Education Minister Announces the Establishment of the National Accreditation and Equivalency Council
Authored by: Llonella Gilbert
Source: Bahamas Information Services
Date: August 24, 2016

 

NASSAU, The Bahamas -- Minister of Education, Science and Technology the Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald announced the establishment of the National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of The Bahamas (NAECOB) during a press conference at the Ministry, Wednesday, August 24, 2016.

 

“Globally, accreditation is a normal practice to ensure that institutions offering educational services are not doing so solely for profit while neglecting the quality of courses, preparation of students, qualifications and experience of instructors, and the parity of courses with other institutions,” Minister Fitzgerald said.

 

He added that accreditation ensures that students receive a quality education and holds institutions accountable.

 

Members of the Council as well as high-ranking Education officials were in attendance at the press conference.

 

The Minister listed the reasons why accreditation is important for the country going forward.  These include:

 

  • Helps determine if an institution meets or exceeds minimum standards of quality.
  • Helps students determine acceptable institutions for enrolment.
  • Assists institutions in determining acceptability of transfer credits. 
  •  Helps employers determine the validity of programs of study and whether a graduate is qualified. Employers often require evidence that applicants have received a degree from an accredited school or program.
  • Helps employers determine eligibility for employee tuition reimbursement programs.
  • Enables graduates to sit for certification examinations.
  • Involves staff, faculty, students, graduates, and advisory boards in institutional evaluation and planning.
  • Creates goals for institutional self-improvement.

 

Minister Fitzgerald said, “In keeping with global best practices, we recognised the need to establish two commissions under the NAECOB umbrella that would be responsible for ensuring that parents at the primary and high school levels and students at the tertiary level receive value for money and that the quality of education being offered is satisfactory.

 

“It is no secret that many privately-owned schools have opened in recent years. As a marketing tactic, many claim that they are registered and accredited by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in order to gain some degree of credibility.”

 

He said, “Truth is, schools operating in The Bahamas are required to register with the Ministry of Education, but prior to the institution of NAECOB, there were no stringent mechanisms in place to measure the quality and standards of education being offered.”

 

However, the NAECOB will have the authority to accredit higher education degree, diploma and certificate granting institutions as well as accredit tertiary, secondary, junior and primary schools.

 

“The commissions are now charged with the responsibility of registering all institutions operating within The Bahamas and are also responsible for developing standards and procedures. NAECOB will be responsible for taking final action and ratifying the accreditation status of institutions,” the Education Minister said.

 

Information concerning the accreditation process can be found at the Ministry of Education’s website at www.ministryofeducationbahamas.com.

 

Additionally, inquiries can be emailed to naecob@moe.edu.bs or phone 328-8873.

 

Minister of Education, Science and Technology the Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald announced the establishment of the National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of The Bahamas (NAECOB) during a press conference at the Ministry, Wednesday, August 24, 2016.  (BIS Photo/Derek Smith)

 

Minister of Education, Science and Technology the Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald (seated centre) poses for a group photograph with members of the National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of The Bahamas and other high ranking Education officials.  (BIS P hoto/Derek Smith)

 

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