Sat | Feb 23, 2019

Gov't supports CASE's quest for university status

Published:Wednesday | November 28, 2018 | 12:00 AMGareth Davis Sr/Gleaner Writer
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Dean-Roy Bernard greets a Cuban teacher at the College of Agriculture Science and Education last Friday.

Portland:

Administrators at the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) in Portland are in a jubilant mood following a visit to that institution by permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Information, Dean-Roy Bernard, last week.

Bernard commended CASE for its varied educational offerings, while stating that not only was he impressed with the opportunities available to the students there, but also that CASE's quest to secure university status will be a reality in short order.

The permanent secretary also said that he was very impressed with what he saw, adding that CASE is very much in tune with where the Ministry of Education is going in terms of science, technology, mathematics, and engineering.

 

Assisting with Challenges

 

"There are challenges at CASE, but the ministry has committed to assist through its capital development project," said Bernard.

"We have asked them (CASE) to package their proposals to us, and certainly, we will look at the strategic alignment to where we are going and provide the support accordingly. We also looked at the students' concern in terms of financial support for their education. We have guaranteed them that in looking at the funding for tertiary education in Jamaica, things will be easier in the short run," he said.

According to Bernard, CASE is to provide the ministry with a list of needy students, so that the necessary support can be applied. He pointed out that CASE is the only agricultural college in the country which is heavily focused on science. He noted that CASE's educational offerings can result in the emergence of more scientists and agricultural teachers, which could seriously impact the economic growth and development of Jamaica.

"Every statistics put out by the Private Institute of Jamaica and the Statistical Institute of Jamaica show that when agriculture grows, the economy grows. So the Ministry of Education is very much interested and willing to provide the proper guidance to a college like CASE.

"The ministry, and the Government in general, are about the expansion of tertiary-level institutions. CASE's university status is aligned to that vision and objective and, therefore, we only need a partnership with them to make this a reality. There are some things that the CASE administration has to do, including self-study, looking at its infrastructure, and looking at its accreditation requirements. Once that is in place, we have an education coordinator now in place to drive all of those institutions that are seeking university-charter status. We are very supportive and willing to work with CASE on that," Bernard said.