While aiming to confirm international accreditation status in two years, the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology is also dealing with critical deficiencies in literacy and numeracy among its student body.
Ninety-eight per cent of this year’s graduates left the programmes at the institute with unit certificates rather than full graduation diplomas because they were unsuccessful in some parts of the courses of study.
Principal Ian Drakes told the graduation ceremony that 305 fulltime students graduated, but of this class, “299 have been unsuccessful in some components of their programmes, and so are awarded unit certificates for complements passed”.
But the Pine institution is confronting the challenges head-on, introducing during the last school year, a remedial foundation course which the principal reported has yielded “positive” results so far.
He explained, “The high number of unit certificates presented this evening does reflect a dire need for this type of intervention for our learners as partial completion of programmes indicates students are not grasping or completing some of the minor literacy and numeracy-based courses.”
Speaking at the institute’s 49th graduation ceremony over the weekend Drakes reported an average graduation rate among the seven divisions of 37 per cent with the highest rate being achieved in Business Studies which recorded a 51 per cent rate. Building Studies had the lowest rate at 15 per cent.
Drakes also announced SJPI’s completion of the registration process with Barbados Accreditation Council with the aim of achieving full accreditation by 2020.
Delivering the feature address, acting Education Minister, Senator Lucille Moe, spoke of the Ministry’s support of SJPI in this accreditation drive by covering the cost of expert consultation. She said that included in this consultation is “provision of technical support in the area of quality assurance and accreditation management”.
The Ministry’s assistance also covers completion of the Institute’s development plan and policy development manual.
“The investment in these areas is significant,” she said, adding that “development planning, policy development and quality assurance and standardisation are all essential elements in the accreditation process, which once achieved, will allow the SJPI to function as a worthy player in the global education playing field.”