Education Minister, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, is urging the nation’s tertiary institutions to engage in greater and more focused research that will redound to the nation’s benefit.
Speaking at Northern Caribbean University’s (NCU) colloquium at its central campus in Mandeville, Manchester on Monday (August 20), Rev. Thwaites contended that the $10 billion in state funding allocated to tertiary institutions annually, “must be deployed to purposeful programmes for research and development to meet national needs”.
Rev. Thwaites cited Mathematics, for which he said assistance is being sought to improve students’ performance, as an example of an area for research consideration.
“We are searching for answers. We are searching for help in order to improve the system. But when one looks on the (level) of assistance that is coming (to this end), I would expect that it is from the universities that you would expect to receive the most thoughtful, the most progressive, and the most committed suggestions for reform,” he argued.
Noting the more than 17 universities and colleges currently registered in Jamaica, offering more than 50 accredited courses, Rev. Thwaites stressed the need for tertiary sector stakeholders to be both the “thinking and…and (action) arm…of the state”.
“I am asking and I am pleading that, in the circumstances of our education system, in the circumstances of our national condition, surely, we have to become more focused (in addressing the concerns arising),” the Minister underscored.
In commending NCU for its contribution to the development of tertiary education for over 100 years, Rev. Thwaites, who described the institution as one of “much pedigree”, encouraged the administrators to “continue along the lines of focused research…that is directed towards national needs”.
The NCU’s colloquium, held under the theme: ‘The Relevance of Seventh-Day Adventist Higher Education in Today’s Global Environment’, was convened to, among other things, unveil and discuss plans for the institution’s expansion and development. Over 100 delegates and guests attended the two-day seminar, which concludes Tuesday August 21.