Senator Alwin Adams.

Senator Alwin Adams.

New UWI funding model required

REITERATING that the payment of tuition fees by students at the University of the West Indies was a necessary step, Senator Alwin Adams, however, believes that now is the time to revisit the model designed for university funding.

He said, “I believe that with the urgency that we had to undergo, at the time that steps had to be taken, but the time has come that we ought to revisit how the university is funded, to look at a number of fundamental things: One, the key persons involved should get a win-win situation... the university should not be worse off than when the reforms took place.

“Secondly, government should have some of the financial burden transferred from the treasury to the persons who are benefiting. Thirdly, those students who qualify ought to be better able to enter university after the reforms than before. In other words, the poor students, who, qualify to enter university ought not to be denied.

“And the business community ought to be involved. In the first place, they should contribute to the funding, and they should have a say in what is actually taught at university, so that when students graduate, that they are better able to go into the world of work and contribute better than before.”

Speaking in the Senate yesterday, Adams stated that the country could not afford to allow disadvantaged students to continue to fall through the cracks.

Saying that the primary school system must be adjusted to meet the needs of those children having difficulties learning, he underlined that it did not benefit the country to have a section of its population being non-productive, because they could not take full advantage of the educational system.

“We ought not to let up at the primary level, because we know, and the record shows, that at age 11, those particular group of students are forever found at the bottom of the rung, and some people use the euphemism ‘falling through the cracks’, but that need not be so if special consideration is actually given to those students,” he stated, noting that the majority were boys. (JMB)

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