Fri 27th Dec 2013

SVG urgently needs a science and technology university

The United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says that 'education is not simply a moral imperative; it is the smart choice. Every dollar invested generates $10 to $15 in returns. Our shared ideals are simple. We want all children to attend primary school and to progress to secondary school and relevant higher education'.

Unfortunately for the children of SVG, the ULP regime has made the dotish choice of not building a university in our country. Instead, they built a jail, which offers no benefit for children who are trying to get high paid jobs.

SVG urgently needs its own science and technology university, as this can give our children high quality education and help boost sustainable economic growth in SVG.

In 2005, Fiji built its first university. It was built to provide high quality, affordable higher education to the many students who had no access to other tertiary institutions. The university's objective was to provide higher education relevant to Fiji's needs, and, bearing in mind the global economic framework, to support Fiji's development as a sustainable and strong economy.

This is precisely what SVG lacks. We need a university to train our young people to solve the problems our country faces, now and in the future. A nation with its own university is a nation with very strong future, capable of standing on its own two feet and creating a strong economy.

A science and technology university will provide our young people with prosperity. In the UK, of the top 8 highest paying jobs for graduates, 6 are science and IT-based. Reports show that average starting salaries for graduates is just over EC$ 105,000 a year. In investment banks in the UK, salaries for new recruits have been raised to around EC$200,000 a year.

Since independence in 1979, young people in SVG have been failed by successive governments short-sightedness in not building a university. Consequently, virtually half of our young people are unemployed and have little prospect of getting a high paid job.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says also that 'educated mothers are more likely to have healthy children who survive. Educated families are less vulnerable to extreme poverty and hunger. And educated nations have vibrant economies, political stability and a respect for human rights'.

SVG needs a more vibrant economy. We need to use our university to create an export-oriented economy. This can only be successfully achieved by having a very big pool of highly educated university graduates in SVG, to attract foreign investment and to enhance our people's skills so that we have many more entrepreneurs starting up small businesses.

The development of a highly literate and technically trained workforce is crucially important in boosting our economy and creating thousands of new jobs. Companies invest heavily in Singapore because their people are highly qualified; when SVG has a highly educated workforce investors will place their business operations in SVG.

A Green government will build a science and technology university so our people have the opportunity to become highly educated and compete worldwide for highly paid jobs. A Green government is needed, because who knows how many more jails the ULP regime will build.

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