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BCC’s plea

Officials say institution currently strapped for cash

Barbados Community College (BCC) officials are appealing for urgent funding, saying the learning institution is cash-strapped to the point of deteriorating infrastructure.

Chairman of the Board Stephen Brome and Principal Dr Gladstone Best used the occasion of the 46th graduation ceremony over the weekend to state the college’s case for financial support.

Principal of Barbados Community College Dr Gladstone Best.

Principal of Barbados Community College Dr Gladstone Best.

They suggest there can either be a change in the way BCC is funded, or an increase in the money received from Government. However, Brome warned that increased tuition fees was not a panacea.

“While I’m not prepared to make any declarations on how this funding is to be achieved, what we can say is the College is entering an era where it must be able to properly price or cost the programme offers,” he said.

“We know that some of our programmes are uneconomic but are necessary as they provide training in areas of national importance . . . so one must never price these subjects out of the reach of citizens as they are too important to the lifeblood of our nation,” he added.

The BCC chairman insisted that a rise in tuition costs could not be the sole solution to the college’s money problems.

“Revenue generation must not be seen only in the context of increases of fees as has been the discussion of late, but educational establishments like BCC must develop a commercial component that allows them to generate their own revenue,” he explained.

Principal Best also noted that over the years the BCC had been under-funded and this had resulted in the deterioration of its physical plant.

While acknowledging that other places of learning faced similar problems, Best said the situation at the 46-year-old college needed to be urgently addressed.

The principal also noted that funding for tertiary education was among Barbados’  biggest economic challenges, adding that the BCC was a prime victim of cutbacks.

“We need a substantial injection of funds to ensure that we can maintain a competitive learning environment and continue to fulfil our role of educating high quality workers for various vocations.

“In an environment of rising costs and global competition from borderless institutions, local institutions cannot do more with less . . . . Inadequate funding produces quality issues that may constrain the College’s efforts at improvement. My simple plea is for adequate funding for BCC,” he stressed.

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