Categorized | National News

Union Calls BAMSI A “Charade”

Executives of The Union of Tertiary Educators of The Bahamas (UTEB) called the relationship between the College of The Bahamas (COB) and The Bahamas Agricultural and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) a charade and expressed concern yesterday about COB officials have remained tight-lipped in the face of what the union says are intentionally misleading public statements by government and BAMSI officials attempting to tie BAMSI and COB together.

In a statement from UTEB released yesterday, the union said from the inception, COB’s involvement with the institute has been a source of contention and confusion with COB’s forced relationship with BAMSI amounting to nothing more than a charade.

“Over the almost two years of discussions, COB’s Council and administration have allowed the government to use COB to give the ill-conceived BAMSI as a sense of legitimacy,” the statement read. The efforts being made to do this have placed the college in a precarious position, particularly in light of the fact that there are no written agreements between the two entities.

“The Union understands that BAMSI is a limited company under the Companies Act and is not a government institution although it is presently being funded by public monies. It is still questionable as to the type of role or relationship that COB can forge with this kind of entity or how public monies can be used to fund a private limited company.”

The union also alleges that information about the relationship between the two entities is still no clearer than when the two bodies started meeting almost two years ago.

“Despite public statements from government and BAMSI executives, there have been no courses or programs approved by the Academic Board of COB for use at BAMSI,” the statement said. “The union sees it as deceptive and misleading for these officials to make such statements purporting that there have been. The only agricultural courses and programs that have been approved by the Board have been approved as a revision and/or update to the current associate degree in agricultural science being offered at COB.”

The statement also chided the government for its pronouncements that BAMSI has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Miami while no such thing has been done with COB.

“In the absence of a signed MOU, BAMSI would be violating COB’s intellectual property rights should the institute start instructing students in the next two weeks using COB courses and program,” the union said. “In many ways, this could amount to willing copyright infringement. Faculty at the College are extremely concerned about the precedence that this would set and expect the College Council to guard against any infraction, by ensuring that this is not the case.

“Further, and of important note, at no point in the academic year did COB do any recruitment of faculty, in any discipline, to teach at the North Andros institute. In fact, COB’s budget has been cut by $3.5 million dollars this 2014-15 year, and COB has been unable to recruit sufficient Faculty to meet its own demands, let alone BAMSI. The School of Chemistry, Environmental & Life Science at COB, the department most closely related to BAMASI, has not been able to recruit one new faculty, even though the department needs at least four.

“In addition, other essential faculties are similarly challenged by the financial cuts to the institution and this shortage is directly impacting our students and COB’s ability to provide essential services to currently enrolled students.”

BAMSI, which the government anticipates will aid with increased food production and create more jobs in the agriculture and marine science sector, is expected to open at the end of the month.

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook