Lacking Literacies In Universities
By: Shana-Kay Rankine
“The significance attached to writing, speaking and reading at the tertiary level, is not what it should be in order to help students [to] be ready for the working world”. These were the opening statements from the Head of School for Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Technology, Dr. Jones-McKenzie as she introduced the days event.
The Caribbean Association of Tertiary Level Academic Literacies Practitioners (CATALP), held their first annual set of workshops on January 24th, 2019, on the grounds of The University of Technology campus. This years theme: “Carving Out an Approach to Tertiary Academic Literacies in the Caribbean”. The workshop saw many institution officials from colleges across the diaspora, who took turns discussing the problem of academic literacies in colleges across the Caribbean and the many ways to combat the issues highlighted. Key speaker Dr. Raymond Oenbring from the University of Bahamas, opened the discussion by revising the literacy goals for first year tertiary courses, as developed by the US Council of Writing Program Administrators(WPA). He encouraged the audience to deliberate on students’ ability to analyze context, synthesize and evaluate ideas and texts, develop and finalize projects and to develop knowledge of linguistic structures. Attendees were placed in groups to compare WPA goals to that of their perspective institutions and the floor was opened to discussions.
The proceedings were then followed by further presentations from Dr.Michele Kennedy from the UWI Mona and University of Guyana representative, Charlene Wilkinson. A revision of statements and suggestions were presented before the conclusion of events. The second workshop will be held on January 25, 2019 at the UWI, Mona.