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Students urged to do volunteer work
Minister of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education Fazal Karim urged tertiary level students to engage in community volunteer work as part of a new student social responsibility plan. In the feature address at the Naparima College graduation ceremony on Saturday, Karim said it is easy to identify societal ills. He asked the students how many of them actually took measures to curb those ills. “It is easy for us to sit here today and envision a great tomorrow; identify the host of problems plaguing our society today; point fingers at the ones responsible for the problems and delegate charge to others for constructing that great tomorrow.
“But how many of us also feel challenged to tackle the many deficiencies and problems swirling around us?” he asked. “How many are driven to apply our abilities and talents to developing and implementing solutions? This is what it means to be an agent of change; one who pushes ahead confidently and powerfully, while the masses “mark time” in protest and anxiety.” Karim said he is promoting the concept of student social responsibility in tertiary education to allow them to engage in philanthropy, volunteerism and community service.
“Furthermore, I am proposing that all post-secondary and tertiary institutions introduce modules designed to build “Character and Citizenship,” and which stress values, morals and ethical conduct in all aspects of life,” he said. Karim added: “Student social responsibility must become a lifestyle that facilitates the building of our institutions, communities and society at large, and inculcates an outward looking approach to change.” Karim said he planned to launch a “Closing the Digital Gap” programme to recognise and remove barriers to access to essential technology.
“We are also relocating campuses of the various tertiary institutions to ensure greater access to education by citizens in dispersed geographic locations. Consequently, citizens will experience greater access to tertiary education both in terms of physical locations as well as via internet connectivity and distance learning,” he added. He also said he is working with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Communications, Dr Surujrattan Rambachan, for Government’s Channel 4 to be used as a “Learning Channel”.
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