Thu | Sep 20, 2018

Knockalva could become 'Mona of the west', says Pinnock

Published:Monday | September 10, 2018 | 12:00 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer
Front row (front left): Granville Valentine, general secretary, National Workers Union (NWU); Clement Lawrence, chairman, JWN Foundation; Odetta Rockhead Kerr, vice-president and country head, Sutherland; and Dr Fritz Pinnock, president of Caribbean Maritime University pose with the JWN Foundation 2018 Scholarship recipients during the awards ceremony, held at the Courtleigh Auditorium on Tuesday, September 4.

Western Bureau-

Dr Michelle Pinnock, regional director in the Ministry of Education (MOE) Region 4, said that if it realises it fullest potential, the new Knockalva Polytechnic College in Ramble, Hanover, could become the Mona (the UWI campus in Kingston) of western Jamaica.

"We are at a stage in western Jamaica when we have to bring the training to the students, and we know that we do not want any of them to be left behind for any reason," said Pinnock, while speaking at the official launch of the 2018-2019 academic year, which took place at the new institution, which was formerly Knockalva Agricultural School.

"The new Knockalva Polytechnic College will be like the Mona of western Jamaica," added Pinnock, in expressing her optimism of the impact the institution will create.

The Knockalva Polytechnic College will offer diverse programmes while not losing its former focus, which was on agriculture. It will be offering an industry-responsive model of education, with opportunities for experimental learning, entrepreneurship and applied research.

 

Expand tertiary opportunities

 

Dr Grace McLean, chief education officer in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, said that like the new 'K to 13' (kindergarten to grade 13) strategy, which the government has implemented, Knockalva Polytechnic College forms part of the drive to expand tertiary opportunities.

"We begin the new year against the backdrop of several new programmes and projects being spearheaded and implemented by the MOE," said McLean. "These are quite critical as we seek to ensure that we are preparing our citizens for the fourth Industrial Revolution and beyond."

Education Minister Ruel Reid, who gave the keynote address, said the world is now in the fourth Industrial Revolution, where artificial intelligence is taking over, hence the need to tailor our educational system to meet the new challenges.

"It therefore means that education cannot be elitist anymore, because the actual survival of all our people is now set clearly on educational opportunities," said Reid.