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Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has disclosed that the gross enrolment ratio of students accessing tertiary level education now stands at nineteen per cent of the age cohort and that the goal of the government was to achieve a 30 per cent gross enrolment by 2015.
The information was provided by the Hon. Donald Buchanan, Minister of Information and Development, who on Monday (Nov. 6) delivered the Prime Minister’s opening address at the 16th Annual General Meeting and Conference of the Association of Caribbean Tertiary Institutions at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston.
Mrs. Simpson Miller said that within the context of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy, greater emphasis will have to be directed at the tertiary level, as this was where the majority of opportunities available to Caribbean nationals would become available.
“The majority of the opportunities for Caribbean nationals under the single economy are going to emerge not at the primary and secondary education levels. Rather, it is at the professional, skills-based and technical competency levels that CSM opportunities are going to be most evident and in greatest demand,” the Prime Minister stated.
She charged delegates attending the conference to identify ways in which tertiary education can be improved and made more accessible. She said that this must entail making it more equitable and affordable and could be achieved by means of virtual learning, through entities such as the Caribbean Knowledge Learning Network.
Mrs. Simpson Miller also placed emphasis on the need to establish sustainable financing systems that would encourage responsiveness and flexibility in the tertiary education sector. She said deliberate programmes to address issues of governance, finance and quality assurance, must be at the forefront of efforts to build a tertiary education system that would provide support for the Caribbean Single Economy. (MORE)Tertiary enrollment.2
The Prime Minister had high praises for the leadership role of the University of the West Indies and commended former Chancellor Sir Alister MacIntyre for recognizing the need to strengthen the various national entities into one effective regional body. She said integration of the entities into a regional network was an important part of the way forward for the region.
The Association of Caribbean Tertiary Institutions was inaugurated in Jamaica in 1990 and has a membership of 95 institutions from 20 countries across the region. The Association’s 16th Annual General Meeting and Conference continue at the Jamaica Conference Centre under the theme ‘Leadership Development and Succession Planning to build Tertiary Education to support an emergent CSME.’