UNESCO, the World Bank, the Jamaican Ministry of Education as well as development experts all agree that the economic revolution that Jamaica awaits is only possible with a robust and agile education sector. UNESCO also notes that no society today can compete effectively without engaging the changes taking place in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, which has seen rapid and intense growth over the last two decades. Jamaica, given its strengths in the cultural industry and entertainment, and its burgeoning media and communication sector, can benefit enormously from embracing ICT as a platform for development.
As the unit in Jamaica’s national university dedicated to providing technical and vocational education, training in communication arts and technology, and second and foreign languages, we have been leaders in education and training for more than forty years. Notwithstanding this past, our strategic objectives include broadening our options so more students can benefit from our offerings. To this end, we have been strengthening the quality and attractiveness of our programmes by continually assessing their relevance and updating our curricula to align them with industry standards.
Over the next two years our research agenda includes projects that will not only bolster our course offerings but also give us advantages as innovative and strategic players in areas such as alternative education, communication arts and technology, apparel design, management and production, and applied linguistics. In this period, too, we intend to become even more active in leading the university’s thrust to take more of its programmes online.
We are proud to provide a nurturing environment for all our students and expect them to develop a consciousness of their role as global citizens with rights but also responsibilities. On completion of any of our programmes, we expect them to be optimally marketable and sensitive to the impact that globalisation has had and will continue to have on their career paths. To this end, we recently became home to the university’s newly established centre for the internationally recognised Diploma de Español Como Lengua Extranjera (DELE), which certifies an individual’s competence in Spanish (visit www.dele.utech.edu.jm). We will also soon become home to a UNESCO TVET centre, marking our leadership in the field of technical and vocational education in Jamaica and the wider Commonwealth Caribbean.
We view our primary task as that of charting the course for social, educational and cultural change in Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean. We will continue to provide support for efforts targeting teacher training, and education for social and cultural transformation. We will also ensure that there is growth in our research endeavours, particularly those relating to identifying solutions to bridge the human development gap in the region.
Rohan A. Lewis, Ph.D.
Dean, Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies