CMA, UWI sign MoU to upskill the region's security personnel
From left to right: Lieutenant General Rocky Meade,Vice Chancellor for the Caribbean Military Academy, Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang and Professor Hilary Beckles, Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, following the signing of a MoU between the institutions. Photo: Marlon Reid
The University of the West Indies (UWI) and Caribbean Military Academy (CMA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which will see UWI providing the necessary guidelines to bring CMA courses to international standards.
The courses now offered by the CMA, which is operated by the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), will allow the island's military personnel as well those as from other Caribbean states and smaller countries across the world - to be trained for the 21st century, the CMA said during the MoU signing at Up Park Camp last Tuesday.
These courses will be upgraded and designed to meet the current needs of the world's population.
Currently, the CMA has six institutions, namely the Caribbean Institute of Professional Miltary Education, Caribbean Military Technical Training Institute, Caribbean Miltary Aviation School, Caribbean Military Maritime Training Centre, Caribbean Infantry Training Centre and Caribbean Special Tactics Centre.
There are plans to have another institute that will oversee the research into security-related matters that are unique to small countries.
Professor Hilary Beckles, Vice Chancellor of the UWI (left) and Lieutenant General Rocky Meade,Vice Chancellor for the Caribbean Military Academy sign the memorandum of unerstanding between both institutions. (Photo: Marlon Reid).
The institutions offer a variety of courses for military personnel, which according to Lieutenant General Rocky Meade, who is also the Vice Chancellor for CMA, are also available to civilians who are interested in security-related disciplines, from the technical areas with the hope of going all the way to Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) research.
He said: "the CMA will not only be for militaries and paramilitaries but civilians as well. Anyone who is interested in the security industry, we are going to have room for them. In fact, what is going to make the CMA more unique even within the world, it is going to be a one-stop academy, from the technical level all the way up to research degrees."
Meade said the CMA already has arrangements with both Human Employment and Resource Training (HEART), which provides polytechnic type certification and The UWI, for a Master's Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies.
According to Meade, both institutions share some similarities including a commitment to ensure a positive future for the Caribbean with the commitment to develop leaders that will work towards a shared vision for the region.
He said, "through this partnership, we have begun the process of establishing the Caribbean Military Academy as a college of the University of the West Indies.
"Accreditation of our training will not only ensure that our members and other graduates have the highest standard of qualification. But will ensure that when our soldiers are ready to join the civilian workforce, anywhere in the world, they can do so with the confidence that the training that they have received and the certification, will be readily accepted," he said.
UWI, Caribbean Military sign MoU
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Professor Hilary Beckles, Vice Chancellor of the UWI, stressed that the partnership with the CMA will help the region attain the international standards.
“What is holding back the advancement of our societies is not the shortage of capital, it is the shortage of the critical skills that are needed to strengthen our institutions, economies and governments.
"We need a revolution in the area of producing the technical and intellectual skills to build a 21st-century region. We are creating a narrative to build appetites for more training, professional advancement, research and things that academies are expected to do to serve their people and to serve them well," Beckles said.
Meanwhile, Minister of National Security, Horace Chang said, "it is an excellent development as the university links with the JDF, which does specialised training for soldiers locally, those in small island states and countries in Africa.
"It is a welcome addition. People speak of going off to West Point (military school in the USA), one day we will have a lot of those people come to Up Park Camp to the Caribbean Military Academy," Chang said.