Research establishments before signing up for studies – NAB
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September 27, 2013

Research establishments before signing up for studies – NAB

Some persons here are being duped into spending exorbitant sums of money on bogus programmes of study, which award certificates of no value.{{more}}

And according to the National Accreditation Board (NAB), some of the establishments which engage in this particular activity are based in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

During the launch of an Accreditation Awareness Campaign on Tuesday, Dr Rosalind Ambrose, chair of the NAB, explained that under the Ministry of Education, there is an Accreditation Unit whose role is to receive complaints from persons who have had this experience, as well as to investigate the establishments which are engaging in these fraudulent activities.

“Diploma mills have always been around for quite a long time, but now, they have mushroomed and they have bloomed into big businesses for people who are successful at getting gullible individuals to invest large sums of money in useless bits of paper,” Ambrose said.

The chair revealed that there are establishments like these in St Vincent and the Grenadines that lure persons with the idea of not having to leave the country and their family behind, to pursue a higher education.

“Right here in St Vincent and the Grenadines, there are a number of establishments and I use the word establishments, because they’re not really institutions, who advertise courses, some with names that will catch your eye,” she said.

“They are not credible. We have seen some of the qualifications they have presented to individuals who have invested, sometimes their life savings, sometimes multiple loans at the bank…and at the end of it all, the certificate they possess is not real, therefore there is no leverage on the job for presenting that kind of certificate”.

Furthermore, the chair stated that the certificates being given by the establishments look as though they could be created using digital image editing software like Photoshop.

Member of the board of directors of the NAB Joye Browne acknowledged that the need to acquire knowledge is very prevalent in today’s society.

However, Browne stated that persons must be aware of the quality of education they are receiving.

“We have to focus on quality. The quality of education that is received,” she said.

“That institution has to demonstrate that the programme of work which it provides to one of its members is in fact of that quality, so that the graduate of that programme is able to compete with any other graduate, all over the world”.

The NAB is encouraging persons to pay attention to the Accreditation Awareness Campaign, which will highlight what to look for, in relation to a higher level institution being accredited.

“This period of time when we have this awareness campaign, we hope that citizens will pay attention to the information provided by the unit. It is there not to deter you from going for higher education, but to guide you into what you should be looking for, questions you should be asking and where you can come to have your questions answered,” Ambrose said.

The campaign will begin in October and will feature a variety of activities, which will take place in areas of Central Leeward, Marriaqua and Kingstown, to sensitize the public about accreditation.

Included in the list of activities is the interactive “Views on Issues” radio programme, which will be aired on NBC radio on October 13.(BK)