9th of February, 2021. Georgetown, Guyana, South AmericaLast updated: February 9, 2021 at 16:53 pm
On Friday, 5th of February, 2021, 24 permanent staff members of the Bertram Collins College for the Public Service received termination letters which will take effect from the end of this month. An Official from the College confirmed that the last batch of graduates received their certificates in December, 2020 after which the college was barred from enrolling new students.
Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, in reference to the controversial closure of the Bertram Collins College for the Public Service by the PPP/C government, has today, 9th of February, 2021, defended the move by saying that the College was a front for APNU/AFC campaign efforts. The Vice President was speaking at a Press Conference hosted by News Room.
He further added that the closure of the institution had been part of the PPP/C’s 2020 campaign, and that the PPP/C had stated clearly that closure of the College was on their restructuring agenda since the said institution was counterproductive and draining on the economy.
The Vice President further bashed the APNU/AFC officials whom he said were using the closure of the institution for race baiting purposes. “That’s all they have been doing…that’s all they can do…play the race card, even when the issue has nothing to do with race.” – Jagdeo (Paraphrased). Dr. Jagdeo further made reference to the times when the APNU/AFC had laid off CSOs in hinterland regions and closed down a Call Center in Linden – both of which had been instituted during prior PPP/C government.
The Bertram Collins College of the Public Service was established in the year 2016 by the then APNU/AFC government with the aim of training persons desirous of working in a public service capacity. The College is located in Ogle, East Coast Demerara, Guyana, South America. During the opening ceremony in November, 2016, the then Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, had said that “the realisation of the college is a testimony to the importance which his Excellency, the President (David Granger) pays to training of our public service.”
“You are the ones that we are relying on to make the face of the public service different than it was many, many years ago,” then Minister Harmon told the group of 60+ cadets aged between 17 to 21- years old at the launch in November, 2016.
In December, 2019, the College rolled out 56 graduates from the third batch of cadets with fulfillment of guaranteed employment directly into public service capacities. Then Senior Director, Lawrence Paul, said that the young cadets would be “the ones who would be the engine which propels the state forward.” A total of 175 persons have been trained by the College and absorbed into public service capacities across the country.
Coming back to the present day developments, Minister Sonia Parag said yesterday, 8th of February, 2020, that the College is actually being restructured with the goal of transforming the current operations of the institution. “It is being restructured, targeted towards a different form of national trading that will be looked at by the Ministry of Public Service. It is really to train persons who are in the public service.” – Minister Sonia Parag.