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Are we prepared to educate our engineers?
Are engineers taken seriously in this country? If one were to use the impact of APETT on national policy in general and tertiary level engineering education in particular, then the answer must be in the negative. Is this solely APETT’s fault? The answer is no, for within the national community, the value of engineers to economic growth and wellbeing, is not well understood.
Sure we blame our colonial past and the plantation economy for this, but it would not help us. The colonials became and remained world powers because of their engineering prowess. It is former Caribbean colonies who, by and large, have been really unable to transition to technology savvy entities. Why is this so? A good place to start would be where our engineers are being educated; for over half a century at UWI and of more recent vintage, at UTT.
Having been a Faculty at UWI for many years and actively involved, at a senior academic level, in the formative years of UTT, I mean absolutely no disrespect to the many committed and competent colleagues at both institutions. They are fully cognisant of the fact that the issues are more systemic, arising out of policy and strategy directives, emanating from the highest leadership levels of the university and beyond.
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