BVI News

Statutory bodies in major jeopardy, HLSCC at risk of losing accreditation

HLSCC
HLSCC

The H Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) is facing more financial woes, and this time it is placing the institution’s accreditation at risk.

This is according to Premier Andrew Fahie who was making his contribution to the 2019 budget debate in the House of Assembly on Thursday.

“The college told us because of the number of years that they have not received the correct subvention, they are now in jeopardy of losing their accreditation that we work so hard to get,” the Premier said

He said the threat of the territory’s only community college losing its accreditation ‘hurts him to the core’. Premier also raised concern that his administration will be blamed if the college is stripped of its accreditation.

“You know what they are going to say? It happened under the VIP watch’.”

College officials weren’t free to speak?

He said in order for the college to have ‘kept the lights on’, “they had to cut programmes, cut staff, cut nearly everything there, except the grass”.

“As a matter of fact, most of those [college officials] who testified these things to the Standing Finance [Committee]; when I asked them why didn’t you speak before, they said they weren’t given a chance to but now they are free to speak.”

He then went on to challenge his colleagues to dispute those claims.

“I dare any member in this House to get up and say that what I say about the college is not factual … I dare anyone,” he said. However, no member rose to dispute his statement.

The Premier said the college has been experiencing money troubles since 2013 when their subvention from government was cut from $11 million to $8 million.

He said: “Out of the monies that were cut down, the free tuition of the people attending HLSCC which were supposed to be paid separately – which is more than $2 million – they were told to take it out of the $8 million. Which brings them down to $5 million and change.”

The Premier continued: “I was wondering how come the children up there writing without desks, and now I come to understand that the college is — and I quote the words of the acting President — ‘on life support’.”

More debt in other statutory bodies

In the meantime, the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme is also facing financial difficulties, Fahie pointed out.

“NHI, who is supposed to look after us when we are sick, nearly made us sick when they told us that they were $2 million-and-change in the red,” he said.

Fahie said the information he received during this year’s sitting of the Standing Finance Committee indicates that the NHI was expected to receive some $11.5 million. However, those funds never came.

“So, they started in a deficit, and they said only in February 2019 they received $2.5 million. Now, who has to go and get money for NHI? It ain’t the same government that just reach in?”

BVIHSA

The BVI Health Services Authority is also behind by more than $2 million for last year, Fahie said.

Despite not being part of the initial drafting of this year’s budget that was done, for most parts, by the former NDP government, Fahie pledged to find the needed funds for each of the entities as mentioned earlier.

“I lost more and more weight with this budget every time I hear of what is happening in this territory,” Fahie said.

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36 Comments

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  1. Hmm says:

    And the two ministers for these subjects wanted to be the premiers for this country.

    Like 15
    Dislike 1
    • Track dummies says:

      And you want to invest money in sports but not keep the only college in the Territory open and accredited. How African where sports is more important than education

      Like 8
      Dislike 7
      • @ Track Dummies says:

        What do you mean by that statement which sounds racist I rather have a Government where sport is more important than mind control propaganda than one where making missiles and bombs is more important than their citizens well been.

        Like 4
        Dislike 4
        • Actually says:

          It’s racist to equate “African” with any one particular race. There are people of all kinds of races in Africa now and have been for years. Things have changed. This is 2019.
          It’s also not a binary choice between sport and making bombs! Life is a bit more nuanced than that!

  2. Why says:

    The NDP mess up so much of our hard earn tax dollars and the governor has done nothing about it. Waste of time.

    Like 23
    Dislike 5
    • B Shi! says:

      about the governor has done nothing about it.

      Since when the governor gets involved in running the country financially. You all set of hypocrites.

      Leave the whiteman out of this. As a black person, I repeat: leave the whiteman out of this!!!

  3. vip heckler says:

    Typical scare tactics and then will look like superman once everything is under control

    Like 15
    Dislike 18
  4. Anonymous says:

    A sad and precarious state of our education and future indeed.

    There has always been a major concern, also, about the issue of free tertiary education. Such must have serious negative effects on budgetary matters.

    To further the analysis, 90% of the beneficiaries are not “local,” in the authentic sense, though some fine tooth comb the word “authentic,” and most vacate to other pastures after graduation, without the prospect of ever contributing any thing back to the community.

    Meanwhile, such is and will continue to be a net lost for community, country and the monetary constraints of the college.

    That whole program needs to re-evaluated with firm exigency.

    The current idea needs to be redefined as to who a “authentic Local” under which he/she can qualify for free tertiary education.

    To clarify the author’s position on meaning of “authentic local,” see the generic parental blood line and country of origin of at least the last four to five generations of the VIP party, as an “authentic” example.

    Like 17
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    • go away says:

      Parasite

      Like 1
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    • @Anonymous says:

      Ok let’s get real. The only parasites are the belongers. You get your women pregnant and then go to St Thomas or San Juan to have the offspring so you can claim US citizenship for them. When they become of age they attend school in the US for free and claim no income so they get financial aid and free money. Who are the parasites? Keep your offspring in your own country and try and educate them. You’ll be back in the dark ages in no time or I should say deep dark Africa.

      Like 9
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      • @@Anonymous says:

        How hypocritical arth thou.

        It is fact that the same charges you have levelled/mentioned about the local, the expat, as soon as he/she qualifies for and receives a visa by means of residing in the BVI does the same identical things that you are charging us with.

        Stop being a hypocrite and contribute intelligently to the debate, or at least raise and idea of substance and intellect worthiness.

        Too many of you come here to seek opportunity and improve you lives only to harbour ungratefulness and hatred towards the people whom you meet here.

        Elevate thy mind and the soul will follow!

        Like 12
        Dislike 2
      • @@Anonymous says:

        And with regards to “deep dark Africa, deep dark Africa created you, have paved all of Europe and America with streets of riches, gold and more, all stolen from “deep dark Africa” by who know, deep pale whit Europe and America.”

        So keep on with your idiotic limited racist blogging. When you are all through, just know this, we now know the true his-tory of your kind and the evil your kind has brought to and are still delivering to the world.

        The devil speaks like you therefore you must be the devil.

        Like 4
        Dislike 2
        • Kinko says:

          I’m from Europe. I’m white. I’m also flat broke! I don’t see too many streets of gold round my neck of the woods. I don’t know who you think stole your stuff but I don’t have it. Try Mugabe or Zuma. They seem to have done well for themselves without any discernible comparable means of income.
          Hugs.

          Like 1
          Dislike 1
  5. Education is a Must says:

    “You know what they are going to say? It happened under the VIP watch’.”….

    Just don’t let it happen!

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  6. Hmmmm says:

    Ok Mr. Premier. Let’s assess the situation a bit more. Revenue from Financial services has continued to decline. The 2017 natural disaster has brought the tourism industry to its knees. If the government’s main sources of revenue have declined, where would the funding come from to assist these entities that suppose to be self sufficient?

    The blame game is not appropriate for leadership, for once you take over the mess; the mess becomes yours. So please stop.

    As it stands the economy is weak. You goal should be to assist these departments in finding new sources of revenue. Again where are you going to find this money to assist them?

    Like 32
    Dislike 5
    • VICKIE says:

      ..LET US START CLEANING UP HALF PRICE CLOLLEGE FOR BORN BVI ,START TAKING A PERCENTAGE OUT OF SALARY FOR PENSION THOSE WHO ALREADY RECIEVING WILL HAVE TO PAY A PERCENTAGE ALSO. NOTHING FREE ANY MORE WE WERE IN A SERIOUS POSITION BEFORE THE HURRICANES AND THE HURRICANES MAKE IT WORST. ENFORCE THE LAWS THAT IN THE BOOKS AND PUNISH PEOLPE WITH HEAVY FINES FOR NOT PAYING WHAT THEY SUPPOSE TO PAY. LET ALL OF US KNOW THE GOVERNMENT RUN FROM TAXES. THE FORMER GOVERNMENT LEAVES US IN THE RED AND NOT EVEN A CONGRAULATE BECAUSE THEY KNOW EXCATLY WHAT IS GOING ON. VIP DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO TO KEEP THIS PLACE GOING DO NOT WORRY ABOUT WHO MAKE NOISE.

      Like 8
      Dislike 7
  7. Albion says:

    It is a sad situation, and hopefully it can be rectified.

    I am a little bit worried about the tendency of this Premier to make everything a party political issue though. Does it matter when this decline occurred? What is important is that we take steps to fix it now – not apportion blame.

    Like 36
    Dislike 10
    • Yes it does matter says:

      …because you judge who are best to lead this country on their track record and performance. If you don’t truly know who did what how can they be properly judged?

      Plus all that goes on in this country is our business. The politicians have a duty to report to us.

      Like 3
      Dislike 1
    • Simple says:

      Greedy Blackman don’t really know how to play politics.

      All he had to do was state the facts of official reports brought before him and let the people decide who to blame.

      It is similar to one parent telling them children that the other is at fault. When the children become adults, they later come to know the truth based on what they experienced as young ones as well as what the other party has to say.

      Too much whining, whining, whining.

      Like 10
  8. Resident says:

    Honourable Premier has a way of ecpressing using figurative language that really makes me smile! Enjoy it.
    We know the country is in good hands eith you at the helm. Keep praying and striving. GOD will show you the way.

    Like 10
    Dislike 7
  9. Say one day two says:

    It is true what is said about the college, but this is also my stance too. The board sat down and did NOT put anything in place to raise funds for the institution. They sat and did nothing. It is not only the responsibility of the government to fund the college it is also the responsibility of the board to direct initiatives that can raise money.

    They sent an individual away to get a degree in fundraising and that person has not been held accountable for the money that was spent on them because they have not yet raised a red cent to date. ?‍♀️?‍♀️

    Like 34
  10. Quiet Warrior says:

    The VIP bowled out the NDP for a low score and VIP batting now. The VIP campaigned that NDP was not effectively taking care of people’s business and it was ready and capable to lead. The VIP won with an 8-5 advantage and it is time to lead. The Hon Premier A. A. Fahie (D-1) must lead and govern without wining and sounding so p…..y. He is the new leader, new sheriff. Take charge and captain the ship.

    That said, there are too many statutory bodies. Most of them should be departments. I only went to Manda School but IMO a statutory bordy should be self supporting from the revenues generated from services provided. The current situation is that though they are statutory bodies they look to the general fund for support. The general fund is sourced from taxes, fees, fines……etc

    Undoubtedly, HLSCC needs to maintain its accreditation; it would be a disappointment, embarrassment and failure to lose it, having work so hard to attain it. The HLSCC needs some restructuring. Not averse to students being assisted with tuition but it should be means tested. Students receiving free tuition should attain at least a C ,grade in each class taken, if not they should pay for the cost of the class. Students should have some skin in the game.

    Like 29
  11. Bull says:

    Everybody covering their backsides now they full well know they would not have spoken out due to the college leadership been close to the party, cronyism and conflict of interest.

  12. Concerned!! says:

    The entire leadership of the college needs to go.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
    • yup says:

      i feel the same sentiments

    • They cut everything except the grass says:

      Yes they cut staff but only local staff. Now every academic department is filled with unqualified expatriates. Take alook at their fall 2019 schedule. The balance is made up oof eshs teachers who work half day at the school then teach between 2 and 3 classes up there. But the bosslady top adviser is a Trini who doesnot like local people.If you do not believe me ckeck iy out for yourself. Andrew Fahie better watch how they wasting money up there.

  13. Being Human says:

    The concept of the “Tower of Babel” syndrome is applicable HLSCC. Too many contrasting tongues… too many conflicting political manipulations …Hence, We lack direction. Accreditation is a major achievement which can become short-lived, if we are not careful. Tertiary level success hinges on quality management control, as it does providing the institution with the resources to achieve short, middle and long term goals. Hence, there is urgent need for a re-evaluation of the persons on the Statutory Board of HLSCC. Is membership and influence based on political affiliation, as against a knowledge of best practices in education and strategies to empower the people? Should this be the case, then the Board is merely an extended arm of the ruling party – some members fearing to speak lest they lose their “bread sand butter,” while others who speak might serve us better by being silent. I believe that the challenge which faces the new regime is as much one as raising funds for the college, as it is one of re-assessing and even revamping the current Statutory Board. It is unfortunate that a former President who, though not perfect, was sidelined after taking the College to the crucial landmark of accreditation. The reason for his removal is still as dubious, as a number of other decisions made by the Board. By the way, Is HLSCC destined to be just offering Associate degrees feeding other institutions, while it has lecturers capable of providing services to students at the Bachelors level in a number of subject areas? I think we should be spending more on the College. Equally, I believe the College should be offering on a regular basis, programmes at the Bachelors level. Is it true that as many as seven, out of a cohort of twenty students earned First Class Honours through the University of the West Indies under tutelage provided by HLSCC a few years ago? If this is true, the College does seem to have or at one time had, the capacity to go beyond the Associate degree.My suggestion! Let us engage in an urgent self-study aimed at taking the College formal. We can speak in “many tongues”…but let those varied tongues share the common message of making HLSCC one of the best Regional Colleges!!!!

    Like 10
    • Anonymous says:

      The first thing you could do, rather than “..engage in an urgent self-study aimed at taking the College formal” is learn English.

      Some paragraphs also wouldn’t hurt.

      Like 1
      Dislike 1
      • Being Human says:

        An ad hominem response does not address, nor does it invalidate, an argument. What we need is a serious conversation on the issues raised. Bless.

  14. Vg says:

    And here I am planning to return to college next semester

  15. Cut staff yes says:

    Yes they cut staff but who? All.local ones and then they are hiring expatriates who lack the qualifications and local ones who only have a first degree

  16. Change says:

    We need to go back to charging for education. We cannot give everything for FREE the college have bill to pay and everything cannot come from the Government purse. Real people do real things.

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