JIS News

Immediate Past President of the Jamaica Employers’ Federation, Herbert Lewis, has reiterated the view that education is key, in order for Jamaicans to compete competitively on the global arena.
“The education of our people for global competitiveness and sustainable development is a life long endeavour which challenges individuals, institutions and societies. and as competitiveness increases, the demand for quality and excellence becomes of greater importance,” he asserted.
Mr. Lewis made this point while speaking at the launch of Quality Assurance in Tertiary Education Week, which was hosted by the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ) earlier this week.
The UCJ also took the opportunity to launch its newest publication: ‘Guidelines for the Accreditation of Short Courses’, which will now allow institutions involved in facilitating the teaching of short courses, to be accredited and their programmes internationally recognized.
Noting the importance of education and the significance of gaining accreditation for programmes, Mr. Lewis noted that tertiary institutions had a responsibility to ensure that “guidelines which are established [by the UCJ] are scrupulously observed and the Council must be ever vigilant to ensure compliance.”
“In the field of education you [UCJ] have a most important role to play in [your] efforts to ensure that quality is maintained in our educational institutions and the guidelines, which your body has established for accreditation of short courses, are only one step in ensuring excellence,” he added.
Underscoring the views of Mr. Lewis, Chief Education Officer in the Education Ministry, Adelle Brown, stated that Jamaicans must be able to adapt to the global changes that are taking place to remain relevant and competitive.
“The global, regional and local environments continue to shift in a dynamic way, these realities pose serious challenges to our way of living and we are experiencing increasing demands from all sectors to adapt and respond to these forces of change if we are to remain relevant and competitive,” she asserted.
Giving credence to the launch of the publication, Mrs. Brown said, “the launch of these guidelines to accredit short courses by the UCJ is timely and reflects the wisdom of UCJ to respond to the increasing demands of a working population for programmes that allow them to continue to upgrade their skills and knowledge.”
Quality Assurance in Tertiary Education Week runs from February 6 through to 10, and is being celebrated under the theme: “Assuring the Quality of Tertiary Education to meet Global Challenges.” The main objectives for the week included informing and educating stakeholders of the Council about its work and functions; highlighting the role of the UCJ as a quality assurance body for tertiary education, and re-emphasizing the value of accreditation in assuring quality in tertiary education.
At the ceremony a number of institutions received accreditation certificates for their programmes. These included the Mico Teachers’ College, the Caribbean Maritime Institute, Excelsior Community College, the Institute for Theological and Leadership Development, Knox Community College, Northern Caribbean University, Nova South Eastern University, the University of Technology, and the Vocational Training Development Institute.
The University Council of Jamaica staged its first Quality Assurance Tertiary Education Week in 2004, and as a result of its success, subsequently made it an annual event.