Education Minister, Senator Ruel Reid is demanding a greater social contribution from tertiary institutions, including the University of the West Indies.

The Minister says the institution should help to shoulder the responsibility of solving the nation’s problems.

He’s also taking the university to task, noting it never warned the nation that it would now be in crisis.

That crisis, he says, relates to the shortage of skilled labour in areas such as Business Process Outsourcing. He was speaking yesterday at the Education Ministry’s Higher Education Summit at the Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston

Minister Reid says university lecturers have a responsibility to offer guidance to students in secondary and primary schools. He says the country’s most cerebral minds usually move on to teach at the tertiary level or to other professions.

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He’s describing as a ‘crisis’ the limited number of persons with skills for which several employment opportunities are emerging.

He says most of those opportunities require qualifications in Science, Technology and Mathematics, the STEM fields.

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The Education Minister is blasting tertiary institutions for failing to predict that this shortage would occur.

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He’s also calling on the UWI and other tertiary institutions to help generate economic growth, by making education more accessible.

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