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Education
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Guyana accreditation council dodges interview, as four-year-old reads for masters degree
Published on November 21, 2016Email To Friend    Print Version

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A source at Guyana’s National Accreditation Council (NAC) explained that, while Texila American University is registered with the NAC, registration is different from accreditation. Hence the issued certificate of registration is just a formality

GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- Following accusations by several foreign students that a person or persons at Guyana’s National Accreditation Council (NAC) are working in collusion with Texila American University to defraud them, the body had subsequently agreed to an interview so that the accusations and other troubling matters relating to the university could be addressed.

The one-on-one interview was scheduled to be held on Friday at 2pm with Deborah Jack, who is the head of the NAC.

The Guyana Guardian, along with two affected Nigerian students, and an Al Jazeera reporter who is currently investigating the operation of several degree mills in the Caribbean, was all set to meet with Jack and her colleagues.

While the main question was whether or not the NAC has been telling foreign students on the phone (and by email) that Texila University degrees are recognized; the news team had intended to present a recorded conversation between an NAC staff member and an official from Texila, along with a dossier of email exchanges and other communications that would have added credence to a number of points already published by the Guyana Guardian pertaining to the operation of the university there.

But what would have been more damning was irrefutable evidence from the Al Jazeera reporter that showed that she was able to sign up her four-year-old daughter to take a Masters Degree online with the Texila American University, since all that had apparently mattered to the Guyana-based institution was the money.

The reporter was in possession of her email exchanges with Texila, her payment records, and other facts that would have showed that, as long as she continued to pay the remainder of the fees, her four-year-old child would end up with a higher level medical degree from Texila in a few months.

She was also able to sign up her pet dog for a Bachelor’s Degree online program and had planned to make the payment online with her card right before the very eyes of the NAC officials.

The reporter was also in possession of incriminating videos and other evidence that might have put the NAC and possibly the minister of education to shame as it relates to the entire operation of the Texila American University there.

However, a few hours before the interview session was due, the National Accreditation Council abruptly decided that they could no longer have the interview.

In an email to the Guyana Guardian, Jack promised that, since the interview was off, the NAC will issue a public statement on Texila soon. But up to press time, no such information was sent, neither was there any indication as to why the originally committed interview was cancelled.

The editorial office at Guyana Guardian, which had facilitated the Al Jazeera researcher to be a part of the interviewing team, has since surmised that the NAC probably became aware of this development and chose to avoid the interview session altogether.

The National Accreditation Council was recently roasted by dozens of foreign students that had accused the body of having poor oversight and for being an indirect contributor to the number of useless degrees that have been churned out to them by the Texila American University.

However, a source at the NAC explained that while Texila American University is registered with the National Accreditation Council, registration is different from accreditation. Hence the issued certificate of registration is just a formality, and should not be misconstrued to mean that their degrees are accredited.

While laws are yet to be enacted to allow the NAC to deal effectively with the issue of qualifications accreditation, the body does not have a board to evaluate or approve the granting of degrees by private institutions there.

Moreover, the body also does not have the capacity to investigate the origin of funds for educational investors, since the World Bank itself has said that money laundering has now stretched its hands into all service sectors of society, including educational and religious organizations.

In recent times, a number of so-called universities have been springing up across the Caribbean, with claims that they are offering recognized degrees.

Most of the operators of these universities are citizens of India and Bangladesh, who in most cases are not even qualified themselves.

Barbados and The Bahamas are the most notable of Caribbean countries that have been using the police and other aspects of law enforcement to keep out these sorts of institutions.

Guyana is widely believed to be among the top three countries with the highest ratio of unrecognized universities or degree mills in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Republished with permission of the Guyana Guardian
 
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