Advocacy in text

Advocacy in text

Observer columnist launches book #6

Thursday, November 26, 2020

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Noted academic and social commentator Dr Canute Thompson yesterday had a virtual launch event of his sixth book, Education and Development: Policy Imperatives for Jamaica and the Caribbean.

Keynote speaker at the event Professor Sir Kenneth Hall, former governor general and principal of The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, hailed the publication as having created a needed nexus between activitism and econonic development. He explained that it was time educational initiatives found place in the pursuit of development and the book pointed the way.

Hall added that, while activism no longer required blocking the gates to the university — as was the measure of activism for change in the past — publication of thoughts such as this book were “substantive...provocative [and] enligthening”.

The publication is divided in three parts, namely, issues on higher education; social activities, economic development and crime; as well as leadership and institiutional development.

For his part Sir Hillary Beckles, vice chancellor of The University of the West Indies, said Jamaica is moving into the second phase of nation-building and “we need to take stock... take a new guard...buckle down... and this is where Canute is holding our feet to the fire. We have some policy imperatives we need to deal with... and what we have [across the levels of the educational system] is that the plumbing is broken in the basement” and this text deals with this predicament.

“The conversation in this text brings this home very clearly... the issue of social capital.. [and] human resource... This text is most relevant,” Sir Hillary said, adding that the region has not fuelled and funded education in the way that it should.

Ambassador Dr Richard Bernal, himself an author of five books, said: “Dr Thompson has a rare quality of a pellucid writing style [and] his data is well-marshalled... This is important becuase the value of this book in changing education policy based on the rcommendations [therein] depend on this accessibility.”

He went on to wholeheartedly recommended the book as essential reading for all individuals interested in social and economic development of the Caribbean, adding that it has relevance for other regions as well.

Also hailing the publication at the online launch were Dr Waibinte Wariboko, dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education at The UWI, Mona; Dr Marcia Rainford, director of the School of Education at The UWI, Mona; and Dr Wayne Wesley, registrar and CEO of Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).

The 196-page book was published by UWI Press.

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