Minister of Finance, Christopher Sinckler is less than pleased with the quality of graduates coming out of the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus (UWI) despite an injection of $140 million a year by government.
He made this observation recently while addressing the graduates of the St Lawrence Primary School graduation ceremony at the Accra Beach Resort.
Mr. Sinckler revealed that over the last 15 years, ??the significant injection – which had more than doubled from $60 million to $140 million, had created an unevenness throughout the educational system.
He added: "This meant that we had less to spend and this imbalance needs to be addressed, not as it relates to spending at the university, but to ensure that the expenditure across the educational system, from nursery right up to the Barbados Community College and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic level, was more balanced and adequately allotted."
However, the Finance Minister said government’s focus must not only be to raise the level of entrants into the UWI, but to "ensure that the output we get from the university is of a high and consistently high standard".
"What has happened over the last few years has been, in my view, a less than stellar output in relation to quality from the University of the West Indies Cave Hill.?? Not that we are saying that the students who have graduated are bad students, but that we need to pay closer attention to the quality and level of education [which is being] imparted and the quality of adaptability of those students when they leave the university system and enter the world of work.
"It has fallen on this government to ensure that we seek to have the best quality coming from the university.?? But, we cannot get that superior quality that we want if the input is not of a similarly high quality," Mr. Sinckler emphasised.
He further suggested that the performance of students in a secondary school would only be as good as the teaching imparted to them while at primary school.?? Likewise, students in the primary school would only be as good as the quality education received at the nursery level.
"Therefore it must follow logically that the UWI can only put out top students if the quality of the students going in is high already.?? I have made the point as Minister of Finance that having a situation where we continue to relax the entry level requirements in order to satisfy numbers, is going to compromise quality at the end of the exercise,".