The University of Guyana’s ineptitude has become unbearable. Let’s start a student revolution now.

Today marked a day of infuriation for me, a day of infuriation with the administration of the University of Guyana, one that cannot be forgiven or forgotten. A first examination, a mere quizz, like many others, was postponed on numerous occasions for varying reasons that ranged from inadequate seating, clashes with other courses and overall inefficiency in the allocation of the university’s scarce resources. However, today was different. Today, something unforgivable happened.

After two weeks of delays, putting a strain on students’ time, health and well-being, finances for travel, meals and accommodation, especially for those living in distant communities such as Linden, Mahaica and even Berbice, many persons were unable to write the examination still. How fair is it for some to be able to write the exam, and some not? Is the university premised on a first-come, first-serve basis?

I was one of those who was unable to write the exam initially. Why? Because there was a miscalculation of the number of candidates accepted to do the course of ECN 1100, that resulted in the shortage of exam papers. Note the late mention, of the specific issue, for this exposé is not merely about this course, but the overall performance of the administration, in executing examinations.

Now, back to specifics, there were approximately 800 sheets of question papers printed as a result of a personal check, of the university’s database of registered ECN 1100 students, by one of the course lecturers. This personal check was done, because the ADMINISTRATION was unable/unwilling to provide the technical assistance in garnering the precise information regarding the number of students ACCEPTED to undergo the course (note this number is different from those who have completed registration).

I have some familiarity with databases, and I am sure, had I been familiar or had access to the relevant information, and UG’s specific database programme I’d be able to derive the precise number of ACCEPTED students and thus adequately cater for the examination in terms of paper availability. This too affects seating accommodation, one of the apparent reasons the test was delayed to begin with. Now why couldn’t the technical department or the registry of the university provide this information? This is the burning question that I intend to get the answer to, on Monday.

Now to expand on my infuriation, I want the administration, lecturers and students to be aware of the measures I was and still am willing to take, to protest these occurrences. I, this afternoon embarked on a mission to find blow horns, pots and pans with sticks or any form of loud noise maker to disrupt the unfair examination privilege of first-come, first-serve, when all should be equal, at the University of Guyana. Why should students be forced to trample over each other just to get a precious seat to sit the exam? Why should students have to lift furniture to the classrooms from across the campus, just to have a place to sit the examination? Why should students have to bend over backwards to be granted the ‘privilege’, the ‘grace’ to write the examination that they are paying for?

The situation is absolutely unacceptable and needs to be met with fervent opposition by the students. The issue extends to two other courses I’ve taken, POL 1100 and ENG 1105, precluding the shortage of examination papers. I’m sure several other courses have been affected as well. This begs the question, what long term measures are being mulled to improve accommodation? Also why is the university enrolling more persons than it could accommodate? The university is clearly unable to offer the facilities it is charging students for and should therefore put a cap on enrollment. Are they that reckless and greedy and further dishonest, that they’d willfully allow students to pay for a service, they clearly cannot provide? I see a vulnerability here, someone say breach of contract? Moves to construct a new building need to be undertaken NOW, while the improvement in furnishings is also paramount and achievable in the short term.

Now to speak to my revolution,I would like to start a collection fund to purchase blow horns to facilitate the much needed student oppositon, in the event that there is another occurrence or an occurrence of a similar nature. It was never my desire to play an antagonistic role with the administration but it clearly calls for that. It was my hope that I’d be able to work along with the student society, sit in on meetings, be privileged to the financial information of the university, so that I can make personal appraisals and recommendations, etc. While this too can be done, I will also be pursuing the more forceful measures to draw attention to the plights of the students of the University of Guyana.

If lecturers can strike for poor wages and improper working conditions, then students can strike for poor education facilities and a terrible learning experience. Students can and should shut down the university. Unless we take a stand now, we’re gonna be faced with this continued ineptitude for a long time to come. This especially in light of several invigilators mentioning that the issue is a recurrent one.

So let us take a stand and object to the injustices now, to protect ourselves and future generations. Don’t accept anyone’s word, that it won’t happen again, I’m sure those words were said to many before us. So whose with me?


Criticism needs to be well founded

This piece is in direct response to several of the criticisms levied against my article titled. ‘A woman’s desire to be with a rich man is a step backwards for society’ and more so to my fellow blog writer Christopher Martin France.

Criticism should not be biased, emotional, based on assumptions about the writer’s views and intentions, baseless and worst of all inaccurate. This seemed to be the trend of most of the responses that the piece has managed to gather.

Let me first mention that the lack of the word ‘SOME’ doesn’t obviate the obvious inference of some, especially since no one has ever derived findings of 100% of any population. If a researcher somehow manages to arrive at findings of 100% of the population surveyed, then it would be made pellucidly clear. I hope this quells the issue of the post being about ALL women.

I found it appalling that some responders resorted to insulting remarks and also the inaccuracy and baselessness of parallels drawn to the psychological issue. My associate, Christopher used the term “slut shaming” to refer to the core of what I’ve written. This was spurious to say the least, especially since none of the content remotely warrants that. Slut shaming was inaccurately used as well. It has to do with promiscuity not conscious choices of romance. It’s inexorably, unforgiveable that a man of his stature would so inappropriately, misuse the term. Quite frankly, it seemed to me, to be a desperate cry for feminine empathy.

The comparisons to non-related issues of gender inequality and other social ills that affect women in society were baseless. You cannot draw certain parallels to this situation, in. spite of whatever minimalist co-relation exists, to justify your arguements. The post was based on the female psyche not social issues. An average single woman does not need someone to provide for her, despite being at a disadvantage in terms of income inequality or other social declination. While I agree that women have it much more difficult than men, in general, this does not entitle them to the pedestal they place themselves on.

The post I made isn’t about women who suffer the consequences of a gender biased world. The post isn’t about those women subjected to poverty, looking for an escape. The post isn’t about those women abused and afflicted by the partners. The post is about the deliberate decisions of otherwise sophisticated women, who disguise their choices as romantic when their contrast is true. The post is about the destruction of sentiment and its consequences. The post is about the liars who say their romantic choices are progressive, when in fact studies show is regressive. The post is about successful, average income, even poor women, who have a choice to pursue their own goals under debilitating circumstances much like their male counterparts, who rise from extreme poverty or other similar oppressive circumstances. Men face the same issues of climbing that social ladder, the same way women do. Some things might not be equal, but this should affect romance, not in the least. I find it extremely callous to even remotely link the two.

Christopher also said, “…put love aside for a moment”. To do that would denigrate one of the principles the piece was based on. It was my intention to show that the reducing sentiment is a major problem in relationships. I intended to show that women are losing their independence to their choices in romance. I want to show how unfair and unequal it is to make conscious decisions as such. I want to show what stripping the genuine romance out of relationships does to our humanity, i.e. Marrying for money. How shameful. The converse of men seeking beauty isn’t has been much more progressive compared to women’s choices. Men used to look for specific signs of fertility now they look for physical attractiveness. This is a direct causal effect of mass media manipulation and can be addressed simply. Irrespective, it doesn’t lead to the kind of socially dismantling situations as women’s choices. It’s a degradation of our humanity to put love aside from anything. Love, and I won’t say arguably, is the greatest thing known to mankind. In transcends everything and triumphs even in the most disparaging of situations.  To put love aside is an injustice to ourselves. To put love aside is barbaric. The naked truth of striping love from relationships, is that it reduces it to nothing.

Finally I have to dispel the notions of persons referring to my claims as generalisations. I shall repost the links, which make this technically, a scientifically based piece. They’re listed below.

Dr Catherine Hakim from the London School of Economics
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Evolutionary biologists Dr Thomas Pollet and Prof Daniel Nettles, of Newcastle University, used the world’s biggest study into lifestyles to look at the link between wealth and enjoyment of sex.–Women-orgasms-wealthy-partners-study-finds.html

Indiana University cognitive scientist Peter Todd and colleagues from Germany, England and Scotland used a speed-dating session in Germany to look at what people said they wanted in a mate with whom they actually chose.

Sorry, but women are dependent on men

An Introduction to Social Psychology

On a parting note, let me place this circumstance for you all to ponder under the assumption that the females and males are physically attracted to each other and are at a stage in life where they start thinking long term. Note that there are many other kinds of women and there will indefinitely be exceptional circumstances but these are the average, every day, and run in the mill women that we come across constantly.

John is 21 year old above average intelligent and attractive young man with a charismatic personality. He is from a low income family and recently started attending the University of Guyana, reading for a degree in Business Management because that’s the only course that his job as an accounting clerk could accommodate. Very few know that John attends night school and generally associate him with being reluctant to pursue higher learning.

Now take Adam, who is also 21 and is in his final year at the University of Guyana, almost completed reading for a degree in Economics. Adam is a decent looking young man, with mediocre grades, but is from a wealthy family as exhibited by the car he drives and luxurious his lifestyle.

Imagine that there are four sound minded women, who are each approached by both John and Adam, separately in pursuit of romance, not love or a long-term relationship, just a first date, but could lead to either.

Female number one, Ashley, is a 20 year old Biology major at the University of Guyana, in her final year, with a grade point average of 3.8. She is smart and attractive and hails from a middle income family. Which of the two men do you think Ashley would be inclined to date?

Female number two, Rebecca, is a 20 year family girl. She lives with her parents, who are affluent and prominent members of Guyana’s private sector. Rebecca is fairly smart and plays an active role in the affairs of her family enterprise. She professes to be down to earth and genuine, which of the two men do you think she would date?

Female number 3, Annabelle, is a 19 year old girl who works as a cashier at a retail store. Annabelle is from a low class family and was not able to complete here secondary education because her family could not afford it. She still lives with her mother who is a working single parent and has one little brother to take care of. Which of the two men do you think she would prefer to date?

A woman’s desire to be with a rich man is a step backwards for society

Women are increasingly reverting to prime-eval times when a man’s attractiveness was based on his ability to provide. Back then meant that he was physically capable and possessed superior hunting skills. Today, it means above par financial prospects, i.e. a good education/job with the ability to become rich or already rich. Several studies which can be found through a few clicks on Google attest to this not so startling trend that has been on the increase over the past few decades.

It is an absurd thing that a woman looks for a man to provide for her. Women often say, “This is reality, I need to find a man with education, ambition and goals because love won’t pay the bills”. This is very disturbing and what does it say about us as an evolved species? Why should someone else provide for you when you are perfectly capable of doing so on your own? If a man said that he’s out looking for someone with education, ambition and goals because love won’t pay the bills then you’d laugh in his face.

What gives a woman the inherent right to be the one provided for especially in this modern age? What women need to do is to educate themselves, have their own goals and ambitions so they can provide for themselves. Gender roles are ever changing and women are becoming more and more independent. So why then should women revert to the stereo type of finding a man with money? Aren’t relationships supposed to be encompassed by feelings? When I think of a relationship, words like love, respect, trust, friendship, admiration and compatibility come to mind, not what’s in our bank accounts. Involving money, which is said to be the root of all evil at the helm of a relationship, simply taints it.

Women who marry for money instead of love tend to be betrayed more often than not. Wealthy men have a taste for younger women and usually despise monogamy. If a woman didn’t get married for love, she got married for financial security. If a man didn’t get married for love, he got married for her beauty. It therefore goes without saying that when that beauty fades – and it will, he will betray his wife by having an/several extra-marital affairs, which so many claim to be the worst kind of betrayal. Some women even find themselves victim of physical, verbal, psychological and emotional abuse. Some suffer through this abuse for years, stricken by fear of financial depravity if they leave. So what good is it to submit yourself to be provided for by someone else?

No doubt a woman faces tremendous differences in rights among other facets of inequality compared to men but if she intends to truly be equal then she needs to remove herself from that pedestal of being provided for. We pride ourselves as being socially sophisticated creatures but we resort to un-evolved and superficial behaviour when it comes to choosing a mate and engaging in long-term relationships.

The Wealthy Elite threaten Democracy and Economic Stability

In a world of 7 Billion, 3.5 Billion people’s wealth is equivalent to the combined wealth of the world’s richest 85 people. The richest 1 % of the world has USD 110 Trillion, almost 50% of the world’s total wealth. To give this even more perspective, the top 1% has wealth equivalent to 65 times the wealth of the poorest half of the world. This is according to the World Economic Forum’s 2013 report titled, Outlook on the Global Agenda 2014. This concentration of income and wealth threatens democracy, economic stability whilst compounding other inequalities. Erosion of democracy rips the fabric of social cohesion and gives rise to rampant inequality. The Inequality that stems from this vacuum of power threatens economic and social stability within countries.

Wealth concentrated in the hands of a few is not democracy. Wealth begets wealth and once the political and institutional system is rigged in favour of an elite, the consolidation of their privileges cascades through different mechanisms. Political institutions are undermined and overwhelmingly serve the wealthy elites to the detriment of the masses. Who funds the candidates that we vote for? Who gets propelled in the limelight for all to see? Whose message gets out there, and repeatedly so? In essence, the wealthy elite choose who we are allowed to vote for, so regardless of the one we cast our ballots for, they win. Can an ordinary, honest man with the will to change the system of things acquire the resources necessary to convince the people of a nation to vote for him? The answer is clearly no. Is that democracy? As one individual who happens to be a Rasta-Farian, African, male, from Linden, Guyana said to me in an interview, “I don’t vote because there is never a worthy candidate for me to vote for. Other people choose who we can vote for and the rich man will never let a man with the virtues to lead the masses out of this new system of slavery become a popular candidate. Any man who tries to change the status quo gets assassinated, just look at Jesus Christ and Martin Luther King Jr. Something big has to happen if we are to evolve and break free from this façade of democracy.

Concentration of income and wealth causes a greater income gap and rising inequalities. The unbalanced distribution of wealth skews institutions and erodes the social contract between citizens and the state. The rich are either the policy makers or have the power to influence the policy makers. This becomes an inherent vacuum of power as time goes by, wealth increases and power is handed down through generations. It culminates into opportunity hoarding whereby select groups control valuable resources, such as access to government expenditure in contract selection, access to educational opportunities, lucrative job opportunities, access to justice through representation, access to quality medical services, etc. The bargaining power of labour unions becomes weakened. The real value of minimum wage is eroded. Protective labour laws are reduced to nothing. Workers benefits are dismissed. Soon enough, basic human rights will be shortchanged. People will no longer have a right to food, clothing and shelter but rather a right to whatever refuge the elite permits.

Economic and social stability becomes a notion of the past. Vast amounts of wealth are hidden from view and are largely untaxed, denying national treasuries vital resources that could benefit society. Corporate and top income tax rates, loop holes, poor or non-existent regulatory legislation, weak or non-existent oversight bodies are but the top of the pyramid. Average income individuals pay higher rates than higher income individuals. This creates an infinite (unless stopped) vortex of the poor being drained a more significant portion of their already meager wealth whilst the rich pay substantially less. This is the basic premise of driving the poor into the depths of poverty with the rich not contributing their fair share. The disparities of inequality could become permanent and cause social unrest, give rise to increased crime rates from capital offences such as murder for money, armed and deadly robbery, rape to petty offences such as burglary. Individual quality of life will plunge and give rise to social issues such as depression, suicide, alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence and other forms of abuse. The very order society has worked so tirelessly to instill will be eviscerated in a short span of time.

If countries continue to trot down the current path where the rich are allowed to subvert democracy in favour of their political and economic agenda, where billionaires have more and more and the poor has less, then mankind will be forced into a new age of slavery… Or anarchy.

Real Freedom? Not there yet…

I’ve envisaged what freedom is, real freedom and I can say for a fact, it does not exist anywhere on this earth. We may have a little freedom, the slaves may have broken free of their physical shackles and escaped the merciless whip of the cattle nine tails, wielded by their masters, but we are not free, not yet.

Captains of industries are the masters of the universe and to them we are enslaved. Economic systems have forced us into a new age of colonialism, slavery and corporate indenturehip. Capitalism has allowed the rich to accumulate the resources of the world, depriving the masses of their basic needs. Sovereign nations have to bend to the will of larger, economically powerful nations; nations who control the global financial system and restrict or permit trade, nations, whose leaders bend to the will of their corporate masters whose ultimate goal is to place the entire earth into their captivity. And this is what we call “freedom”. Unless we as a people see through this facade of freedom and rise up, then we will never really be free.

We may not feel the urgency of a revolution the way the slaves did because we live in a state of perpetual freedom, with seemingly fair economic systems and opportunities for the strong to succeed at the expense of the masses. This, complimented by the bludgeoning of ideas and false global perceptions of reality, and the need to work to survive keeps us in check. Its a brilliant system and only a maniacal genius could’ve come up with it.

Unless we refuse to be a part of this rat race, start thinking of others before ourselves, recognise the wrongs in the world and sacrifice our happiness, our financial sustainability, only then can we initiate the long, arduous journey to freedom, real freedom.

Happy “emancipation” day everyone!

Post Script

People weren’t meant to be born, go to school, find a job, work until retirement and then die with few exceptions for artists, athletes or otherwise gifted. People weren’t meant to subsist. People weren’t meant to live in poverty caused by another man’s greed. People were not meant to fight in and die in wars. People were not meant to be manipulated by the media, their education systems and their governments. People were not meant to live in a state of constant despair and perpetual hope, clutching at straws and dreaming of the day they can be happy.

People were meant to be happy and free, free to do whatever they want on this blessed, renewable earth without worrying where the next meal is coming from, which piece of land is theirs to reside and accumulating stacks of worthless paper hoping it would bring them happiness.

The change we need can be brought to bear by instituting socialist legislature and mechanisms to return the resources accumulated by the rich, to the poor. But this cannot be achieved when the rich wields power over the politicians. Regardless of who gets “democratically” elected, its always the same outcome. This system is what needs to be extirpated. And it is because of this, we need a revolution, a revolution, that has to be organised from the grass roots, because of the corporate media control. A revolution that will be inevitably violent because those in power have made peaceful revolution impossible.

Corruption, a crime against humanity

Corruption is a crime so egregious that the perpetrators are an affront to all humanity. The world is filled with persons who derive great wealth on the suffering of entire societies. These individuals have grown lavish in their plunders and relaxed in their impunity, sheltering behind institutions and legislation that they have been able to twist to their benefit. Corruption wields its evil head at the helm of all tragedies facing human kind. Poverty, Starvation, Injustice and Inequality, even Slavery; unnatural in every form, are all unnecessary products of a Corrupt world.

Corruption undermines the ability of government to function properly and erodes democracy. Political corruption is the norm in many countries. This manifests in a number of different ways: embezzlement of government funds, procurement, political patronage, money laundering, bribery, invoicing and over estimation of a project and contract, and the sale or misuse of government property. Far too often, the perpetrators of the most outrageous acts of corruption are able to use their illicit wealth and power to pervert the very laws and institutions that should call them to account. As a result, the worst offenders are the least likely to face domestic justice.

Corruption drains resources, thus worsens the provision of basic human needs.  Every year, political corruption kills as many as 140,000 children worldwide, by depriving them of medical care, food, and water. Within any democratic economy, every year allocations are made to the various sectors such as health, education, agriculture, water, security, etc. This is certain. Politicians use these allocated amounts as an argument for their robust efforts to strengthening each respective sector. However, the question needs to be asked, how much of this sum was syphoned off to corrupt ends? When asked why is the poverty level still high despite these ‘Robust’ investments, the appalling answers such as the famous biblical quote, ‘the poor will always be with us’ does not have to ring true. There are more than enough resources to satisfy the needs of every human being on this planet.

Corruption causes a spiral of conflict and crime. For example, when youths are not engaged in meaningful work, and cannot bear their poverty exacerbated by corrupt practices perpetrated by leaders (who appear to be above the law or the law themselves) anymore, they bring attention to their plight by engaging in destructive behaviour, particularly Crime.

Corruption at the highest levels distorts competition so denying the public access to the competitive marketplace. It induces wrong decisions resulting in wrong policies, wrong prices, wrong contractors, substandard delivery to recoup overpricing, promotes corruption at lower levels and eroded public confidence in leaders. Today the act of stealing government funds and handing out some favourites is not legislatively viewed as corrupt or illicit. Not surprisingly, then, corruption appears to be more prevalent in countries with weakly integrated accountability mechanisms, where the leadership institution are irresponsible, and therefore corruption is perpetrated at the highest level.

The first priority for any country must be to tackle corruption. It is a huge problemthat exists all over the world. A ‘moral economy of corruption’ exists that preys on the resources belonging to the people of the world. It deprives those who are not within the entrusted circle of beneficiaries and thus suffers billions whilst enriching a few. Therefore according to the definition of a crime against humanity, which states it to be a particularly odious offence that constitutes a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of human beings, Corruption qualifies as the number one contender.

Auditing, the panacea to efficiency and anti corruption

Corruption can be viewed as an excessive diversion of scarce resources that impedes efficiency, effectiveness and development. Auditing can be described as an independent appraisal of an organisation’s controls (financial or otherwise) with the aim of improving efficiency and effectiveness of risk management, control and governance. There is a direct co-relation between corruption and auditing. Auditing actually seeks to weed out corruption in all of its forms. If applied correctly it can be the panacea to any country’s fight against corruption.

The benefits of auditing are enormous. It identifies key areas for improvement by assessing the risks, economy, efficiency and quality within an organisation. Auditing highlights the weaknesses in systems and provides a platform for discussion to improve same. Auditing uncovers fraudulent or other illegal activities and serves as a deterrent for future occurrences. Auditing therefore eliminates waste and improves efficiency. Resources allocated aren’t syphoned off. Resources aren’t wasted. Resources aren’t used ineffectively. These benefits culminate in an organization ultimate achievement of its objectives unimpeded. Now transcend the benefits of auditing from a single organisation to several organisations. No. Transcend the benefits of auditing to all governmental organisations. What would become of inefficiency, ineffectiveness and corruption? It would become obliterated I tell you. It would become obsolete.

The trick is how to set up an efficient audit mechanism that does not in itself fall victim to the temptations of greed and corruption. A very complicated issue of course. However, best practice dictates that it be done in two stages: internally and externally. This is usually prevalent in many countries where weak and poorly equipped internal audit departments exist whilst external audit activities are performed by a central non-autonomous agency. The internal audit activities are primarily focused on identifying and fixing the problems within the organisation using a magnifying glass whilst external audit activities focus on macro issues such as governance, control systems, reporting mechanisms and actually rechecking the work of the internal audit department. Internal audit would report to the most senior officials of the organisation whilst external audit would report to the executive and legislative branch of government. Some countries go as far as to have anti corruption commissions and other financial commissions implemented to further the cause of auditing by adding to the list of verifiers. These checks and balances that lay one atop the other prevent auditors from engaging in corrupt practices.

Why does auditing fail? The answer lies with the political will to have an effective auditing system. Like the immune system or the body needs resources to function, so does the audit department. If understaffed, poorly staffed with unqualified individuals, lack basic office equipment or other essential funding then how can it work?  Another impediment to effective auditing is the reporting structure. Organisations tend to sideline the function or place it under the purview of an official within the organisation, usually of a financial background. According to the Institute of Internal Auditors, the department should report to an audit committee that consists of members of the Board of Directors with at least one of them from a financial background. Internal auditing is therefore undermined. Dysfunctional external audit agencies manifest in the lack of independence from the executive, receive no budgetary support from the legislature, lack the ability to investigate venal officials, and have no procedures for forwarding cases of corruption for prosecution by the relevant judicial authorities. Herein lays the dilemma for policymakers who want to reduce corruption and improve governance: whereas it may be desirable to enact policies to reduce corruption, a hollow establishment leads to a reputation for token reforms, which undermines the political leadership’s credibility.

A comprehensive approach is needed to enact an effective audit system to improve efficiency and reduce, even eradicate corruption. This would obviously involve granting autonomy and sufficient budgetary allocations to both internal and external audit forces. It would require the legislature criminalize corruption and create channels for prosecution such as an anti-corruption commission, also well funded and autonomous. All of this would depend solely on the political will of the government. If a leader wants to be perceived as credible in his/her talks about fighting corruption then these simple measures can be implemented. If done with the right intention, auditing can be the panacea to efficiency and anti corruption.