Government Looking At Funding Overseas Students

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Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Bruce Alleyne; Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones; President of USC, Professor Trevor Gardner; former Education Director of the Eastern Conference of Seventh Day Adventists, Dr. Norma Niles and President of USC Alumni, Pastor Victor Roach, posing before the special meeting.

Government is exploring the option of providing funding for students who have to travel overseas to pursue degrees that are not offered in Barbados.

Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones, made this disclosure recently, during talks with President of the University of the Southern Caribbean (USC), Professor Trevor Gardner, at the Ministry’s Constitution Road headquarters.

Noting that "nothing was definite at this time", Mr. Jones said that the matter was however being given serious consideration in areas that were critical to the development of this nation.

"Government is looking into providing funding for students who have to go places like UTech to access education," he said.

The Minister also opined that Government needed to expand its vision in the local education sector in order to meet increasing demands.?? "We have to expand our vision. The Barbados Community College is still at a three year level in its nursing programme and there is some pressure to add the fourth and what would be the final year. Erdiston is now doing a Bachelor of Education from next year, which will include necessary elements like elementary education," he pointed out.

Discussions also centered on the USC, formerly the Caribbean Union College’s, academic programme. Professor Gardner noted that the Trinidad-based university catered mainly to the needs of Governments in the region and offered a number of programmes in a variety of disciplines.

He also highlighted a number of programmes which the USC was working on to assist with social ills. To this end, he stated that they were proposing the implementation of a programme entitled "BRAIN", which was designed to equip youth who passed through the court system, with the necessary skills to re-enter society.??

"There is also the Male Academy for Teachers and Educators which is expected to train both male and female teachers in ways to deal with boys at school.?? This is expected to address concerns that there are not enough good male influences in the school," he added.

Professor Gardner also explained that the University was expanding its capacity and was partnering with the Loma Linda University in Southern California, to assist in the development of a number of subjects, including Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy.??

Former Education Director of the Eastern Conference of Seventh Day Adventists, Dr. Norma Niles; Acting Permanent Secretary, Bruce Alleyne and President of USC Alumni, Victor Roach, also attended the meeting.??

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