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Don’t dilute quality assurance in education – Marshall

Published:Wednesday | March 13, 2019 | 12:00 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer


Dr Phylicia Marshall, assistant chief education officer in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, says the quality assurance services offered by tertiary institutions should not be watered down with a growing demand for practical training.

“Amid the increasing demands for relevant practical training programmes that are aligned to the demands of today’s marketplace and also greater access to courses, institutional quality cannot be watered down,” said Marshall, who was representing Education Minister Ruel Reid at yesterday’s University Council of Jamaica (UCJ) symposium on quality assurance in higher education at the Iberostar Hotel in Montego Bay.

Marshall said the work of the UCJ could not be overstated, noting that education and training were critical to the development of the society. The theme of the symposium was ‘Quality Assurance in Higher Education, Managing Expectations and Changes’.

“Students who seek to attend our institutions do so with the expectations that they will be receiving a quality educational experience and that the certificates they obtain at the end of their programmes of study will be recognised locally and internationally,” said Marshall.

“They and their families will often expend considerable financial resources in the confidence that the institutions are operating within the parameters of nationally and internationally accepted standards,” added Marshall.

The education official said the quality of the education being offered should be good enough to inspire the requisite confidence in the marketplace and serve as a source of inspiration to others who might have a desire to educate themselves.

“Employers, institutions and the general public must, therefore, have confidence in the knowledge and competence of the graduates of our tertiary institutions for the various professions as well as for further studies,” insisted Marshall. “Public accountability is, therefore, of paramount importance and herein lies the value of the University Council of Jamaica.”

She commended the council for the excellent work it has been doing in monitoring, auditing and assuring the quality of higher educational institutions and programmes.