South Campus – do we really need it?

| May 3, 2011

The government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is attempting to keep their promises made during the election campaign on May 24th 2010.  One of the promises that they are attempting to keep is the construction or rather an extension of the University of the West Indies Campus , in the south of Trinidad. The main purpose for this is to assist the students that live in the Southland of Trinidad. By the construction of this campus the students no longer have to pay landlord rent which can rage from 00 to 00 TT dollars.

I totally agree on the reason for the new campus. However, as a current student I fear I need to make a few things clear. The first matter I wish to discuss is that the current University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus is under staffed. In the faculty of Humanities and Education there is no evening university. Therefore fulltime students are made to have classes late in the evening to accommodate these evening students. Most of these full time students are female; they have to leave UWI at late hours of the night. Just last week a girl was raped not too far from the south gate of the campus.  With respect to the lecturers they have to work hours such as 9am to 8pm. On the whole it is simply not fair.

The second matter I wish to discuss is that, the department of creative arts is the most dilapidated department in the whole university. Students from this department are forced to share joint class rooms, have 3 students to a computer when doing assignments, and the teachers are under paid. It is quite sad how the Engineering students are treated better than those who practice the arts. Where is the equality?

South Campus Plaque

Furthermore, the University is frequently flooded every time there are heavy rains. Note that the university was built by engineers who got their degrees at UWI.

In addition, in a case such as myself where I do a degree that requires expensive and rear texts books the University does not try to accommodate students by providing the texts books at the department. They give the UWI bookshop lists of the textbooks that students are supposed to use to read a course. However, the bookshop does not order the textbooks that are required. The reason for this is that courses that read 10 to 20 students are too small to cater for, hence they do not order them. Students now have to go and purchase them online, assuming they have a credit card. They photocopy the text from a friend, which is illegal or they do without and fail the course.

The point that I am trying to bring across is that the current university has a plethora of problems to be fixed. Instead of the government spending millions of dollars on a new campus, I wish they would fix the current one.

The University of the West Indies has teachers with associate degrees teaching courses that lecturers with PhD’s should be teaching. Where are they going to find teachers to teach at this new campus?

Apparently they do not know how GATE works. It covers tuition. Students go into a contract with the government, and depending on how much money the government spends on your degree, determines how many years you spend working in the private or public sector of the country. Therefore, if they re-adjusted the GATE form to suit south students who rent near the University, then their rent fees can be covered by GATE. It’s the same principle with the tuition.

Therefore I put forward the following questions:

Am I right to be so hard on the government?

Are my points valid?

Is my solution even a solution?

Can something else be done?

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Category: Trinidad News

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