(ZIZ News) – The Ministry of Education and the St. Kitts and Nevis Accreditation Board (SKNAB), and the Caribbean Area Network for Quality Assurance in Tertiary Education (CANQATE), are presently hosting the 12th annual CANQATE Conference and General Meeting.
On Wednesday, education officials from across the region gathered at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort for the welcome reception and pre-conference workshop of the CANQATE Conference.
There to deliver welcome remarks was Minister of Education Hon. Shawn Richards, who addressed the theme “Quality Assurance and Socioeconomic Development in a Global Environment: Regional and International Perspectives”. He said it is appropriate in the current economic climate.
“This topic is very relevant for the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis because we have seen the growth of tertiary higher level education institution over the past 16 years since the Accreditation Act was enacted. Your presence here to discuss this topic is an indication that you are aware of the importance of maintaining quality in an industry which affects the lives of people the world over,” he said.
Minister Richards spoke of the importance of the deliberations that are expected to take place.
He added, “Your deliberations here today are therefore critical for our sustainable development. The plenary and concurrent sessions cover a wide cross section of topics and I trust that you will take the opportunity as the gate keepers of this important industry, to take quality assurance to another level.”
Dr. Ruby Alleyne, President of CANQATE, described tertiary education as a social good. She said it is imperative that models be put in place to produce returns on such a resource.
She said, “Across the region, our countries are all grappling with stringent economic times and our budgets are shrinking. We continue to see higher education and tertiary education as a social good and something that is critical for social progress and so, the time has come for us to look at some models for tertiary education that will allow us to capitalise on the resources that we have here, transform them into educational services that can be marketed globally and that can therefore bring returns to our investment in this social good that tertiary education is.”
The CANQATE Conference is a two-day discussion which officially wraps up on Friday.