SVG Community College to upgrade and widen programme offerings
October 10, 2023

SVG Community College to upgrade and widen programme offerings

The St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC) is undergoing restructuring, which will see upgrades and additions to the programmes being offered.

This according to Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves who, speaking on WE FM’s Issue at Hand programme on Sunday October 8, said the SVGCC is “on a never-ending mission” to improve the quality of persons who teach at the SVGCC and as a result, there are more persons with PHDs and Masters lecturing there.

Gonsalves said agreements have been signed with Morocco, Cuba, and Taiwan as he wants the faculty to include not only Vincentians, but other nationalities that bring different ways of training, different ideas and cultures.

He said that this does not mean that existing lecturers are going to lose their jobs, but what it means is that the SVGCC will be strengthened by personnel that will include visiting professors and full time staff.

“In addition to the central administration you have, the reforms which are being proposed and which we have to further refine, I have given blessings for their exploration now on the technical level and they are having a meeting this week…,” Gonsalves explained.

He said numbers have to be finalized by Cabinet and instead of having a school for only nursing education, it would be called a faculty for health sciences, where students can pursue studies in pharmacology and other health related areas.

“Instead of having the technical vocational education division, we want to conceptualize that in terms of a faculty of technology, engineering and innovation.

“Instead of the teachers division, we call it a faculty of education, instead of the division of arts and general studies, we call it a faculty of sciences and liberal arts, and we set up an institute of hospitality studies and culinary arts which would involve incidentally, the private sector too, because we want to have the hospitality and maritime institute to be managed properly by an entity which involves private sector inputs,” the Prime Minister explained.

He noted also that they are hoping to have a centre of general and continuing education that would involve a setup called ‘entrepreneurship and innovation and industry services unit’, that works with the private sector.

“Once we do that, we have to ask the question whether we don’t have to incorporate…adult and continuing education, because there would be a lot of duplication so we can save the duplication,” Gonsalves said, while noting that the persons enrolled in adult and continuing education can have even further advancement.

Government is hoping to begin the process, starting with the upcoming budget, and has already had a discussion with the solicitor general and a drafter as changes would have to be made to the law.

“I am telling you these things because you are not hearing these ideas coming from persons other than the government,” Gonsalves said.

It was also noted that this year, government will award 65 national scholarships, national exhibitions, special awards and bursaries.

The Prime Minister said 25 of the 65 persons have academic scores in their various programs of 80 per cent or over and those persons will receive national scholarships.

“Last year we didn’t have that number,” the Prime Minister told listeners. He noted that for the first time this year, a student from one of the Associate Degree programs, paralegal studies, will receive a national scholarship and can now do a three-year law degree as she has the requisite entry requirements.

Gonsalves said this must be noted as the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) has in the past, criticized the Associate Degree programs.