by Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Representatives from the University of the West Indies Five Islands Campus came to the Federation last week (February 12 – 18) to advertise the university’s programmes, application process and other important offerings of the campus.
Dr. Andrew Hunte, Head of the School of Humanities and Education, joined Jamie and Kortencia on Good Morning SKN to discuss the UWI Five Islands Road Show initiative throughout the Caribbean.
The Antigua-based institution made its first stop in St. Kitts and Nevis, which lasted two days. A General Public Session was held on Thursday, February 16, while the Teacher Education Session was held on Friday, February 17, 2023, at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College.
Dr. Hunte encouraged Teacher Education students to pursue further studies at UWI Five Islands, which has special training opportunities for teachers who desire to specialise in any subject area.
“So we do offer a Postgraduate Diploma in Education. This is usually for [individuals] at the Secondary School level where they get that specialisation in their subject area, to equip them to be the head of a department, and it usually facilitates in some territories where [individuals] can be a Curriculum Officer. It is a way of mobility, moving up in the system. That one definitely; we are trying to have it online from September  so people can stay right here and do it” said Hunte.
He added “In our school, we have the only one in the UWI system; it’s called a Masters of Arts in teaching children with exceptional needs because if we do understand there are children who are differently abled, they can be high Intelligence Quotient (IQ). They cannot adopt our system with the speed we are going at, and there are those who need our extra support to be able to provide this.”
Rather than taking children with disabilities to the United States, Hunte suggested that a cadre of teachers in the Caribbean be equipped with the necessary skills to provide a holistic learning experience for differently abled students.
Teachers who are currently doing an Associates Degree in Teacher Education at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College are encouraged to pursue their Bachelor Degree at UWI Five Islands; however, it will take the educators two to three years before completion
“It would take them three years because what it is, it’s developed for in-service teachers mainly; so that persons can do their degree after work hours. So it takes about three years. Usually, our programme, it’s sort of a hybrid status whereby one academic year entails [the] first semester, second semester and summer period; this is because we are only catering for in-service teachers. However, if we get sufficient students, let’s say from other territories, and we can build a full-time class, the person can finish in two years” said Dr Hunte.
Hunte informed, “ We are in the process of getting approval so we could extend this online hybrid, so at least they come in the summer and do some classes; so we are working on that because we see the need. We know that [individuals] don’t want to leave their families and they have commitments, so we would arrange it like that.”
At present, only one individual from St. Kitts and Nevis has been enrolled at the UWI Five Islands Campus since its inception. The Kittitian woman is studying Early Childhood Education at the School of Humanities and Education.
Other programme offerings at the Five Islands Campus can be pursued at the School of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, the School of Health and Behavioural Sciences and the School of Business and Management.
Application to study at the UWI Five Islands Campus can be done online. Recruitment Officers are also available to assist with the application process.
Hunte is hopeful that the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis will provide scholarships to students who intend to study at the campus, to help them meet their financial obligations.