PPP University of Guyana council members caught lying about the firing of lecturers
UG Students Society President denies voting against Freddie Kissoon
Written by Demerara Waves
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 19:30
The President of the University of Guyana Students Society, Duane Edwards on Wednesday bluntly denied that he supported the termination of Political Science Lecturer, Freddie Kissoon’s contract.
Four Council members, who represent the Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPPC), have said that none of the 14 council members supported Kissoon’s retention.
But in a statement, Edwards called the claim by Indra Chandrapal, Nirmal Rekha, Gail Teixeira and Bibi Shadick “absurd” and almost false and mischievous.
“I now conclude by saying categorically that I argued for the retention of Mr. Kissoon based on the interest of the constituency I represent,” said Edwards.
Kissoon’s contract termination, the payment of three months salary in lieu as well as no offer of future employment is being used a launching pad by workers and students organisations on the Turkeyen campus to press for a number of demands. They include hygienic conditions, no political interference, improved laboratories and the hiring rather than the firing of competent lecturers.
Daily lunchtime protests and marches are being held on the campus and the organisations- University of Guyana Workers Union, Senior Staff Association and the Workers Union plan to escalate ‘Operation Rescue UG’ into a strike in another 72 hours if no action is taken.
Following is the full text of the statement by the President of the Students Society.
Recently four PPP/C UG Council members have seen it necessary to speak publicly about what transpired at the last Council meeting. In relation to my participation in the process as the representative of the UGSS, the press release is promoting as an ‘incontrovertible truth’ what in fact borders on gross misrepresentation of facts that smacks of mischief-making. Apart from coming close to falsity and mischievousness, the press release which claims that ‘not one single member of the 14 council members present at that meeting, including the [University of Guyana Students Society]… supported [Mr. Kissoon’s] retention’ is a reduction to absurdity of what exactly transpired at the meeting. It is inconceivable that in less than two weeks before the beginning of the second semester that the academic staff and I would be party to a decision the consequences of which could be inconveniencing to students and burdensome to the faculty. When the version of the unfolding of the Council meeting presented by the press release is juxtaposed with the fact that the matter had to be transferred from the Appointments Committee, a body dominated by academics, in order to secure the intended outcome then the claim that no academic staff supported Kissoon’s retention becomes even more absurd.
I wish to further state that my voice was among those voices of reason that highlighted the totally irrational and inconsiderate nature of terminating a contract in the middle of the academic year.
Representing the interest of the students, I pointed out to the Council members the extant situation as it relates to the shortages of lecturers for key courses and the fact that lecturers are expected to fetch extra courses to make up for these shortages which consequently result in reduced quality instruction and engagement and lack of program preparation.
I now conclude by saying categorically that I argued for the retention of Mr. Kissoon based on the interest of the constituency I represent.