Caribbean has lowest tertiary enrolment in the West

BY GERALD REID Observer writer

Saturday, September 24, 2016

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THE Caribbean has the lowest enrolment in tertiary education in the Western Hemisphere, and Jamaica is among those countries with the lowest figures in the region.

This is according to principal of The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, Professor Archibald McDonald, who put the national tertiary enrolment figure at roughly 10 per cent of the population. Speaking Wednesday at the launch of the 5th staging of the Caribbean Broilers (CB) Group/UWI 5K Run Road Race, he argued that the figure needs to be increased if the country is to realise its development goals.

"We are at about 10 per cent and need to get to 30 per cent if we are to have any significant impact on national development. Any effort to assist students to enrol in a tertiary institution must be lauded," Professor McDonald said.

Proceeds from the 5K event finance some academic and sport scholarships, as well as contribute to the development of sports programmes and facilities.

"As we all are aware, tertiary education, though necessary to succeed in today’s society, is neither free nor inexpensive. The 5K participants are provided with a unique opportunity to assist with funding academic and sports scholarships for several new and current UWI students who are in desperate need of financial assistance," said the UWI principal.

He added that as part of the university’s continued commitment to social responsibility, the annual CB 5K allows it to join two very important causes (education and sports development) into an event that brings together a wide cross section of the Jamaican society under the resonating themes of fitness, well-being and communal altruism.

McDonald told the gathering also that funding tertiary education for needy students was the motivating force behind the annual staging of the event, and that it epitomises the UWI’s commitment to further educate the people of Jamaica.

"The funds raised by the challenge aids in the future development of the UWI’s sports programme and facilities. For many of our youth, sports have become a necessary shelter from their troubles and acts as a guidepost to their future achievements," the Professor added.

Hence, he said, the 5K will provide a necessary boost to the university’s ability to become a meaningful contributor to sports education and training.

"Our aim is to be able to provide first-class equipment and facilities that would transform The UWI into a training ground for first-class athletes hoping to represent Jamaica on the international and regional sporting stage," McDonald said.




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