A newly-established institution, run by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, has been called upon to help create the balance in education where Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is buttressed by emphasis on the Humanities.
The University of Southern Caribbean (USC) Barbados, which held its Ribbon Cutting ceremony last Sunday, October 26, at Alfonso House, Belleville, St. Michael, was given this mandate by Minister of Education, Ronald Jones.
He commended USC on adding to the list of those who seek to educate young people.
???There is a notion that countries of our size should be engaging heavily in STEM, and there is a tremendous race to expand these areas. But I hope that as we make that wide, penetrative move into STEM, that we do not forget some other aspects of total education of human beings???we do not forget the humanities,??? the Minister said, stressing the need for more discussion on religion, philosophy and history.
As he referred to the programme offerings of USC, the Minister said an education in Dietetics and Nutrition was important because it dealt with the health of a nation. ???We need persons who will examine the health and prescribe the right nutrition for our people across the region,??? he said, noting the high incidence of chronic non-communicable diseases.
Commending the University for seeing it necessary to develop the island???s people, Mr. Jones said: ???We have to take whatever our capacities are – capacities that we currently have or capacities that we look to build out – and here at the University of Southern Caribbean we are looking to build greater capacities among young people. We want to plant our faith in our young people for the future???and that is why we take education seriously,??? he declared.
Meanwhile, President of USC, Dr. Clinton Valley, described the opening of the campus as signifying ???a turning point in terms of the development of Seventh-day Adventist tertiary education on this beautiful island???.
Thanking the Government of Barbados for its willingness to partner with USC, he added: ???The University of Southern Caribbean seeks to transform ordinary people into extraordinary servants of God to humanity, through a holistic tertiary educational experience.
“USC is primarily in the life transformation business and we accomplish this through a holistic educational experience. We believe at USC that in the highest sense the work of life transformation and the work of education are one.???
The newly-opened facility at Belleville has a roll of 36 Barbadian students, and offers online as well as on site teaching. Among its programme offerings is a Bachelor???s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, being done in collaboration with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
When completed, it will allow students to be trained as certified nutritionists, capable of accessing work internationally. In addition, in January, the institution expects to launch a paralegal certificate for those working in law firms.
USC has been in existence for over 87 years. Come next month, members of the public will be afforded the opportunity to better understand the aim and philosophy of the campus as management and staff showcase its programme offerings via an Open Day on Thursday, November 20, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.