By Carlena Knight
History was made yesterday in Antigua and Barbuda, as the twin-island nation became the first country in this region to offer lifelong learning courses with the Harvard School of Business and their Credential of Readiness (CORe) programme.
Working adults will have the opportunity to sign up for classes in Business Analytics, Economics for Managers and Financial Accounting through the UWI Five Island’s Life Long Unit (LLU).
Upon successful completion of the CORe programme, participants will earn the Credential of Readiness designation from Harvard Business School Online and The UWI Five Islands Campus.
The LLU was established in August of this year and will expose adult learners in the workplace to a diverse range of options to further boost capacity and sharpen their skills.
Several professional development courses will be offered, giving participants the opportunity to engage in online and in-person studies via interactive features, and knowledgeable and engaging facilitators.
Speaking at the launch was Professor Densil Williams of UWI Five Islands Campus.
Williams not only gave commendations to all who played a major role in the birth of this programme, but also spoke to the importance of such an initiative, as according to him, “life without learning is dead.”
“If the region is to make any significant transformation over the next decade or so, it is important that more of its citizens have greater access not just to educational opportunities, but to high quality opportunities. Too few of our people in the region continue to suffer from the lack of access to affordable and high-quality education, and if we are going to make the transformation, this is going to be the key pivot on which the region is going to revolve; and so today our Lifelong Learning Unit that we are launching is really another institutional arrangement that is providing the various pathways through which our citizens can actually access affordable and high-quality education
He revealed that it was in fact Prime Minister Gaston Browne himself, who began talks with officials from Harvard for such a program to be implemented.
Echoing his sentiments was the Education Minister, Daryll Matthew, who gave the feature address.
“Given the fact that statistics have shown, that in the OECS, fewer than 10 percent of our adults have completed tertiary level education, the establishment of this Lifelong Learning Unit is absolutely critical as it is timely. It recognises that humans have a natural drive to explore, learn and grow, and encourages us to improve our own quality of life and sense of self-worth. Now, it is important that I say these things because many of us, many of our peers, many of our family members do have an ability to do more, but do they have an opportunity and that is why the establishment of this Lifelong Learning centre is important,” Matthew said.
He further mentioned that it was an “exciting day” for all as the addition of such a program will have long-term benefits for not only citizens but the country as well.
“Renewed self-motivation, recognition of personal interests and goals, improvement in other personal and professional skills, and perhaps most importantly, improved self-confidence. All of these I have just mentioned are key to the development of a successful society,” he added.
Registration for the twelve-week Harvard program is currently underway. The deadline for registration is November 5th as the classes are expected to begin a few weeks later on the 23rd.
Interested individuals can email Paula Lee at [email protected] or call her at 484-3900 for additional information.
In regards to the customised and short courses, they are expected to begin in January.
More details will follow at a later date.