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NAC workshop emphasises quality assurance in higher education

QUALITY control plays a vital role in higher education to ensure that academic institutions offer programmes that meet both national and international standards.

Dr Marcel Hutson, Executive Director of The National Accreditation Council (NAC), highlighted this during a capacity-building workshop at the National Centre of Educational Resources Development (NCERD), Kingston, Georgetown, on Wednesday.

The workshop sought to further highlight the importance of the council in Guyana’s trajectory of national development, as it continues to establish and uphold quality assurance in all post-secondary and tertiary-education services through adherence to the necessary standards, both locally and globally.

And to maintain the calibre and reputation of higher education in Guyana, NAC is in charge of examining, recognising, registering, and accrediting educational institutions.

Dr Hutson said the NAC continues to exist as an important component in Guyana’s national developmental trajectory, while highlighting its responsibility for the revitalisation of higher education and to bring it on par with internationally acceptable quality standards.

Chairman of the NAC, Mohandatt Goolsarran

“If we are talking about real development and progress, then what we do at the council is most significant…we have to think holistically if we are going to be relevant…we want the message to be clear that while we have a responsibility to ensure that those who we allow into the labour force are of quality, we also have the responsibility of ensuring that we do the kind of groundwork that we will have persons who join the education sector with the various skillsets we need for national progress,”Dr Hutson explained.

The executive director noted that the council’s efforts must be recognised as a safeguard against dishonest businesspeople who would take advantage of and exploit vulnerable parents, students, and guardians.

“The issue of quality is important…because at the end of the day, we want to ensure that we have the best students or workers out there making a contribution to the development of the nation,” he added.

Some of the participants at the NAC’s capacity-building workshop

Meanwhile, NAC’s Chairman, Mohandatt Goolsarran applauded all participants on the journey to ensure that the system in place is credible and is not seriously challenging.

“The instrument that you use in doing your evaluations is not just an instrument saying standard met, standard partially met or standard not met. As you would have ticked those categories, you have to have notes to justify and back up to say why you would have arrived at that decision at the granting or not granting of recognition or accreditation of an institution,” Goolsarran stated

Notably, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) academy is the first institution in Guyana to be accredited as a public institution.

Director of NCERD, Quenita Walrond-Lewis; Chairperson of the Teaching Service Commission, Doodmattie Singh; Professor Jacob Opadeyi, External Evaluator, Dr Lidon Lashley; and other officials were also in attendance.

The workshop is themed: ‘Building Capacity to Effectively Meet the Needs of Higher Educational Institutions in Guyana: A Focus on Quality and Exclusivity in Pursuit of Regional and International Standards.’