COMMUNITY COLLEGE ANXIOUSLY NEEDS CDB FUNDS FOR NEW CAMPUS Professor Louden: “We are bursting at the seams”

By anguillian September 14, 2012 09:51

COMMUNITY COLLEGE ANXIOUSLY NEEDS CDB FUNDS FOR NEW CAMPUS Professor Louden: “We are bursting at the seams”


Professor Delroy Louden

The Anguilla Community College is anxiously hoping to receive over two million US dollars from the Caribbean Development Bank, through the Anguilla Government, to build its own campus in The Farrington area as quickly as possible.


The College is looking forward to the money despite fears expressed by Chief Minister and Minister of Finance, Hubert Hughes, over the British Government’s borrowing guidelines.


The new campus would enable the College to move its operations from theRogers’ Building at George Hill, and to expand its accommodation and education services to more students inAnguilla.


But Chief Minister Hughes charged that the British Government’s borrowing guidelines were hampering the provision of the Caribbean Development Bank’s loan toAnguillafor that purpose. He indicated this while addressing the public forum to reviewAnguilla’s economic and fiscal position on Monday this week.


“We have a college, and a great professor, who could be earning ten times as much if he didn’t come toAnguillato make his contribution,”Mr. Hughes said. “We are paying high rents for rented accommodation which is not custom built,” he went on. “We can get away from those high rents because the Caribbean Development Bank has money to lend to us to build a custom-made building on land which is owned by the Crown. They intend to develop our campus but, due to borrowing guidelines, we are not able to access that loan and to build that College.”


President of the Anguilla Community College, Professor Delroy Louden, who was among the speakers at Monday’s public financial forum, however gave The Anguillian a different story in an interview: “In a letter to the Chief Minister, Mr. Bellingham [the former Overseas Territories Minister] said the money could be used, provided there is a fiscal framework in place – and that the College, as much as possible, would not need additional funding…,” the Professor reported.


“The CDB is waiting to hear from the Government of Anguilla, once they have signed on the fiscal framework with the British Government so that it can be able to release the funds. We, at the College, are moving steadfastly ahead by supplying the Caribbean Development Bank with all the additional documentations it requires. These include the quantity survey report in terms of the quantities of materials needed to build the College and so forth. We have also supplied the CDB with the planning permission which has been granted to the College and all the other documentation that it wants. The College is in full agreement in providing those documentations.

“It is a political decision of the Government now as to when it would supply the additional documentation required by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. We must get all of this in for the meeting in October, because we missed the meeting in July of the Council of the CDB, and October is the last meeting for the year for us to have everything in place to benefit from this special-interest loan which the College would need.”


Asked about the Chief Minister’s expressed fears that the borrowing guidelines may negatively impact the provision of the CDB loan, Professor Louden replied: “What I know is that the letter from Mr. Bellingham came at a time when there were a number of assurances and the College has complied with meeting those assurances. That was submitted through the Permanent Secretary, Education and the Permanent Secretary, Finance to the Caribbean Development Bank. We readily signed off on those assurances.”


Questioned as to how soon construction work may commence on the College campus, Professor Louden responded: “As soon as possible. We are bursting at the seams. We don’t have space and the building we are occupying is not configured to our needs. We are working closely with the Department of Education to meet a couple of its training programmes: a Post Baccalaureate Degree; a Diploma Programme for teachers; an Early Childhood Education Programme; a Gerontology Programme for people working with the elderly; and we are looking at the Technical and Vocational Programme.


“We are starting off with Electrical Installation and so forth, and we wish to be able to provide a wider range of courses. We are bursting at the seams at our existing place at the moment. More importantly, the Sixth Form has not been able to come over to the College and that’s a great detriment to us. We need that group of students in order to begin to press ahead with our wide range of courses. It is important for the nation ofAnguilla.


“We need to do something very urgently in strengthening the human resource capacity of this island both in technical subjects and vocational areas: from electrical courses to plumbing, masonry, carpentry and to a wide range of other courses including hair-dressing and so on. There are several technical and vocational courses which we need to provide. This is just to make sure thatAnguillahas the skilled human resources so that when the pick-up comes in the economy, we can be fully capable of taking advantage of some of the opportunities which will arise.”


By anguillian September 14, 2012 09:51


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