Several Innovations Soon From UWI

Published on June 1, 2015 by Joy-Ann Gill

Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education, Jennifer Obidaha speaking at the opening of a three-day biennial conference of UWI's Schools of Education at the Accra Beach Hotel today. (A.Gaskin/BGIS)

Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education, Jennifer Obidah, has assured delegates attending a three-day Biennial Conference of the Schools of Education of the University of the West Indies (UWI) that that institution is responding to myriad changes and challenges.

Speaking at the opening ceremony at Accra Beach Hotel, she reminded participants that Cave Hill’s mandate was to provide educational programmes to serve the Eastern Caribbean region and attend to the educational needs of its constituents in an ever changing social, economic and political landscape. 

“The Campus leadership has and continues to operationalise cutting-edge innovation, and we in the Faculty of Humanities and Education contribute to these endeavours with innovations in all areas, including education,” Dr. Obidah said. 

She revealed that programmes were being created to attract students locally, regionally and internationally. The Dean noted that there would be a visiting scholar programme for eminent scholars on sabbatical leave to engage with students, and a state-of-the-art child care development and training centre to train students in Early Childhood Development. 

She said the UWI would partner with SUNY Cortland for student and faculty exchanges and locally with the Barbados Child Care Board to study and train students in meeting the learning needs of severely disabled students.

Other innovations listed included: a novice teacher postgraduate Diploma in Education; a Masters’ programme in Education Leadership, Special Needs and School Counselling with a practicum and other experiential experiences; a BA in Social Studies with emphasis on Health and Family Life; and a UWI 101 inviting secondary school students on campus in the summer to experience university life. 

It was also noted that 250 secondary students, aged 15 to17, will from this summer be made acquainted with the university through the UWI 101 programme. 

Explaining the process, she said: “Participants will choose subjects that will expand their academic horizons, take part in lectures, discussions, individual and group work and project-based assignments as well as exciting and fascinating spectrums of activities, including an overnight stay on the Halls of Residence. These youngsters will have an opportunity to interact with faculty, which may spark their interest in studying at the UWI.”

Dr. Obidah also took the opportunity to remind Barbadians that myriad avenues for financial aid for the UWI existed, and they should speak with representatives of the Tuition Learning Centre. The conference continues until Wednesday, June 3, with the aim of enabling discussion on opportunities for responding to emerging educational challenges.