Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones??

New facilities may be built in the North of the island to accommodate students pursuing programmes offered by the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP).

This was revealed by Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones recently, while speaking at the ceremonial presentation of scholarship documents to SJPP student Aaron Millar, at the Polytechnic, Wildey, St. Michael.

He explained that the Ministry’s Higher Education Unit was working on ways to address the situation which sees high numbers of students turned away from that institution every year, and also make it easier for persons in the north of the island to attend classes.??

Mr. Jones added that the SJPP would also benefit in a substantial way from a new strategic initiative being developed in the unit, and that the expansion of its campus could begin in the next three to four years.

Meanwhile, the Minister has urged the principal and staff to ensure that the SJPP operates as a tertiary level institution and not just an organisation that operates between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., with some classes on evenings.

"The Board of Management will guide this process but the process of change has to begin at the level of the leadership and practitioners of the institution….?? We have to run faster than we ever have before and that is because there are parts of the world that are way, way ahead of us; way ahead of our technical vocational pursuits, and Barbados should not be playing second fiddle to anybody.?? We have to be leaders in the Caribbean and the Western World, so we have to quickly learn from those and bypass those we interface with," he stressed.

Mr. Jones also advised the administration at the Polytechnic to use the funds allocated to them efficiently and effectively to maximize the service they provide.?? "We spend a large amount of money on education in Barbados, not enough at SJPP because there are so many competing forces for scarce resources, but where we are spending it, it must be maximized…. Where we have gaps in the punctuality of students, gaps in the punctuality of instructors or teachers, that is an inefficient use of resources. The State cannot afford it," the Minister contended.

Aaron Millar is the first student at the SJPP to be awarded a scholarship based solely on academics.?? He will be pursuing studies in Networks Technologies at the Nova Scotia Community College in Canada.????kmoore@barbados.gov.bb

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