– say grateful for access to tertiary-level education in township
By Gabriella Chapman
A GROUP of Barticans are a step closer to achieving their Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from the Association of Business Executive (ABE) being offered in the township through the New Horizons Educational Centre.
A few days ago, this group of seven Barticans became the first batch of students to receive their certificates in Level 4 foundation in Business Management.
For decades, persons who wanted higher- level education had to migrate to Georgetown or overseas for that opportunity; now the people can boast the improvement as they now have ready access right in their hometown.
Rebecca Mohabir, a young Bartican who started the New Horizons Educational Centre, lobbied to have the business programme offered to her people. She told the Guyana Chronicle that due to her personal experience pursuing tertiary- level education, and having to move away from Bartica to do it, she’s aware of the challenges that persons may face.
“So I approached Nations University to work in partnership. And because ‘Nations’ already have their self, established with ABE, it was just basically setting up an extension of them under New Horizons, and they already have the same thing going on in other regions,” Mohabir said.
She explained that her centre initially started off as one that was offering CXC evening classes, but she decided to expand to include access to the tertiary level. And the classes are mainly on weekends, whereby the lecturers would come to Bartica, so it doesn’t interfere with persons’ work schedules.
The first batch who recently concluded Level 4 are now completing Level 5, after which they will be eligible to enrol in a 10-month programme with the University of Bedfordshire to complete the degree.
This publication spoke with some of these Barticans who are overjoyed with their new certificate of achievement, and the improvement they have already seen in their lives with the new knowledge gained.
Akeem Prowell said that doing the course enhanced his ability to get things done–business wise– in the organisation that he works for.
“It helped me [to] gain more knowledge on how to go about executing certain things, how to go about making targets, setting long and short-term goals based on numbers. It also opened some doors in the marketing aspect for me. It provided me with the tools needed to deal with staff, deal with problems within the organisation. There was a particular course, Employability and Self-development, which gave me a different view on how to judge myself and judge my ability, and find my weaknesses and strengths in order to perform at my best. I think the entire package being available to Bartica itself, it is more of a good to Bartica, because there are a lot of persons who can’t afford to venture into Georgetown to further their studies,” the young man said.
He also noted that at a time like this, tertiary education is very important. “The world is growing with a vast pace, even though we’re in a pandemic. Those persons who are not well equipped, come five years from now, or even less, will be left behind. With that programme in Bartica, it would put Bartica youths in a better position to better themselves, build a sturdy career and gain better employment in Bartica,” Prowell said.
Noleen Charles said that given everything that is happening now and the direction in which the country is going, persons need to have themselves qualified further than a high school certificate.
“With all the foreign companies that will soon be entering Guyana, in fact, that are already in Guyana; to make yourself more marketable, you need to qualify yourself. So I started this programme to get my degree. It’s been good, not only so that I can update my resume, and make myself marketable, but it helped to improve my staff skills generally. For me, there are a lot of things that you pick up along the way. Different management techniques, different ways in dealing with working situations that may arise. Ways of solving problems, all of that over the year helped me to improve my on-the-job performance,” Charles said.
She also said that before the programme was available in Bartica, she had travel to Georgetown every weekend for classes, which was very expensive.
A prominent, dynamic teacher in the town, Jermaine Joseph believes that this is a game- changer for the youths of Bartica.
“Tertiary- level education is something I always looked forward to in Bartica. I’ve always been advocating for it, because for persons like me who are looking to make a life here in Bartica, and we’re not desirous of going central Georgetown, it’s one we appreciate a whole lot. Having to move away from home to study, you have to change your whole life. I think it’s a welcoming venture for a lot of persons out of secondary school; a lot of times they don’t have anything positive to gravitate to after secondary school. So it’s very convenient and something good for them to look forward to,” Joseph said.
He also shared that the knowledge gained thus far has enhanced his new small-business venture.
Ameena Rahaman’s sentiments were no different, as she too believes that tertiary education is vital for the future of Bartica and its development.
“Tertiary level of education is becoming more and more vital to cope with the dynamic business environment that is moving at quite a fast pace when it comes to the world’s technological advancements. It is better to be tertiary-level educated to secure a better future to have a greater chance of being selected as the best fit for your ‘dream job.’ The knowledge I have gained so far being in Business Management with ABE, it is widely based upon how to apply theories, principles, tools and techniques, which can be used to properly manage a business operation, aiming to not only benefit the company financially but also to improve personal professional development,” the young woman said.
She noting further, “I consider myself as ‘lucky’ to be all the way in Bartica and gain access to a UK-based qualification. I must mention that ABE is essential to the people of Bartica since they provide a very convenient service that may help persons who do not have relatives living in Georgetown or a place to stay there. Also, this accessibility allows Barticans to save on travel costs to Georgetown. As an outcome, ABE being available on Bartica is like having a ‘gem’ at your own location which can increase the people’s growth and development in both knowledge and skills. Further, the ABE programme only gives the young people in Bartica the opportunity to focus more on education and move in the direction of success.”
Because of the COVID-19 epidemic and strict health guidelines, no formal graduation ceremony was held. However, four of the seven recipients of the certificate did a photoshoot to celebrate their achievement.
Mohabir said that an additional 30 students are awaiting results from their Level 4 examinations.