It is high time Guyanese benefit from the Institute of Applied Science and Technology (IAST) at its University of Guyana Turkeyen location. The observation was made by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, who on Friday visited the Institute as part of the Government’s familiarization visits to state-owned facilities. The tour was facilitated by IAST’s Director, Professor Suresh Narine.
Narine, in outlining a number of challenges facing the institute, said there is need for a comprehensive look at the physical maintenance of the plant, noting that there is also a “crucial demand” for business development. The Director explained that he is “a big proponent of policy, and if government goes on a policy-driven direction to governance, it will give a good chance to fit all institutions in”.
He wants institutions like the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI), IAST, and UG, and all other related Institutions to be in the “rightful place” to align themselves with economic and development priorities. Harmon, according to a Government statement, expressed satisfaction that IAST’s mandate fits that of Government’s aim when it comes to the environment and economic development. “There is much more that can be accomplished if we are able to link the science and technology solutions for our people”.
He believes that one of Guyana’s biggest problems is the fact that money is often spent on science and technology but citizens at the lowest level do not benefit. Harmon told Narine that his operations at IAST are not very far away from actually being able to produce something that communities can benefit from – he believes that that would be the “real thrust of such an institute”. Collective minds and scientific abilities of Guyanese can be grouped to benefit communities.
Presidential Adviser on the Environment Rear Admiral (Ret’d) Gary Best, who was also part of the familiarization tour, has been given a mandate by President David Granger to “make Guyana Green”. Minister Harmon expressed Government’s interest in improving on the capacity and skills at IAST. Regular engagements will be facilitated with Dr. Narine to accommodate full support and collaboration with all entities and organisations connected to improving science and technology in Guyana.