-member elected core group is Country Coordinator, Vincent Alexander. Other member are Administrator, Natasha Singh-Lewis; Communications Coordinator, Len Singh; Programme Coordinator, Grace Alleyne; Mobilisation Coordinator, Yvette Irving; Outreach Coordinator, Daniella King and Executive Member, Wazir Baksh.

Alexander, in brief remarks,announced that the executive would soon put together a work programme for the next year.  The then interim group had previously held a workshop and conducted an assessment. “We are in a sense well on our way. We recognise that there is much more work to be done and in very short order the executive will get together to put in place a work programme for the year 2015 to 2016,” he said. He acknowledged that the Guyana Core Group needed to do more outreach and have regional representation.

The elections were held at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) after participants hammered out a constitution for the Guyana Core Group.

The Guyana Core Group is tasked with expressing the collective views of its members on matters related to quality secondary and tertiary education. These include providing advice and expertise to assist related existing and emerging bodies, collaborating with other quality assurance networks, developing a cadre of professionals and encouraging and professional research.

Guyana has been invited to attend the 12th CANQATE Conference in St. Kitts from October 2 to 9, 2015. The local core group was encouraged to submit nominations for posts on the regional body.

Bradshaw stressed the importance of the proper keeping of administrative and financial records, efficient leadership, mobilization and organisation.

CANQATEwas established in 2004 as a sub-network of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education(INQAAHE).