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Govt to review cost of access to education
Tertiary Education and Skills Training Minister Fazal Karim is seeking to ensure more people in T&T have access to education by reviewing the cost of tuition. He was speaking at the World Skills T&T award ceremony at the Andre Kamperveen Hall, Centre of Excellence, Macoya, yesterday. He said: “I intend to focus on the kind of expenditure and investment on the higher education sector.
“We have to examine the cost of access to education. However, he added, there was always some concern about people attending programmes and institutions financed by the State but yet have to pay exorbitant and continuous fees for registration and other things. He said: “We will be taking a look at that to see how we can increase access to education for many more people in T&T.
“We will be ensuring that every advertisement must have a GATE (Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses) approval stamp, once approved, because the taxpayers must have confidence that the programme was funded by you and for the benefit and development of the country.” He said he would ask the accreditation council and the GATE steering committee to ensure the system was not abused.
Karim said less than one per cent of the GDP of T&T was spent on research, higher education and institutions of that kind. He said it was significant, with taxpayers expending substantial funds on education, that one institution alone in T&T received almost $50 million from 2005 to 2012.
Karim said that figure may sound insignificant in the context of research and could be improved. He said his ministry was set to launch the Higher Education Research Agenda to promote and prepare citizens for competition. Karim said the World Skills Programme, through the ministry, also sought to ensure T&T moved from a state of welfare to a work force. He said, as a prerequisite, GATE providers would also be mandated to ensure their instructors must be professionally qualified to deliver the curriculum and be certified.
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