Fri | Sep 21, 2018

Concerns over UTech dental programme

Published:Friday | May 1, 2015 | 12:00 AM


I read with concern an article by the esteemed Dr Jeffrey Meeks in The Gleaner ('Toothless defence of UTech dental programme', April 29, 2015).

Two things that jumped out at me were accreditation, and how our regular readers and even writers interpret accreditation and its related process. I would like the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ) to do more to educate the public about accreditation. Academic institutions also need to provide information on how the process is conducted, and implications should be available on their website. The other is the lack of ethics which emerges.

The article infers that the dean of the College of Oral Health Sciences is dually employed. Can the interim president of UTech, the minister of health, the education minister and/or the minister of finance respond?

I look to the interim president, as he is the present leader of UTech. The education minister had recently requested a report from UTech and I believe an audit was conducted, so possibly that may have come up in the report. Who knows? Anyhow, UTech falls under his portfolio.

Next, the minister of health. The dean in question is the chief dental officer and would most likely be one of the minister's advisers. Finally, the minister of finance - is there no system in place to identify such impropriety? It would be interesting to hear the Public Service Commission's take on something like this.

The dean of the training institution is the chief dental officer, who is a member of the Dental Council and part of the licensing body. Does this, in any way, reflect unfair advantage and to whom?

The more I consider the situation, the shadier it seems and the more questions I have.