JIS News

Minister of Education and Youth, Maxine Henry Wilson has said that the Ministry was mindful of the “tertiary imperative” as the quality of the society was determined by the quality of its tertiary education to a large extent.
She was speaking at the 15th Annual Conference of the Joint Committee for Tertiary Education, held at the Hilton Kingston Hotel. The conference was themed ‘Assessing for Quality: The Tertiary Imperative’Minister Henry Wilson in acknowledging the growing number of institutions now offering tertiary education in Jamaica pointed out that the term, “tertiary is not synonymous with the University of the West Indies”.
“There is a tertiary sector and whereas the University of the West Indies may have been one of the flagship institutions we certainly need to have equity across the sector and that is one of the policy positions that we have to take; we support the University of the West Indies but we support all other components of the tertiary sector with equal vigour and resources,” the Education and Youth Minister said.
While acknowledging that tertiary education was “confronted with unprecedented challenges”, Mrs. Henry-Wilson said there was a need to look at the opportunities which exist and “negate the threats of growth to the sector in Jamaica”.
Mrs. Henry Wilson noted further that with the impact of globalization, the growth of the knowledge-based economy and the information and communication revolution, the sector had much to do as tertiary education now played a greater role in developing knowledge economies and democratic societies, and was central to the creation of intellectual capital.
Mrs. Henry Wilson while warning of the dangers of “using industrial quality standards to define academic standards”, said there was also a need “to look at issues relating to attitudes, values, behaviour, relationships,” in any attempt to assess the quality of tertiary education.
The Conference, which was intended to focus on four different areas which bear on assessment, involved discussions on, “Accreditation: evolution, process and significance”, “Transcripts: Preparation, Presentation and Portability”, “Curriculum: Designing for Quality” and “Assessment Methods”.
The Joint Committee for Tertiary Education (JCTE) was launched in 1991 and operates under the auspices of the University Council of Jamaica.