Director of IDCE
The Institute of Distance and Continuing Education, was formerly the Department of Extra Mural Studies within the Faculty of Education and later a separate entity, the Institute of Adult and Continuing Education, at the University of Guyana.
The University of Guyana Extra Mural activity was launched on January 2, 1976, with the opening of the Department of Extra Mural Studies in the Faculty of Education, thirteen years after the establishment of the University. Distinguished long – standing educationist, the late Mr. Samuel Small, A.A., was appointed its Coordinator.
From its inception, the Department of Extra Mural Studies sought to devise outreach programmes that specifically targeted the felt needs of the majority of the population. Taking the view that one could not properly identity the needs of the community without consulting with the community itself, the department first conducted surveys among various agencies and community groups. The needs of these respective agencies and groups having been determined, the department then sets about developing programmes based on those needs, identifying materials and human resources in the community and the university to help in their implementation.
The guiding philosophy of the department’s activities was “People improving themselves through their own resources’. Moreover, its role was to bring to bear the expertise of the university, including its own specialised skills in the teaching of adults, and to improve organisational and management techniques.
In 1988, a proposal for the establishment of a Distance Education Unit was prepared by the Institute of Adult and Continuing Education. The proposal was approved by the Academic Policy and Planning Committee and the Academic Board of the University of Guyana.
In 1992, the Institute launched the University’s first ever Distance Education Programme when the Pre – University English programme commenced in Linden, Region 10 – Upper Demerara/Upper Berbice.
Another name change and expansion focus occurred in August 1996 when the Academic Board of the University of Guyana accepted a recommendation of the 1994 Menon Report, that the Institute of Adult and Continuing Education (IACE) should be expanded and reconstituted as well as renamed to the Institute of Distance and Continuing Education (IDCE), the current name.
The mandate of the institute was subsequently revised to assist the University in becoming a dual/mixed mode institution by performing the function as contained in the Menton Report. The expanded the role of the Institute and saw the Institute not only as a change agent, but one which offered its first online courses in 2008.
In any given year, the Institute registers in excess of six hundred (600) students at the centers (Georgetown, Anna Regina, New Amsterdam and Linden). Over the years, some of them have pursued careers in law, in business and even lecturers at the Intra – Mural University.
The Institute of Distance and Continuing Education is conscious of the national goal of providing equality of access to education and recognizes the natural right of all Guyanese to education.
It is therefore dedicated to offering a relevant and effectively organized education service for adults and out-of-school youths.The Objectives of the Institute are:-
- to enhance the potential of the University of Guyana in creating and influencing change within the context of national aspirations;
- to provide learning opportunities which would help to develop the capacity of the adult individual to participate more effectively in the process of change;
- to increase the awareness of the interaction between formal and non-formal education and to provide facilities for a continuum of educational integration and interaction;
- to identify areas of research for which there is need and to ensure that the results of research are made available to the community at large;
- to provide training courses for trainers engaged in continuing education;
- to assist in the development and co-ordination of existing resources in continuing education.
In fulfilling its objectives, the Institute provides leadership in the field of Adult Open and Distance learning, develops and implements a variety of educational programmes. It operates within communities and in collaboration with Faculties of the University, Government, as well as non-Governmental agencies.
The Institute's programmes allow adults to choose courses which are directly related to their needs, be they for personal development and enrichment, job advancement or higher academic pursuits.