Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Tuesday | November 20, 2012
Home : Letters
Universities missing a rather crucial 'step'
THE EDITOR, Sir:

The advent of some recent events has served the purpose of thrusting university education once more into the searching spotlight of public scrutiny.

The unfortunate events which unfolded on the campus of the University of Technology some weeks ago, left a bitter taste in the collective mouth of our citizenry. For it to unfold at a university, highlights the journey which lies ahead of us if we are to proceed to collective civility and maturity.

With that said, it was on quite a contrary note that one viewed the recent valedictory exercises in which a young lady, born without any lower limbs, graduated with a degree in psychology.

This exercise in excellence and perseverance is sadly shadowed by the dark clouds which give rise to the question: Of the more than 30 tertiary institutions in Jamaica, how many make provisions to ensure that 'the wellspring of life' known as education is made accessible to the differently abled within our society?

It is unfortunately safe to say that many of our fellow citizens are denied access when it comes to tertiary education. The thread indeed runs deep into the educational fabric of our land, as this issue is not limited to the tertiary level but extends to the lowest rung of the educational ladder,.

In this day and age, no individual who is of sufficient mental faculty should be denied an education based on how different he/she is from the remainder of the population. It is with this in mind that those hallowed grounds known as university campuses must be encouraged to evolve into places of genuine 'higher learning', where all people are 'accepted' once the mental prerequisites are met.

NOEL MATHERSON

nmatherson@stu.ncu.edu.jm

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