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Ensure that graduates are globally marketable- Thwaites

Published:Monday | October 12, 2015 | 10:33 AM
Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites looks on as Dr Roderick Karl James is installed as new chancellor of The Mico University College by chair of The Lady Mico Trust, Reverend Rachel Benson. The installation ceremony was held on October 6 at The Mico’s Marescaux Road campus.

Education Minister Ronald Thwaites last week called on The Mico University College to set the pace for the teaching profession in Jamaica by ensuring that its graduates are globally marketable.

"The Mico still has much to contribute to teacher education and development of the nation," said Thwaites during his speech at The Mico's installation ceremony for its new chancellor, Dr Roderick Karl James, on the grounds of the institution last week.

"It [The Mico] is a world-renowned institution, whose graduates are respected. It must, therefore, continue to set the pace in the provision of quality graduates in programme areas of need which will make its graduates more marketable, not only in Jamaica but in countries abroad," he continued.

In response, President of The Mico Dr Asburn Pinnock said the school is making significant strides in improving the quality of education that it offers to its budding teachers.

"The Mico is committed to improving the standards of the teaching profession in Jamaica to meet world-class standards," he said.

"We recognise that the teaching profession has to evolve to meet the growing needs of the technologically savvy generation. This is why we are in the process of upgrading our teaching curriculum, while continuing to nurture our students to become critical thinkers and problem solvers that are ready to meet the needs of Jamaica and the world," he ended.

The Mico University College, formerly known as The Mico Teachers' College, is one of the oldest teacher-training colleges in the Western Hemisphere, and one of the oldest in the world. The college was founded in 1836 as a coeducational institution training British volunteers to teach in Jamaican schools. The institution was upgraded to The Mico University College by the Ministry of Education, which mandated that it make the majority of its curriculum degree programmes in teacher education and related areas.

Its newly installed chancellor served as chairman of The Mico board for 27 years and has been making a significant contribution in educational leadership. He is director of Jamaica Youth for Christ and the Calabar Trust, and is the chairman of the Vaz Preparatory school board. The outgoing chancellor, Professor Errol Miller, has served as chancellor since 2009.