BAClight Newsletter, December 2013

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Finalists Debate The Impact Of Social Media On The Quality of Written Expression By Ashlee Cox

It was a fierce battle, as the Alexandra Secondary School and the St. Michael’s School, battled for supremacy over the moot which posited, ’The Extensive Use of Social Media Has a Negative Impact on the Quality of Written Expression’, during the Finals, of the first ever, Barbados Accreditation Council (BAC) National Secondary School Debate Competition. This competition attracted six schools, and held three preliminary rounds, which saw the students debating the merits of the then moot,

which suggested, ‘The Inclusion of Technology in the class room increases student engagement’. During the first round, the Frederick Smith Secondary School, defeated the Princess Margaret Secondary School, and in Round Two the St.Michael’s School, holding supremacy over their St. Michael counterpart, the Harrison College. It was in Round 3 of these preliminary debates, that the Alexandra team, triumphed over the Springer Memorial School, and out of the three winners, the two teams with the highest scores were chosen to battle it out at the Finals, which was held at the Barbados Public

Workers Cooperative Credit Union Ltd., Belmont Road , St.Michael. The team hailing from Alexandra, the ‘YAPS’ which stands for ‘Young Articulate Public Speakers’, as the Proposition and the St. Michael’s team, the ‘SMS dynamic Speakers’ argued as Opposition. With both teams emphatically delivering their points, it was a truly interesting debate, and the students and teachers who came out to spectate and observe were on tenterhooks, as to which school would rise supreme and take home the big trophy. (cont’d on page 6)

-Chairman’s Word Page 2 -UWI Cave Hill & Open Campuses Granted Accreditation Page 3 -From the Desk of the E.D.

Page 4 -Development Workshops Page 5

-BAC News Page 9 -Quality Checks for Student Records Page 10 -NQF Study Tours Page 12


CHAIRMAN’S WORD The concept of “Quality” is increasingly becoming a buzz word in Barbados given the need to provide excellence in service at the national level particularly in key economic sectors such as health, financial and the tourism and hospitality.

Tertiary education and training must be no exception when it comes to expecting quality provision. Similarly to the other key sectors, the focus must be on the customer who has come to expect that the product or service will meet or exceed his/her satisfaction. In the world of education, there is ongoing debate as to who is the customer in education? Is it the student, tertiary provider, government, parents/guardians, society at large?

The consensus is that the “student” is the customer whose needs must not only be met but beyond expectations. In this world of increasing competition, growing emergence of private providers, privatization and internationalization of education, local tertiary educational providers must become increasingly quality conscious to the extent that “quality consciousness” is embedded through the implementation of quality management systems aimed at ensuring their survival and sustainability. We all accept that education is critical to the economic and social well being, at the individual and national level. The focus on “quality” educational provision is therefore fundamental to the sustainability of economies, like Barbados given that its only resource is its human capital. “Quality” is the one constant thing that we chase after in our lives. Whether we desire a great paying job, a luxury car or a comfortable home, we are all seeking the best quality in something for ourselves.

When it comes to our education, this pursuit of worth does not dwindle. In fact, with so many choices of institutions locally and internationally, all of whom wave the flag of excellence before us,

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it is may be difficult to distinguish “quality” providers and make wise choices from the many opportunities available to us. The Barbados Accreditation Council will show tertiary educational providers how they can become the obvious, tested and proven choice for quality educational provision and how they can maintain that edge as they continue to strive in this competitive global environment. While the concept “Quality” may appear to be somewhat elusive, it stands for two very simple but powerful concepts. The first is “fit for purpose” and the other is “getting it right the first time”. I want to personally assure the public that once educational providers have gone through the Barbados Accreditation Council’s registration process, then the educational provider is “fit for purpose”. Programme Accreditation however takes you deeper in the generation of quality. While quality assurance activities such as registration gives the public that “peace of mind” that educational providers are operating at the top of their game as far as being an educational provider is concerned, Programme Accreditation guarantees the credibility of the (cont’d on page 8)

UWI Cave Hill & Open Campuses Granted Institutional Accreditation History was created in Barbados with the granting of Institutional accreditation to the University of the West Indies’ Cave Hill and Open Campuses for the period June 18, 2013 to June 17, 2019. This recognition was bestowed on the Campuses at two separate presentation ceremonies at Barbados Accreditation Council’s (BAC) headquarters. Chairman of the Council, Yvonne Walkes, in handing over the Certificates of Institutional Accreditation commended the Open Campus and said: “Institutional accreditation by an authorised agency such as the BAC will give learners and the wider national community greater confidence in the quality of the overall operations of your Campus. “Institutional Accreditation further signals to the international tertiary education and training community of Barbados’ commitment as a nation, to the provision of high quality post-secondary/tertiary education; and that our country’s training provides ‘Value For Money’. Ms. Walkes added that in order to be accorded accreditation status, all facets of the operations of the educational organisation, including its vision/mission; the quality of the educational provisions, educational goals and objectives, administrative effectiveness and all other related services were reviewed by the Accreditation body. “Institutional accreditation therefore, seeks to assure stakeholders that the educational

provider is operating at a high level of quality in all aspects of its operations,” she stressed. “Given the current competitive structure of the regional market for tertiary education, this development means that more than ever before, institutions of higher education will have to become more accountable to

of education in the Caribbean to be delivered by the University as a whole.” Professor Sir Hilary Beckles welcomed the recognition, which he had envisioned many years prior. The UWI Cave Hill and Open Campuses join the Mona and the St. Augustine Campuses which were granted accreditation last year by their respective Councils in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. The Barbados Accreditation Council must be the guardian of the tertiary educational sector by ensuring that current and prospective students are not taken advantage of by unscrupulous educational providers. This was the message sent (from left to right) BAC’s Executive Director, Valda by the Chairman of the Council, Alleyne and Chairman, Yvonne Walkes; The University Ms Walkes.

of the West Indies Open Campus’s Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal, Professor Hazel SimmonsMcDonald, and Deputy Principal, Vivienne Robert pose with the certificate of Institutional Accreditation.

their various stakeholders,” she explained. Prof. SimmonsMcDonald also acknowledged that the UWI Vice Chancellor, Professor E. Nigel Harris, in welcoming the recognition had stated: “This is a special moment for our University in that it legitimises our investment in open and distance education started in 2008. It also sets the stage for massive expansion of this modality

BAC’s Chairman, Yvonne Walkes presents the certificate of Institutional Accreditation to ProVice Chancellor and Principal of the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, while BAC’s Executive Director, Valda Alleyne and the Campus’ Deputy Principal, Professor Eudine Barriteau look on.

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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR The Barbados Accreditation Council has been given the task of spearheading Pillar 2 of the Barbados Human Resources Development Strategy, 2011-2016. This Pillar speaks to the strategic objective of developing and implementating an internationally-recognised National Qualifications Framework’.

What is the National Qualifications Framework?

A National Qualifications Framework is a major mechanism for showing how different qualifications of a country relate to each other. It enables for different types of qualifications to be compared through a common language of the descriptors of those qualifications and the levels of those qualifications. For example, it will state the knowledge, skills and understanding expected of a learner with a Bachelor’s degree and; the level at which that qualification will be recognized within the framework. Globally, most countries have implemented or are moving toward implementing 10-level qualifications frameworks. Most important, the qualifications are registered on the framework.

How does the NQF fit within the Human Resource Development Strategy?

The Human Resource Development Strategy is intended to develop the full potential of all Barbadians. To achieve this Mission,

the Barbados National Qualifications Framework, as a critical plank of the Human Resource Development Strategy, will bring together, primary, secondary, technical vocational education and training and; tertiary levels of education under a single, coherent qualifications framework in that there will be a strong link between the different educational sectors. Equally important, the NQF will state clearly the educational and occupational outcomes expected for each level of qualification so that they can be incorporated into the teaching and delivery by all educational providers.

What will be the benefits of this framework after it has been implemented? It will:

• align education and training at all levels; • enhance the quality of education and training which should result in improved integrity in the system and improved confidence by the public; • make Barbados’ educational system more demand-driven at all levels; • enable employers, students, parents/guardians, professional bodies, international recognition bodies and other interested users to understand those qualifications being offered in Barbados and where they fit

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into the overall educational system; • facilitate the mobility of labour which is particularly critical for the free movement of skilled CARICOM nationals across the region; • promote life-long and life-wide learning as the NQF will make it easier for learners to enter the educational system and to progress within it through the transfer of credits between institutions and programmes, portability of qualifications and recognition of occupational competencies; • provide for the comparability of technical and vocational education and training which should result in an enhanced image of TVET; and • facilitate the Recognition of Prior Learning; and • overall, enhance the social and economic development of Barbados. Over the next few months, the Council will continue to offer public information to provide a better understanding as our country moves forward to meet international best practises in the education and training sector.

Ms Yvonne Walkes (centre), Chairman of the Council with Mrs Sharon Alleyne, Acting Executive Director (left); Ms Tamara Gibson, Quality Assurance Officer and the participants of the Programme Accreditation Workshop

Developmental Workshops

The Council hosted a number of workshops in its efforts to offer continued development for the island’s tertiary educational providers.

sectors, the focus must be on the customer who has come to expect that the product or service will meet or exceed his/her satisfaction.”

Programme Accreditation Workshop

The Chairman pointed out that programme accreditation is different from institutional accreditation. It is especially necessary for specialized areas of study.

This workshop attracted over 25 participants from various tertiary educational providers around the island. This flagship workshop offered providers the tools for making the accreditation process as efficient as possible and provided tips for facilitating programme accreditation. Ms Yvonne Walkes, Chairman of the Council delivered the Opening Remarks. She declared that, “The concept of “Quality” is increasingly becoming a buzz word in Barbados given the need to provide excellence in service at the national level particularly in key economic sectors such as health, financial, tourism and hospitality.” Ms Walkes went on to highlight how education fits into the concept of quality, “Tertiary education and training must be no exception when it comes to expecting quality provision. Similarly to the other key

Customized Workshop Staff members of the Barbados Community College, Erdiston Teachers College and Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic participated in a customized Registration workshop hosted by the Council. Mrs Cecile Humphrey, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation delivered the Opening Remarks. Mrs Humphrey expressed that the Ministry was pleased to see that the participating


providers were ready to take the necessary steps towards registration by the Barbados Accreditation Council by the end of 2014.

Programme Approval Workshop This workshop attracted approximately twenty participants from various tertiary educational providers. Mr Kenneth Walters, Deputy Chairman of the Council delivered the Opening Remarks. He commended the participants for recognizing (cont’d on page 11) Participants at the workshop


Finalists debate the impact of Social Media on written Expression quality cont’d By Ashlee Cox The Alexandra team, held to the points that were evident during their own research and was supported by other authoritative research; Social media was indeed addictive and impacted negatively on the individual’s writing ability to clearly express themselves in Standard English.

the standard english, leaving us sometimes totally confused with what the message communicated,” she stated. Continuing, she noted, “This extensive use continues, and it has bad habits, which will cement and these are irreversible writing habits, then it will be too late to do

As noted by Proposition leader, Isobella Burhnham, “Practice Makes Perfect!” Citing that many youths spent up to 15 hours a day on Social media, she explained that no matter where one turned, the impact of the extended usages were evident, especially as it had made its way into the formal written expression. “The language we use daily,- which is social media language-, the one we have practiced for so long is tearing apart the very fabric of

something about it, muscle memory would have taken over and practice would evidently become permanent.


It is critical that the user of social media manages his addiction, in order to keep expression standard, if we do this, the ingrained practice would not b e c o m e permanent”.


For the Opposition, Social media was seen as a mere tool, and the user, made his own choice as to how he used it, but they stressed that the user had to stop blaming social media for their own actions, and simply be more responsible. “It is a tool, an inanimate object, used to assist people to create, share and exchange information. There seems to be a trend in blaming inanimate objects for one’s actions. My understanding from this, is when all else fails, blame technology,” charged Opposition leader Janae Kelman. Continuing , she noted, “People choose to write the appropriate form based on the appropriate settings. Social media must be found innocent of this charge! It has not

negatively impacted on the quality of written expression, though it is used excessively, it is not responsible for the decline in writing skills for our people. I urge you to manage your addiction�. It was never a truer case of not envying the judges their decision, over who won this heated debate, but in the end there could only be the one, and that one was none other than the Alexandra Secondary School, who kept their cool under fire and clearly outlined and emphasised their points! Not bad for a team, which was born out of an amalgamation of the Drama and Debate clubs!

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CHAIRMAN’S WORD cont’d programmes of study and the awards associated with those course offerings. It is what makes prospective students choose one educational provider over another competitor. It gives educational certification a name brand status like Nike or Ralph Lauren and makes their individual programmes or courses stand out as high quality.

Consolidate the delivery of education and training under a single framework; Make it easier for learners to enter the educational system and to move and progress horizontally and vertically within it; Improve the educational quality in Barbados; Expand access to learning and work opportunities for all; and Enable learners to develop to their full potential.

When employers see students wearing the distinctive brand of a provider, it becomes the popular choice for recruitment. We trust distinctive brands naturally and we ascribe more value to them. The guy in the Cartier watch, or the lady driving the Audi Q5, we automatically give more worth to.

The NQF will recognize all learning attained by Barbadians regardless of whether the learning was attained through formal means (that is, through education and training institutions leading to qualifications) or non-formal means (that is, through for example, service organizations, workplaces Programme Accreditation and activities that complement will set educational providers apart formal systems of education and as quality in the eyes of the public. may not lead to qualifications/ It is what providers need and the certification). Barbados Accreditation Council is ready and well able to give their It is anticipated that the educational offerings the true stamp implementation of the National of quality through programme Qualifications Framework will bring accreditation. benefits that include2 : Quality educational provision results in Quality human capital. Providers have a critical role to play in the development of our nation’s human resources in partnership with the Barbados Accreditation Council. As part of the Barbados Human Resource Development Strategy for 2011-2016, a National Qualifications Framework (NQF) which will be the major mechanism for transforming education and training in Barbados. By design, the NQF will1 :

18 Government of Barbados (2010) “Barbados Human Resource Development

• making it easier for learners to enter the educational system and to progress within it; • opening up learning and work opportunities for those who require a second chance to re-enter the Strategy 2011-2016: Developing National, Institutional and Human Capacity for Sustainable Growth”, Media Resource Department, Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, Barbados


Government of Barbados (2010) “Barbados Human Resource Development Strategy 2011-2016: Developing National, Institutional and Human Capacity for Sustainable Growth”, Media Resource Department, Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, Barbados


formal education system or to enter the world of work; • enabling learners to develop their full potential and thereby support the social and economic development of the country as a whole; • promoting access, transfer and progression into, within and between programmes of learning; • improving the overall quality of the educational system; • promoting life-long and life-wide learning; and • enabling employers to understand qualifications which prospective employees might have and where they fit into the overall educational system. Within the next few months, the Barbados Accreditation Council will be embarking on a major educational awareness programme to sensitize the public of the impending NQF and to seek stakeholder input into the design and development of this major human resource development initiative in order to ensure national “buy-in” and successful implementation. Most important, in order for the qualifications to be recognized on the NQF, educational providers will be required to be registered and accredited by the Barbados Accreditation Council. The Barbados Accreditation Council will seek to enhance quality tertiary education and training in Barbados through quality assurance processes such as Programme Accreditation and the National Qualifications Framework.

ACCA Recognized as an Awarding Body On February 8, 2013, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) was presented a Certificate of Recognition as an Awarding Body, by the Barbados Accreditation Council (BAC). In the photo, Chairman of the BAC, Ms. Yvonne Walkes (second from left), presented Head of the ACCA Caribbean, Ms. Brenda LeeTang (second from right) with the certificate. The Executive Director, Ms. Valda Alleyne (left) and Quality Assurance Officer, Mrs. Sharon Alleyne were also present.

The Executive Director of the Accreditation Board of St. Kitts & Nevis Visits the Council The Council hosted a 5-day visit for Ms. Trisha Rawlins, Executive Director of the Accreditation Board of St. Kitts & Nevis. Ms. Rawlins was provided with guidance and techniques for managing an external quality assurance agency.

“Tell Us Your Positive Experience Promotion! At the Barbados Accreditation Council, excellent customer service delivery and customer satisfaction are very important to us. If you or anyone you know has sought any of the Council’s services since its existence in 2007, we invite you to submit to us here via facebook or email at your positive experience consisting of no more than 100 words.

Please include: 1. The name of the service you requested 2. Your name and country of residence 3. When the service was successfully completed 4. A photo of yourself with your Statement/Certificate issued 4. Briefly tell us the story of your experience

You will be eligible to be

featured in our 2015 calendar, where the Council will highlight 12 (or possibly more) lucky customers will to tell us their positive experience. For more information, please contact the Information Officer at (246) 436-7636 or via email at: THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!


This year’s Quality Assurance Open Day was held on November 15, 2013. The day’s events included the exhibition of accredited The University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus and registered educational providers Shab Shan Sadie School of Cosmetology, University of the Southern Caribbean and BIMAP; and tertiary educational partner Student Revolving Loan Fund. A number of students from neighbouring secondary schools visited, and were treated to free manicures, give-a-ways and some

Quality Assurance

Open Day

Students of The St Michael School listening attentively during an Information Session

insightful information sessions facilitated by the Council. These information sessions included the topics of Tips for Detecting Fraudulent Qualifications, the Recognition Services of the Council, and the Certificate of Recognition of CARICOM Skills Qualification. For the 10th anniversary celebration of the Council, next year’s event is projected to be bigger and and will be held in a more central location to attract more members of the public.

A member of the public being treated to a free manicure by the Shab Shan Sadie School of Cosmetology representative

The Registered Educational Providers displayed their course offerings and provided guidance

Quality Checks for Student Records by Violet Worrell, Quality Assurance Officer

Whether you are a small or large provider, there are a few quality checks which should be performed to assure the accuracy of your student records. The following steps would make retrieval easier in the future and reduce time and anxiety. Before the list of graduands is drafted ensure that all programme requirements have been met. If there have been programme changes between the period of enrolment and graduation, ascertain that all of the programme requirements in place at the time of enrolment have been met. 10 This next step may seem

like a no-brainer however, it cannot be stressed enough. Check that the spelling of first, middle, and surnames is accurate and consistent on all official documents and records. If there was a change of name, retain a record of the original name as well as the current name. The spelling of all names on the award should be accurate. Student Identification Numbers, gender, and dates of birth should be recorded accurately. Official transcripts should accurately record the period of enrolment, biographic data, courses, scores, credits earned, GPA’s, and the name and class of the award. This


information is crucial since it is your official student record which would be made available to other institutions and agencies upon request. Finally, retain both electronic and hard copies of the students’ handbook as well as programme requirements and course outlines for each graduating class and advise graduating classes to do the same. If the afore-mentioned steps are taken they would promote the speedy retrieval of records, facilitate coursework evaluation and the transfer of credit, as well as improve the efficiency of the institution.

Developmental Workshops cont’d their role and responsibility as education and training providers in the internal (cont’d on page 7)quality management processes of their respective institutions. The Deputy Chairman remarked, “By being proactive, and attending this technical workshop before you formally apply for programme approval, your participation will first of all increase your awareness of the programme approval process and your knowledge of the programme approval specifications. Secondly, you will gain the competence needed to enhance the quality of your programme offerings in particular, and improve the quality of educational provisions in Barbados in general. Furthermore, you will gain greater insight into the creative and innovative aspects of programme design which will undoubtedly serve your agencies well in the future. “

only other local providers, but also providers in the global educational environment who not only make programmes available locally, but to whom some of their (local providers) graduates may take their awards at the conclusion of programmes of study for the purpose of gaining access to further studies. Programme Approval is a quality assurance process that ensures that a programme is appropriately designed and structured; that adequate resources (human, financial, physical) are available; that the programme is consistent with the provider’s mission; and that the programme has stated learning outcomes and assessment strategies that are set at an appropriate level for the qualification awarded. In 2014, the Council will continue to provide innovative and developmental workshops for tertiary providers.

Mr Walters applauded the providers for displaying their willingness to be competitive with not

One of the break out groups discussing their task with Ms Cherie Pounder, Quality Assurance Officer of the Council.

Workshop participant reporting out



NQF Study Tours

The National Qualification Framework (NQF), which is Pillar 2 of the Barbados Human Resource Development Strategy 20112016, has been placed under the responsibility of the Council. In order to prepare for this major initiative, the Executive Director, Quality Assurance Officers and the

Project Coordinator (NQF) visited Mauritius, Scotland and England. The aim of the tours was to learn directly from the authorities in the respective countries of best practices in the design, development and implementation of their NQFs and also any pitfalls to avoid. The Council also signed a Memorandum of Technical

Cooperation and Partnership with the Mauritius Qualifications Authority that will provide for the sharing of information, technical expertise and hosting of staff attachments, amongst other benefits.

Front row: (first from left) Ms. Valda Alleyne, Executive Director, BAC and (second from left) Executive Director, MQA, Dr. Kaylash Allgoo, O.S.K. Back row: Ms. Shonelle Lynch, Project Coordinator(NQF), BAC (third from left) and Mrs. Alitia Quintyne, Quality Assurance Officer, BAC (fourth from left) along with other members of the staff of the MQA

From left: Helen Zhang, SQA; Mark Hill, SQA; Cherie Pounder and Tamara Gibson, Quality Assurance Officers of BAC; Aileen Muir, SAQ; and representatives from Scottish Credit and Qualification Executive

#123 A&B, “Plaza Centrale�, Roebuck Street, Bridgetown BB11080, BARBADOS Tel: (246) 436-9094 Fax: (246) 429-9233 Email: Website: Check us on Facebook and Youtube @ BdosAccredCouncil barbados-accreditationcouncil



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