The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information’s inaugural Higher Education Summit concluded on Friday (May 11), with production of a ‘Declaration on higher education in Jamaica.’
The document, which emerged out of two days of deliberations by stakeholders at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston, is expected to guide the development of legislation on governance, quality assurance and regulation of tertiary education.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Ruel Reid, who spoke to JIS NEWS after accepting the declaration from Chairman of the Higher Education Summit Committee, Dr. Dameon Black, said it will be integral in transforming the way tertiary education is delivered in Jamaica.
“This is very historic because it is setting the platform for how Jamaica is going to position itself to develop its human resources at a very high level. So, we can have the critical mass of workers, who are trained and aligned to the areas of national priority, the areas where the economy is going, the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) areas [and] the industrial areas,” he said.
“This is what this forum and summit have been about. It’s solving our human resource problem, resolving the issues in the tertiary education sector and planting Jamaica firmly on a path for serious growth and development in the future,” he added.
Mr. Reid said he is satisfied that the document, which came out of the suggestions by the various stakeholders, will help chart a course for students to have better access to education at universities.
Senator Reid told JIS NEWS that the decision to stage the summit was to address issues relating to the management and regulation of the higher education sector.
“We’ve been talking about quality assurance. We’ve been talking about registration, regulation, access, financing of the tertiary sector [and] how, as a Ministry, we are organised so that we can have all these things done,” he pointed out.
“So, it was important to have full consultation among the stakeholders, get wide participation of these varying interest groups, and so we come to one consensus, which is what this declaration is about; how we move the education sector forward through tertiary education,” he noted.