MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Manchester councillor Fairbourne Maxwell (PNP, Mile Gully Division) says a university built at the birthplace of National Hero Norman Washington Manley would be a fitting tribute in this Jamaica's 50th year of Independence.
Manley, a key figure in Jamaica's political history, was born in the community of Roxborough in Central Manchester, several miles south of the Mandeville town centre.
"With the mannerism, image and persona of Norman Manley it will take on, we will be teaching all foreign languages there. It would be a niche market that we are talking about that would attract a lot of persons from all over the world and become a melting pot (of cultures)," he told the Jamaica Observer Central.
Maxwell argued that for the next 50 years "true" advancement should take place in Jamaica and that the expansion of educational opportunities should be part of the platform.
"My 5/25/2013 is 2062. We need intellectual revolutionaries in Jamaica to take charge. We need a consensus of ideas from our two main political parties for true development," he said.
Roxborough is designated a heritage site. However, Maxwell believes that more can be done to honour the memory of Norman Manley and other national heroes.
On July 4 every year, the anniversary of Manley's birth is celebrated with a civic ceremony in Roxborough hosted by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission and facilitated by the Manchester Parish Council. A proposal has been drafted for a bust of the national hero to be erected in the park in the Mandeville town centre.
Maxwell's idea for the construction of a university in Roxborough is in line with increasing calls for Mandeville and its environs to be recognised as a university town.
Post-secondary academic and skills training institutions in Mandeville include Northern Caribbean University, the expanding Catholic College of Mandeville — which offers a Masters degree through Saint Mary's University of Minnesota — Church Teachers' College, Knox Community College, the University of the West Indies Open Campus, Jamaica Bible College, University College of the Caribbean, Southwest TVET Institute, Vocational Training and Development Institute — the tertiary arm of HEART Trust/NTA — and the Management Institute for National Development.