ANSA McAL Chairman Emeritus, Dr. Anthony N. Sabga (left) presents University of the West Indies St Augustine campus Principal, Professor Clement Sankat with a cheque for $600,000 at the Principal’s office on September 06, 2011.
The ANSA McAL Group is one of the sponsors of a new journalism programme that is being introduced at the St Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI). The Certificate in Journalism course, a first at the UWI, began last Monday at the St Augustine campus with some 20 of a targeted 30 students and would run for a full year. UWI principal Prof Clement Sankat said the course was made possible through collaboration between the UWI’s St Augustine campus and the national media community. In a statement, UWI said that the private commencement ceremony marked the actual “teaching start” to the programme which was launched in October last year.
The full-time programme is designed for prospective and practising journalists who want to be prepared to perform more effectively in a 21st century media environment, according to the university. A ceremony was held yesterday at the Principal’s Office at the St Augustine campus to mark the commencement of the programme and Chairman Emeritus of the ANSA McAL Group Dr. Anthony N Sabga delivered an address. Sabga recently became a recipient of the highest national award, the Order of the Republic of T&T, for community service.
“The group’s support for this, and other educational programmes, is an expression of our commitment to responsible corporate citizenship,” he said. Sabga, who presented a cheque for $600,000 to the campus principal, said ANSA McAL’s support for such programmes had been consistent over the years. “You would know of the ANSA McAL Psychological Research Centre,” he told the gathering which included students of the first journalism class. “You might not know that the present centre has grown so much that it needs more space, and we are looking a site for its expansion.” Sabga said ANSA McAL’s commitment to, and partnership with UWI, went back four decades. “We were among the original founders of the UWI Institute of Business (IOB) more than 20 years ago,” he said.
Sabga further disclosed that in the 1990s, with the help of Professor David McGaw, the Group pioneered the Sandwich Programme. He said the group contributed to priority areas, in business, engineering, and social sciences. “The reasoning is the same for our decision to support journalism education. “The group, as you know, is heavily invested in media.” Sabga said every person in the country needs urgently to know what is going on around them. “Information is the lifeblood of democracy.
And we understand our responsibility to provide the best information to our people. “This is keeping democracy alive and functioning.” In the statement, programme coordinator, Patricia Worrell, said that the response to the programme was overwhelming and several applicants had to be deferred to next year’s session. At yesterday’s ceremony, Sankat, noting that the journalism programme was a relevant and timely one, wished for greater partnership between the university and the private and public sectors. Other media sponsors of the course are One Caribbean Media and CL Communications Ltd.
September 07, 2011