JTA wants better policies to empower community colleges
Dr Garth Anderson, president of the Jamaica Teachers' Association, is calling on the Government to provide the legislative frame-work that would empower and equip community colleges to effectively prepare their students to meet the demands of the global workforce.
"As institutions of the State, those who set policies must also recognise the strategic roles you play and give the necessary support for you to forge these new pathways," Anderson said at the Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica's annual conference in Montego Bay, St James, on Wednesday.
"We live and operate in a global economy that requires a complex set of skills to advance growth and development. No longer is there a demand for workers to just possess a degree or other certifications. Instead, pressure is being brought to bear on holders of such qualifications to be innovative and practical in their approach to problem solving."
He continued, "If we are serious about finding a cure for the many social ills in our society, such as poverty, crime and violence, and the breakdown in our values and family structures; if we are serious about creating a prosperous and, indeed, a productive society, we must invest in education that is innovative and sustainable."
According to Anderson, the need for policy that would guide and direct the offerings for students in community colleges is important, given the demand for highly qualified and skilled workers.
"As colleges, you are closely linked with the needs of the communities and, indeed, the country. You are being challenged to become the gateway to provide our young people with multiple avenues to gain relevant qualifications and skills that the workplace is demanding, and, indeed, those that will equip them for life itself," he said.