Future Focused – College, Caribbean Style

Go Lean Commentary

College is good!

College is bad!

This has been the conclusion of the movement behind the book Go Lean…Caribbean – available to download for free – from the beginning of our campaign to elevate Caribbean society. According to the book (Page 258), this bitter-sweet assessment is due to the fact that tertiary education in the Caribbean is:

  • Good for the individual (micro) – every additional year of schooling they increase their earnings by about 10%.
  • Good for the community (macro) – evidence of higher GDP growth in countries where the population has completed more years of schooling.
  • Bad for Brain Drain – if a person emigrates, all the micro and macro benefits transfer to the new country.

In the Caribbean status quo, our people do emigrate

… far too often. Of the 30 member-states that constitute the Caribbean region, some lands are suffering from an abandonment rate where the population is approaching a distribution where half of the citizens live in the homeland while the others live abroad – in the Diaspora. For some other countries, according to a World Bank report, the vast majority of the college-educated population – 70 to 81 percent – have fled.

This is the present; surely the future must be different, better. Surely “the pupil can become the master”.

The Go Lean book provides a 370-page turn-by-turn guide for forging a new future; it details “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies so as to formulate change, to deviate from the current path and foster a new future. This would mean reforming and transforming the societal engines (education = economics) of Caribbean society. This Go Lean book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) for the elevation of Caribbean economic engines. This is a Future Focused roadmap.

This commentary continues this series on the Caribbean Future; this is Part 2 of 5 on this subject. The full series flows as:

  1. Future FocusedPersonal Development and the Internet
  2. Future Focused – College, Caribbean Style
  3. Future FocusedRadio is Dead
  4. Future FocusedPolicing the Police
  5. Future Focusede-Government Portal 101

As initiated in the previous commentary, a focus on the future mandates that we focus on young people and their educational and developmental needs. That consideration asserted that a new era of Internet and Communications Technologies (ICT) has transformed the delivery of Kindergarten to 12th Grade (K-to-12) offerings – Primary and Secondary. There are simple solutions in this sphere. But now we focus on the tertiary-level: College.

All of a sudden, it is not so simple anymore. This is because …

  • Primary-Secondary education is compulsory and mandated to be delivered by the government; college education is a privilege … and expensive.
  • State governments may fund an Education budget – for Primary-Secondary – with averages in the $4,000 range per student per year, while college tuition may average $4,000 per class per semester.
  • Student loans may be necessary and could burden students (and their families) for decades afterwards.
  • Peripheral activities forge their own industrial landscape, think textbooks and college athletics.
  • K-12 education caters to children, while college education caters to adults, therefore romantic entanglements can arise.
  • K-12 facilities may be around the corner, while college campuses may be around the world, thusly requiring visas, other travel authorization/documentation and relocations.

Can tertiary education be delivered better for the Caribbean without the travel/relocation?

Absolutely! We can study in the region, lowering the risks of abandoning the homeland.

This is not our opinion alone; see the recent news article/Press Relese here relating the new emphasis for regional college matriculation, by the facilitation of Intra-Caribbean College Fairs:

Title: St. Lucia College Fair 2017

PRESS RELEASE: The Department of Education, Innovation and Gender Relations will be staging the annual Saint Lucia College Fair at The Finance Administrative Centre, Pointe Seraphine, Castries on Wednesday 1st November from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Thursday 2nd November from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Participating in this year’s College Fair will be representatives from local educational institutions and institutions from the Caribbean Region.  The theme of this year’s College Fair is: “Empowering a Nation Through Education”.

The objectives of the Fair are to:

  • help prospective students and their parents make informed decisions about further education;
  • provide interested Saint Lucians with an opportunity to discover the diversity of higher education in the Caribbean;
  • provide interested participants with career guidance counseling which will be conducted through structured interviews that assesses the participants’ interests, skills, values, career decisions and lifestyle preferences;
  • limit the amount of time and money spent when applying to tertiary institutions; and
  • provide regional institutions with a unique opportunity to diversify their student population by recruiting a high calibre of students from St. [Lucia].

The public is was invited to attend the fair on the date and time specified to meet with the recruiters and advisors from the participating institutions. 

For further information please contact the Human Resource Development Unit of the Department of Education, Innovation and Gender Relations, 4th Floor, Francis Compton Building, Waterfront, Castries or at Telephone Numbers 468-5229/5434/5430/5431/.
Source: Posted October 20, 2017; retrieved November 9 from: https://stluciatimes.com/2017/10/20/st-lucia-college-fair-2017

The Go Lean book – published in November 2013 – also detailed the strategy of College Fairs, to showcase the local/ region offerings and also to introduce/highlight electronic learning (e-Learning) options. The book states (Page 85) this excerpt:

This Department in the Executive Branch [of the CU] coordinates the region’s educational initiatives across the member states. Education has been a losing proposition for the region in the past – many students studied abroad and never returned. Now, the CU posits that e-Learning initiatives are primed for ubiquitous deployment in the region. The CU will sponsor College Fairs for domestic and foreign colleges that deliver online education options. The CU’s focus will be to facilitate learning – without leaving.

In 2017, a focus on the future for college education must also consider “cyber reality” and/or the Internet. This consideration is embedded in the Go Lean roadmap. In fact, the book presents the good stewardship so that Internet & Communications Technologies (ICT) can be a great equalizing element for leveling the playing field in competition with the rest of the world.

Can tertiary education be delivered over the internet?

Absolutely! We can study here, without leaving; the future is now!

There are many offerings and options. See here, for an encyclopedic reference for “College Fairs”-like for Online Schools:

Quick Guide

Bottom of Form

Online colleges and online education are really just “distance learning” with a computer and wifi. And distance learning is now nearly 300 years old. The simple fact is that people have, for a very long time, needed to learn without being able to “go to school.”

Students needing to learn “offsite” and go “online” have included pioneers in far flung lands, persecuted minorities barred from conventional instruction for religious and other reasons, and ordinary folks like us with full-time responsibilities such as a day job and family.

Online colleges and universities make learning possible where otherwise it would be impossible: from the skills people need to advance in a job, to the subjects required for a college degree, to ideas that enrich their understanding of the world.

Using three different technologies—mail, TV, and telephone—allowed distance learning courses to meet all kinds of learning needs, but the hope existed that some newer technology would come along that could recreate the classroom experience.

A huge step in making that happen occurred with the development of the personal computer and the Internet. It took a while for modem technology to gain use in distance learning, but once it did, online educational platforms started popping up all over the place, first by connecting private computers directly, but later on the Internet. Add in the benefits of updated teleconferencing technologies, and it’s no wonder that six million postsecondary students take at least one fully online class every year.


Source: Retrieved November 9, 2017 from: https://thebestschools.org/online-colleges/guide-online-colleges/

This CU/Go Lean roadmap details many aspects of the economic eco-system, not just education alone. In fact, the roadmap features these 3 prime directives – all Future Focused:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The Go Lean book stresses that transforming Caribbean education “engines” must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xxi. Whereas the preparation of our labor force can foster opportunities and dictate economic progress for current and future generations, the Federation must ensure that educational and job training opportunities are fully optimized for all residents of all member-states, with no partiality towards any gender or ethnic group. The Federation must recognize and facilitate excellence in many different fields of endeavor, including sciences, languages, arts, music and sports. This responsibility should be executed without incurring the risks of further human flight, as has been the past history.

xxvii. Whereas the region has endured a spectator status during the Industrial Revolution, we cannot stand on the sidelines of this new economy, the Information Revolution. Rather, the Federation must embrace all the tenets of Internet Communications Technology (ICT) to serve as an equalizing element in competition with the rest of the world. The Federation must bridge the digital divide and promote the community ethos that research/development is valuable and must be promoted and incentivized for adoption.

The Go Lean book presents a detail plan for elevating existing tertiary education options and adding new ones. This federal government – CU Trade Federation – will NOT be academicians, but it will facilitate new and better education options. The motivation of this charter is the recognition that college education has failed the Caribbean region. We need to double-down on the intra-Caribbean strategy – promoting the many universities among the 30 member-states – and e-Learning options.

This Caribbean-style is Future Focused.

See the many considerations of this strategy in these previous blog-commentaries from the Go Lean movement:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=12645 Back to the Future: Textbooks or Tablets in School?
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=11520 Managing the ‘Strong versus the Weak’ – Lower Ed.
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=10845 Need Collegiate Sports in the Caribbean: Model of March Madness
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9724 Bahamas Welcomes the New University; Hoping to Meet Local Needs
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=8373 A Lesson in Economic Fallacies – Student Loans As Investments
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=4487 FAMU is No. 3 for Facilitating Economic Opportunity
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1256 Is Traditional 4-year Degrees Terrible Investments for the Caribbean?

This effort, as detailed in this commentary, is not the first time Caribbean-style college education has been presented to the world. No, there are a number of Medical Schools in the Caribbean that invite foreign students from around the world to come and study – matriculate here; see VIDEO in the Appendix below. The “pupil has become the master”. We are saying:

Be our guest!

Now we want to expand that invitation to the Caribbean world.

We will open our arms … and our offering … and our quality … and our delivery (e-Learning).

Can we improve college education in the Caribbean? Yes, we can! This is not easy; it is heavy-lifting; but it is conceivable, believable and achievable.

We can also be the guests of colleges and universities abroad, with e-Learning! This is the kind of Future Focused efforts that are needed to reform and transform Caribbean society, to make our homelands better places to live, work, learn and play. 🙂

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix VIDEO – Which Caribbean Med School Should You Go To? – https://youtu.be/1cza2RUkrmg

Buck Parker, M.D.

Published on Jul 25, 2017 – Which Caribbean Med School Should You Go To? What are the best med schools in the Caribbean that will help you get residency in the United States as an international medical graduate? SUBSCRIBE: https://www.youtube.com/user/JHSurgery

Dr. Buck tells his experience as an IMG and gives you advice on what medical schools in the Caribbean are the best for gaining a residency in the United States as a doctor, surgeon, nurse, etc. Where should you go to become and international medical graduate that plans on working in America? Dr. Buck Parker, MD is a Board Certified General Surgeon …

  • Category: Education 
  • License: Standard YouTube License
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