Post graduate students of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus are being told that they should not struggle to carve out an area for research, when the Caribbean, like the rest of the world, faces complex challenges.
Speaking at this year’s Post Graduate Students’ Orientation, on Wednesday evening, at the Cave Hill Campus, Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal Professor Eudine Barriteau, told the students that while Caribbean territories are tackling issues such as health, energy, environment, food security, and social justice among many others, globally prescribed solutions are not always applicable to the region’s particular and unique realities.
She stressed that while international research does not always provide the answers to the problems, there is a need for Caribbean responses to the challenges.
“We need to create solutions that produce the desired outcomes for our indigenous circumstances. This geographical, geopolitical and psychic space we call home is an incubator for research, and guess what? When we approach the Caribbean with respect for creating knowledge about us, we become the experts, we become the ones with the knowledge on our economies, societies, health, laws, marine, biological and scientific environments, gender systems, political institutions, music, dance, film, theatre arts, literature, education, governance and justice systems,” she said.
The UWI principal also noted that the vision to engage in research is what will inform the region’s policies, and offer scientific prescriptions.
She said that in keeping with the maxim that home drums beat first, some of these prescriptions and innovative practices are currently employed on the campus.
“For example, a Cave Hill researcher making great strides in revolutionizing the teaching and learning of primary level English is Voghn-Everett Tatem. He is tapping into student’s gravitation to technology and entertainment by employing web comics and comic strip generators to enhance their written proficiency in standard English.
Barriteau, also made reference to PhD candidate Nikolai Holder whose search for greater energy efficiency and sustainability has resulted in the use of grass clippings to generate biofuel, which is used to power a number of buildings here on campus.
She said Holder’s innovation and ingenuity underscore Cave Hill’s Smart Campus initiative which seeks to incorporate the use of ‘green’ technology, clean power generation, reduction of waste output and a reduction in the Campus’ carbon footprint. (AH)