Fri | Sep 17, 2021

UWI protest a shot in the arm

Published:Thursday | May 10, 2012 | 12:00 AM


THE RECENT events which have unfolded on the campus of the nation's premier institution for tertiary education, the University of the West Indies, has served to be the proverbial periodic shot in the arm for the anatomy of our nation's consciousness. The frustration of some students, which was clearly manifested in the noisy demonstrative acts led by the guild of students, has contrived to awaken our nation from its familiar slumber with regard to the provisions for tertiary education.

This new-found attention must not be allowed to drift into the misty backdrop of obscurity but, rather, buttressed so as to derive credible gains for the fight of tertiary education. It goes without saying that greater access to tertiary education in this century is a most critical economic imperative, and any nation which ignores this reality does so as its peril.

As a country, and as a people, we must now seriously start the dispassionate debate with regard to the funding of tertiary education - this debate must be had now, for the costs which may accrue as a result of further dithering and delay may be too great. With the demand for higher education on the rise and the fragile shoulders of the Students' Loan Bureau seem to be buckling under the strain of increased pressure, this time is fertile soil for the planting of various seedlings of ideas for the future treatment and approach to tertiary education. One thing is certain, as the students have explicitly stated by virtue of their actions, things cannot be allowed to remain as is.

Noel Forbes Matherson