At the invitation of the chancellor and vice chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI), deputy premier and minister of education Akierra Missick; permanent secretary for the ministry of education, Cherylann Jones and the permanent secretary in the Office of the Premier Wesley Clerveaux, attended the annual one-day business meeting of the University Council on Friday, 25th April in Nassau, Bahamas.
The invitation followed the acceptance of a resolution moved in the TCI House of Assembly in support of a formal application to the University of the West Indies for the TCI to be designated contributing country status. The resolution was moved by Dr Rufus Ewing on 30th January this year. The UWI Council heard the application at their April meeting and it was unanimously accepted.
Missick thanked the council for the opportunity given to Turks and Caicos. She noted that the government looked forward to the opportunities the new status will bring in allowing even more students to benefit from tertiary level education and for providing additional opportunities for regional integration and cooperation. The minister also pointed out that many TCIslanders including Premier Ewing were UWI graduates.
Achieving contributing country status will allow students from the Turks and Caicos to benefit from lower economic costs associated with school fees, thereby making opportunities for many more students to attend the university.
The minister and permanent secretary also used this opportunity to meet with the Bahamas Teachers' Union to discuss various topics relating to the strengthening of the education system in the Turks and Caicos Islands inclusive of teacher exchanges and continuous professional development and training programmes.
The education minister also appeared on a live talk show with host Daryl Miller seen and heard on ZNS television and radio.