People seeking post-secondary studies should first make sure the institutions they want to attend are accredited, according to agency that certifies schools and colleges.
The Barbados Accreditation Council’s information officer, Samantha Hazlewood, reinforced its backing of the quality of service being offered by the BAC-registered learning institutions.
She made the comments as the BAC celebrated 15 years on Friday with a quality assurance open day in Heroes Square.
Hazlewood said: “We want people to come and have fun, but we want them also to realize that quality assurance for education is really important.
“It is hard nowadays to take up your heard earned money and then at the end of your course you realize this piece of paper is worth nothing.
“Always come to us first and check to make sure that the institution you are looking to pursue your studies with is a recognized institution or an accredited institution.”
But the official could not say how many institutions operating here are unaccredited.
She said: “Although you may not be registered yet you can come and start the process by speaking to one of our quality assurance officers and get the ball rolling and the process running.”
A number of BAC-registered providers took part in the open day including the Barbados Community College, American University of Barbados (AUB), Nikita’s School of Cosmetology, the BVTB and the Caribbean School of Holistic Therapies, Health and Wellness, and Walbrent College.
Hazlewood also suggested that students pay close attention to their health.
She said: “We believe that if we have a healthy nation we have a productive workforce.
“And when you move forward with your education you want to be healthy.
“So it is all encompassing.”
During the day, residents and visitors had the opportunity to learn more about the institutions on display as they received free blood sugar and blood pressure checks and health tips.
Providing the health checks were 12 final year students at the AUB.
Medical students Amrita Singh and Jeet Gajjar told Barbados TODAY they were pleased to provide the services, saying the idea was to help raise awareness.
Singh said she was concerned that individuals were departing from tradition and consuming more junk food despite the constant warnings.
She said: “We are providing counselling if their blood sugar or blood pressure are more than normal.
“We are taking more junk food with more sugar content. We are telling the people to take a bit off of their sugar levels because it is affecting their daily lives.”
Gajjar said he was concerned that there were still a number of people in Barbados and elsewhere who did not know about diabetes and other health challenges and the impact they could have on their lives.
He added: “There are many people around the world who do not know they have diabetes and blood pressure if it is going too low or too high.
“So what we are doing here is trying to educate people. If you do not know, come here and do the free session with us and we give counselling after we check the blood pressure and sugar.”
The AUB student said the Wildey university would continue to do what it could to help promote a healthy lifestyle.
Entrepreneurs also had the opportunity to showcase and sell their products at the BAC’s open day.