Professor Morrison: Region is severely  lagging behind
June 3, 2011
Professor Morrison: Region is severely lagging behind

The people of the Caribbean region are inadequately equipped with regard to our academic soundness, and as a result are not capable of coping with the new technological demands of the world.{{more}}

This was the view expressed by Professor Errol Morrison, Physician and President of the University of Technology, Jamaica, as he delivered the third in a series of Lectures put on by the SVG Community College last Wednesday, May 25, at the Peace Memorial Hall.

Speaking on the topic ‘Tertiary Education in the Caribbean: the needed thrusts’, Morrison explained that the rest of the world had progressed and that other people were becoming interested in studying us more than we were ourselves.

According to Morrison, his premise was based on the fact that according to the World Bank, people need at least 12 years of formal schooling to cope with the technological demands within the workplace.

However, for most member states in the region, this number was nowhere close.

He further contended that the world now operates on science and not just raw talent.

“We need to study, do research and apply innovation,” Morrison said, but the region is severely lagging behind.

During the 1990s, the Heads of Governments for CARICOM had indicated that they anticipated that within two decades, the region would have seen at least 20 per cent of the cohort from secondary schools entering a tertiary level institution, Morrison said.

“We haven’t gotten there yet,” he said.

This prompted the point that the region needed more individuals with a tertiary level education and it does not matter the discipline chosen.

In fact, according to the University’s president, the region has also been emphasizing the importance of obtaining a graduate education.

“That is the way we need to move as a region,” Morrison explained.

He added that a tertiary level education was also important if as a region we were looking at sustainable development.

“Long time ago, it was sufficient to acquire a job with just a GCE certificate. Now if you don’t have a Master’s in many areas, you salt.”

He further explained that the region was now in a dynamic situation where the role of Education needed to be recognized.

And although there were mechanisms such as scholarships, bursaries and loan schemes put in place to assist persons looking to pursue a tertiary level education, Morrison said that the private sector has been failing in its contribution.

This warranted a call by Morrison for more partnerships between the private sector and governments.

Paving the way for the night’s main speaker was Androz Bascombe, a student of the Division of Technical and Vocational Education, who delivered the evening’s Lecturette.