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Long-time educator and advisor to the Prime Minister, Ambassador Burchell Whiteman, has been honoured by the Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica (CCCJ) for his pioneering work in the development of institutions across the island.

He was one of four educators recognised at a function held on Wednesday (January 9), at the Jamaica Grande Hotel in Ocho Rios, St. Ann. The others were Philbert Dyhll, Jeannette Grant-Woodham, and Cebert Adamson.

Chairman of the CCCJ, Quince Francis, said that over the years the organisation has always seen it necessary to celebrate with all who have served the community colleges in whatever capacity.

In a citation read at the function, Ambassador Whiteman, a past principal of the Brown’s Town Community College in St. Ann, was saluted as one of the pioneers of the community college system in Jamaica.

He was also credited for seeing to the provision of the necessary academic, administrative and support staff the colleges needed to expand their programme offerings, while he served as Minister of Education.

“You know and understand the worth and value of these tertiary institutions that take students at all levels, and allow them to develop at their own pace and abilities,” the citation read.

“You, in your various capacities, recognized the uniqueness of the colleges that are strategically placed, making it easier for students to access quality education at an extremely affordable cost.

“Honourable Burchell Whiteman, you have selflessly served over the years, and for this, we honour you,” the citation concluded.

Ambassador Whiteman also served as Chairman of the Board of the University Council of Jamaica, and is a past principal of the York Castle High School.

The CCCJ, a statutory agency under the Ministry of Education, was formed in December 2001 to supervise and coordinate the work of the country’s community colleges.

Currently, there are five community and three multi-disciplinary colleges with 19 satellites/campuses across the island, which fall under the supervision of the CCCJ. 

The award function was held as part of the CCCJ’s annual general meeting from January 9 to 11 under the theme: ‘Shaping the Future: Changing roles for Community Colleges’.