The Open Campus of the University of the West Indies honoured two of its own last night with the naming of two wings of the Pinelands-based institution after them.
Educators Dr Leonard Shorey and the late Dr Bradley Niles, pioneers in outreach programmes in higher education, were lauded by fellow academics for their commitment in assisting individuals who had fallen through the cracks in the educational system. In paying tribute to Shorey, who spent 23 years at the Open Campus, former research fellow Gerald Rose pointed out that during Shorey’s tenure as resident tutor at the UWI, the Open Campus developed and organized a series of wide-ranging programmes all of which focused attention on education, whether in formal classes, workshops, seminars or public lectures.
Stressing that he was a pioneer in this area of education, Rose said: “To be sure, Shorey was way ahead of his time and grasped very early the role of the extra-mural work in building a society, in addition to a brick and mortar campus. He was also keenly aware that the Extra-Mural Department had to shore up a then relatively new UWI Campus in Barbados.
“The programmes he mounted, whether professional or more general in nature, were planned with the particular organizations concerned and were custom-made to meet the perceived needs of the members of the group or organization.”
Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of Niles, Dr Ian Austin said that during the 25 years the late educator contributed to the broadening of the programmes of the school, the initiation of the Prison Education Programme, and the founding of the Barbados Adult Education Association.
Under Niles’ stewardship, he said, the centre demonstrated its flexibility by shifting its emphasis in order to keep pace with the changing demands of the community.
“This was made evident in a move from remedial secondary education to tertiary [developmental] education, offering certification in education, public administration and business administration, while maintaining the Challenge programme through which students were offered first year BSc courses in the social sciences,” Austin said, adding that Niles’ passion for the education and social development of the youth of Barbados was demonstrated in the creation of Libra Club, Pinelands, Haynesville and New Orleans Development Councils, and his longstanding service as patron to the Barbados Youth Council.