Science Technology and Tertiary Education Minister Fazal Karim is calling for three leading tertiary institutions to introduce free online education. Delivering an address at the launch of the T&T Entrepreneurial Springboard Programme (TTESP) at San Fernando City Hall Auditorium on Saturday, Karim said the development of brainpower was key to a more productive workforce.
He appealed to the University of T&T, UWI and Costaatt to put courses available free of charge on the Internet to citizens of T&T and people around the world who wish to join. Saying T&T was the Carnival capital and industrial capital with 100 years in oil production, he said, “We are world leaders and history-makers and we must also lead in terms of education and training.”
Karim said he has also mandated all institutions under his watch to ensure that three additional modules and electives are available to every student in the new academic year. He said it would be mandatory for students to pursue life skills courses. “Learn how to live, learn how to leave a legacy, learn how to love, learn how to relate to people, learn how to learn. Many of us don’t know how to learn, we take this for granted.”
In addition, he said, every student would be exposed to informational and communication technology. Urging entrepreneurs to seize the opportunity available to them through TTESP, Karim said the way business is done in T&T must be changed. “We have to ease the way that we do business. We have to remove bureaucracies and improve facilities…the removal of the business frustration index towards the creation of the business facility index.
Warning that those who do not create jobs would soon be out of jobs, he said an entrepreneur must be an idea generation factory. The programme is a collaboration between the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts (Costaatt) and The Boston Pledge (TBP), of Boston, Massachusetts, to provide an educational initiative in the area of entrepreneurship and small business development.