Minister Karim - Increase in Tertiary Education Enrollment
September 15, 2014: As of December 31, 2013 the Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training (MTEST), has seen a marked increase in tertiary education enrollment and participation.
This from MTEST Minister, Fazal Karim, who stated that participation in tertiary education has increased to 65.23 per cent as at December 31, 2013.
Karim, speaking recently at a symposium on The Future of Learning through Technology at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Center, noted that this was due to an expansion of the Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses (GATE).
“Approximately 67,000 students access the Gate programme. The Government of T&T, in our manifesto commitment, indicated that one of the targets for accomplishments would be a participation rate of 60 per cent in the tertiary sector by the beginning of 2015. When I became minister and I assumed responsibility for the ministry the participation rate in the tertiary sector was 42 per cent. As of December 31, 2013 we are now at 65.23 per cent,” he stated.
This increase did not include students participating in technical vocational education, he added.
“We are now in the process of calculating that additional figure for the vocational sector and I am sure it will be very impressive,” said Karim.
The St Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies, he noted had only just started offering a masters degree in vocational education and training. Plans were also underway, he said, to have a PhD in technical and vocational education and training.
The keynote address was delivered by Professor Sugata Mitra, a professor of educational technology and research at the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences, Newcastle University, United Kingdom.
Mitra was a guest of the Ministry, who has been promoting self directed learning through technology and is the founder of the "Hole in the Wall" computer project--which was installed for use by children in an impoverished district in India.
Mitra, in addressing the audience, suggested that broadband technology be offered to children free of charge.