…on teachers’ “vocation” hypocrisyAt the Minister of Education’s award ceremony for Region Four teachers, one teacher read her poem detailing in verse the woes of her profession in light of their meagre wage – especially after the insult they received in lieu of increases after their one week strike. Immediately, up bounced Ivelaw Griffith, Vice Chancellor of UG onto the stage, to gratuitously “advise” the teachers that they should “do it for the passion, not the pay”!!Can you believe this man? Here he is, earning millions monthly – not to mention his perks – after he was let go at his last posting at Fort Valley State University in Georgia and he’s talking about “teaching for passion and not pay”?? Was it the “passion for teaching” that drove him to appoint a 12-person “Cabinet” with three Deputy Vice Chancellors” to assist him?? You don’t believe he called his top assistants a “Cabinet”? Just google the UG website!!Was it for “passion” that his first act after he was appointed was to raise UG students fees by five per cent, even though he attended for free back in the day?? Which he had to rescind because of the outcry! Was it for “passion” he flew a huge entourage – mainly his “Cabinet” – up to New York supposedly to “raise funds” but ended up spending $4 million and brought back $2 million!! Unlike Jack of yore, he PUT IN a plum and PULLED OUT a thumb!!Was it for “passion” he insisted on the first “Investiture Ceremony” for himself in the 50+ year history of Guyana? This involved a procession with faculty attired in academic regalia to confer the “official powers and responsibilities of the office to Professor Griffith”!! This, not so incidentally, cost $10 million?? Even greats like Drayton who preceded him didn’t try to puff up themselves at the expense of the institution.He tied in the “Investiture Ceremony” with an elaborate “”Diaspora Conference” at the Ramada Princess Hotel. Was it because of his “passion for education” there were no students in attendance nor any papers presented by them? Was it because of his “passion for teaching” that had him launch a very expensive glossy “Renaissance” Magazine which seems to have as its sole goal to “big up” his reputation?It’s hypocritical for Griffith to be telling teachers who still can’t get a living wage to not worry about money when he’s spending the stuff – from our tax dollars – like it was going out of style. And UG is over $500 million in debt!!There needs to be a CoI into the operations of the VC. Maybe Justice Kennard who has experience with wild spending at City Hall?…on wild claims in ParliamentIn the wake of President Trump’s proclivity for making all sorts of wild and outrageous assertions, the term “fact checking” has moved out of the publication business and into general usage. In Guyana, the Public Infrastructure Minister seems to have caught the bug during his presentation on the budget!He reels off a host of projects initiated by the PPP complaining there were “no feasibility studies”. He, of course, has been stung by the SOCU investigation into why he sole-sourced a $153 MILLION feasibility study for the Demerara Harbour Bridge – which had to be thrown out!! PPP’s Irfaan Ali nailed him immediately on one wild claim about the East Coast-East Bank bypass road!But there was his claim for the Skeldon Factory. If he’d looked at Tate and Lyle’s website, he’d see “Booker Tate carried out a viability and expansion study which recommended… a new cane sugar factory at the Skeldon Sugar Estate”. The he spoke about Amaila Falls.Did he check the one for Burnham in 1976 by Motor-Columbus Consulting Engineers? Sheesh!!…on sugar lieLast Sunday, Nagamootoo gloated, “…the balance in severance payment…owed to the sugar workers who lost their jobs as a result of the closure of some estates, was paid.”So why were the Wales workers picketing on Wednesday for “severance”?