THERE are few in Guyana who fail to recognise that life in Guyana is getting better. True enough, there has not been as yet any dramatic improvement in the standard of living of the Guyanese people, but who can, with a straight face, deny the fact that life for the average Guyanese is getting better and better with each passing day.
This fact of the rising tide of prosperity, even though not spectacular, is being felt by all segments and strata of the population. Only recently, a decision was taken by the PPP/C Administration to place all sweepers and cleaners of the public schools in Guyana on the monthly payroll with a salary no less than the current minimum wage in the public sector. This is indeed a welcome development and even though belated speaks volumes to the pro-people and pro-working class orientation of the PPP/C administration.
But there is more good news. According to Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, the government is now in the process of engaging the Council of Legal Education (CLE) with a view to establishing a law school in the country. Again, this is an overdue but welcome development especially coming at a time when the country is experiencing a process of modernisation and change. The dialectics of growth and development makes it all the more imperative for the supporting infrastructure to be in place including the legal infrastructure. Business and investments require a strong, predictable and rules-based environment to allow for investor-confidence and security.
In the case of the establishment of a law school in Guyana, there are a number of other benefits that can accrue to the country. Apart from the agonising wait some Guyanese students experience to further their professional dream of becoming an Attorney-at-Law due to limited places at the Hugh Wooding and the Norman Manley Law Schools, the fees can be prohibitive not to mention the high cost of air travel and boarding and lodging.
This initiative to have a law school in Guyana is consistent with the PPP/C Administration’s commitment to promote Guyana as an education hub not only within the country but in the region as a whole. The school is expected to attract students from across the region and beyond.
Credit for the establishment of the law school in Guyana must be given to the Ministry of Legal Affairs for the robust engagements with the CLE after several failed attempts by the previous APNU+AFC administration. Based on a proposal submitted by Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, the Guyana Government will provide the land and buildings based on the criteria and specifications set by the Council. The management and administration of the school will, however, remain in the hands of the CLE which will allow for consistency and uniformity in terms of quality assurance and accreditation.
This is indeed a forward-looking step by President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali and the PPP/C Administration. Guyana is certainly going places and the establishment of a law school in Guyana will certainly raise the regional and international profile of the country as an off-shore education destination. Scores of people from all across the world are already taking advantage of the relatively inexpensive course offerings at the University of Guyana and other accredited tertiary institutions in the country, especially in the fields of medicine and nursing. The establishment of the law school will be a welcome addition to the menu of course offerings in Guyana which will be a major boost to the new and dynamic skill-sets of a modern economy.
The whole of Guyana, indeed the region, benefits when there are investments in human capital. The PPP/C Administration has demonstrated that when it comes to education, no cost is considered too high. This is indeed the pathway to sustainable development for which the PPP/C Administration must be applauded.