JIS News

The Ministry of Education and Youth has completed a strategic policy framework to regulate the tertiary sector and will set up a Tertiary Commission to guide the process.
This was announced today (June 19), by Dr. Yvonnette Marshall, Senior Education Officer in the Tertiary Unit of the Ministry, who spoke on behalf of Minister Henry Wilson, at the opening of the Excelsior Community College annual staff retreat and workshop at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.
“The report is to be operationalised through a working group. The first step will be the establishment of a Tertiary Commission. We are in the process of defining the scope of the Commission and its legal framework,” she told the gathering of lecturers representing some of the island’s community colleges.
She said the Commission would have responsibility for policy and planning; the establishment and application of standards and for research in the sector. It will ensure the integration of the sector, and that strategies and institution plans are aligned with the broader educational component of the national development plan to 2030.
“Among the main responsibilities with which the Commission will be charged will be institutional registration and licensing, articulation of courses and programmes across tertiary bodies, establishing equivalents between national, regional and international bodies, and a transfer framework and the definition of governance standards,” she outlined. The Commission will also recommend a funding formula and provide scholarship oversight.
Dr. Marshall noted that the Commission would not reduce the autonomy of individual institutions, but would ensure the development of a modern sector.
She said this was important in light of the observed exponential growth in educational services being marketed by many offshore options. “In such a situation, it is critical that there be modern state-of-the-art mechanisms that benchmark performance standards of students and institutions, quality and endorse professional standards,” she added.
She noted that efforts were being made concurrently to prepare institutions to be on the cutting edge. “This shows overall commitment to tertiary education, and also a commitment to broadening access through the use of technology,” she pointed out.
The workshop is being held under the theme: ‘Delivering Education in a Changing Environment – Psychosocial and Technological Implications’.

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