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

"Tertiary education cannot be seen as a race towards an automated completion of a programme in order to wear a cap and gown."

These were the remarks made by Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones, at the Biennial Conference of the University of the West Indies’ (UWI), School of Education.

Minister Jones told the gathering of educators and administrators that tertiary education must bring about societal improvement.??"It must result in graduates who can transfer critical thinking skills, knowledge and positive attitudes to everyday experiences for personal and societal good," he advised.

Commending the UWI on its introduction of the Student Entrepreneurial Empowerment Development (SEED) Programme, designed to develop self-reliance, innovation and entrepreneurship among tertiary-level students, Mr. Jones challenged the University to remain relevant to societal demands.

"The reality which must be faced here at the University of the West Indies is that of ensuring that your curriculum remains relevant to societal demands as well as gender needs, while taking into account the learning styles of male and female students," he pointed out.

The former teacher added that the successful delivery of a meaningful curriculum depended on the strength and cohesiveness of "the communities of practice" within educational institutions.

"You have the option of operating as separate and distinct entities with marginal success or harmonising your efforts toward greater achievements that are lasting and relevant. But, I must caution you, without this cohesiveness and communities of practice, your enduring mission to propel the economic, social, political and cultural development of West Indian society will be a moving target," he stated.

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