Education Minister, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, has sought the support of members of the newly formed Jamaica Association of Private Tertiary Institutions (JAPTI), in implementing two new initiatives of the Ministry.
These are the roll out of virtual education, and implementation of the alternate high school diploma for adults, who did not complete their secondary education.
Speaking at JAPTI's recent launch at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, Rev. Thwaites, noting the strong blend of academic, technical and vocational components in the courses offered by a number of JAPTI institutions, invited their support in the virtual education initiative, being explored for roll out in early 2013.
"We are hoping to roll out the capacity for virtual education on a wide scale level in Jamaica, starting with the disciplines of literacy and numeracy, because there are such gaps that need to be filled," he said.
The Minister informed that the initiative will entail the provision of monitors and other supporting infrastructure in schools and libraries, among other institutions. This is to facilitate teachers reaching as many persons as possible in the delivery of courses.
Allied with this proposal, the Minister said, is the provision of the alternate high school diploma for adults, while underscoring the role that JAPTI's members can also play in this regard.
"Very significantly, your institutions will not close the door on them. Rather, you will help them to make up that which they lack (in terms) of matriculation requirements in whatever discipline, and will take them as they are, and help them to become what they can be," Rev. Thwaites added.
The JAPTI, which comprises over 30 institutions, was established to, among others things, develop a comprehensive framework for strategic collaboration among private tertiary institutions; facilitate Jamaica's growth and development through education and training; and facilitate a collaborative approach in maintaining and exceeding the established local and international quality assurance standards for tertiary education.