- President of the Mico University College, Dr. Asburn Pinnock, is pledging the institution’s full commitment to contributing to the further development of Jamaica’s education landscape.
- Dr. Pinnock says he believes in the continued success of Mico as “we have a good product.”
- Mico University College’s mission is to support national and regional development and to have an impact internationally, by preparing students with the required knowledge, skills, attitudes and values in teacher education; and by promoting a culture of inquiry, learning and service.
President of the Mico University College, Dr. Asburn Pinnock, is pledging the institution’s full commitment to contributing to the further development of Jamaica’s education landscape.
He says the 180 year-old institution, considered to be a leader in teacher-training in the Caribbean, sees itself as having a key role to play in transforming the country’s education system by improving standards in teaching and learning, and supporting research to address needs at various levels.
“I see Mico as the leading research and professional development centre for teacher education in Jamaica and the Caribbean on a whole; so we have positioned ourselves to take on that role,” Dr. Pinnock tells JIS News.
He says that in carrying out its mandate, the institution will be looking to address gaps identified in the 2015 National Education Inspectorate (NEI) report.
“As a transformational teacher-training institution, we have to take responsibility for what goes on in the classrooms, and therefore we cannot be satisfied with the gaps that exist,” he says.
He notes that greater focus will also be placed on research that has the potential to lead to innovations in teaching and learning.
“Mico is getting deeper into their research base to inform what we do and, by extension, to assist the society in solving issues,” Dr. Pinnock says.
Mico University College, formerly Mico College, is the oldest facility for the training of teachers in the western Hemisphere.
Established in 1836 to train the children of ex-slaves, the institution has an enviable record in educational achievement and contribution to research and development.
It has prepared some of the region’s most outstanding educators including late former Governors-General – the Most Hon. Sir Howard Cooke and the Most Hon. Sir Clifford Campbell; and the late Tacius Golding.
Over the years, the institution has undergone extensive development and expansion in order to meet the needs of its clients. Under the leadership of the venerable Professor Claude Packer, Mico was granted University College status in July 2006, legitimising the offering of undergraduate and graduate programmes.
Since 2008, Mico has been offering Bachelor’s Degree programmes in Special Education, Early Childhood, Primary Education, Guidance and Counselling, School Management and Leadership, Heritage Studies, Science and Technology, Language and Literacy Studies, and Secondary Education with 19 specialisations. It also offers Master’s Degrees in Special Education, Counselling and Social Work, Arts in Teaching, and the Executive Masters in Education Management.
Dr. Pinnock says Mico is looking to diversify its offerings and as of September 2016, will provide major/minor degree options.
“This is where students will be majoring in the traditional subject areas such as Mathematics, English and the Sciences, but will also have the opportunity to minor in non-traditional subject areas, for example, insurance and actuarial science,” he explains. The Mico President tells JIS News that the institution is seeking to create partnerships with insurance and actuarial companies to provide experts to assist in the delivery of the subject areas.
Dr. Pinnock says he believes in the continued success of Mico as “we have a good product.”
“This is evidenced by the number of persons, who are working and succeeding in other areas outside of teaching, but they were traditionally trained to be a teacher; this means they are well educated. So with that base of a flexible and rounded education, they can branch off into other professions,” he points out.
Meanwhile, a full year of activities has been planned to commemorate Mico’s 180th anniversary.
Dr. Pinnock says the celebrations started in early March with Research Day, the Glen Owen Lecture organised by the Mico Old Student Association (MOSA), and Founders Day activities.
In April, a media campaign will be launched, followed by Mico’s inaugural Conversation Series, which will engage stakeholders in discussion on education and other social issues.
In July, Miconians will return to the Grand Dame of Marescaux Road for a homecoming celebration.
The Conversation Series will continue in September, and in October, the inaugural Mico 5-K Walk/Run will take place to raise funds for scholarships and other initiatives.
The 180th anniversary activities will culminate in November with an Evening of Excellence in Music staged by MOSA.
Mico University College’s mission is to support national and regional development and to have an impact internationally, by preparing students with the required knowledge, skills, attitudes and values in teacher education; and by promoting a culture of inquiry, learning and service.