Antigua State College, Who is in charge?

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Members of the newly formed Union of Tertiary Educators, Antigua and Barbuda, say the problems plaguing the Antigua State College go way beyond its physical structure.
The conditions of the Golden Grove campus was thrown into the spotlight last week after a 16-year-old student was injured on the compound; this forced lecturers and students at the college to demand that something needs to be done to improve the physical structure and aesthetics of the tertiary institution.
The Ministry of Education has since ordered the closure of the college pending the outcome of an assessment of the institution.
However, Loretta Benjamin, a lecturer at the college is adamant that there is also a problem with staffing at the institution.
She said lecturers are doubling as administrators and there is no clear indication as to who is in charge.
“It’s like you are asking and no one has a clear idea of where does the buck ultimately stop. Because on one level I am faculty, I know I am responsible for students, and then the administrators they are not so sure,” Benjamin said.
“Is college a department? Is college a school? Is the Ministry of Education ultimately responsible for the Antigua State College? What is the role of Board of Education in ensuring that we have adequate levels of funding? Can the state college generate its funds?”  
Benjamin explained that there seems to be a disconnect between the state college and other tertiary level institutions such as the Antigua and Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute (ABHTI) and the Antigua and Barbuda International Institute of Technology (ABIIT).
Patrick Simon, president of the newly formed union, stated that the improvement of state college was first and foremost on the minds of educators when they were mobilising to form the organisation.
He said the teachers came together and shared their thoughts on some matters when officials from the ministry were advancing talks for the establishment of the University of Antigua.
The teachers had determined that “not knowing where the college falls within the government structure” was severely hampering operations.
“We were advocating for the introduction of a board so that all the different structures that exist in a university can come on stream, and then we can start to look like a college. We had looked at the University of West Indies (UWI),” Simon said.
He disclosed that a document was prepared to reflect the opinions of the teachers at the college.
Meanwhile, a lecturer in the second year Undergraduate Department at the college, D Gisele Isaac, has called on past students and staff at the college to do something to improve the property instead of leaving it up to the government.

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