Participants Successfully Complete UTech, Ja./OLADE Post Graduate Diploma in Energy Development and Social Inclusion

The University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech, Ja.), led by the School of Engineering, in collaboration with  OLADE (Latin American Energy Organization) on Friday, November 13, 2015 hosted the closing ceremony for  fourteen participants from Jamaica, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti and Guyana  who completed a six-week post graduate diploma programme in Energy Development and Social Inclusion  which ran from October 5 to November 13 at UTech, Jamaica’s Papine campus. The programme was aimed at “improving knowledge on social, economic, environmental and legal aspects related to energy development and to effectively address them through energy governance.”

The Latin-American Energy Organization (OLADE) is an international public entity of cooperation established in 1973 to develop a more equitable economic relationship between developed countries and the developing countries of Latin American and the Caribbean. The organization is committed to the defense of natural resources in the Region, technical cooperation on policies for sustainable and comprehensive development and measures to address issues arising in the energy sector such as market prices, supply demand, electricity generation, energy efficiency, climate change and data management.

Prof. Colin Gyles, Acting President, UTech, Ja. in his remarks congratulated the graduates and members of the teaching faculty and administrative staff on the successful completion of the programme.  He encouraged the participants to use the new knowledge they have gained to influence policy changes in their own countries.  Prof. Gyles pointed out that energy and social inclusion are “mutually inclusive concerns” which need to be urgently addressed within Jamaica and the region, adding that UTech, Ja., the country’s national university  is committed to leading the “research  and public understanding of all types of energy, their interaction with the environment and their impact on society.”

In his report on the success of the programme, Dr. Noel Brown, Head, School of Engineering, UTech, Ja. shared that participants were engaged in several activities to make the teaching and learning processes both socially and culturally relevant.  He noted that the five modules covered engaged the students in areas such as, Energy and Society; Sociology of Socio-environmental Conflict; Global Environmental Conflict; Global Environmental Governance; Economic and social realities of the energy chain and Social inclusion in energy regulation.  In addition to group discussions, presentations and tests, other activities included field trips to White River Hydro Plant in St. Ann and the Wigton I and II wind farms in Manchester, the largest wind farms in the Caribbean region, to give participants firsthand knowledge of the operations of a hydro plant and renewable technologies facility.

Dr. Brown encouraged the graduates to return to their respective countries and “transfer the knowledge” they have acquired and called for them to “find your place in the big picture of the energy sector and make a difference,”  affirming that the University of Technology, Jamaica stands ready to support their efforts.

Ms. Lourdes Pillajo, Training Specialist, OLADE in her remarks expressed hope that the programme had met the expectations of the participants.  She noted that energy is important to all aspects of a country’s development and emphasized the need for the adoption of efficient processes informed by reliable, relevant, timely and easily accessible information which can be achieved through programmes such as the energy development and social inclusion programme.

Speaking on behalf of the graduates, Ms. Karinsa Tulsie Lochan of Trinidad and Tobago lauded UTech, Ja. and OLADE for a well executed and relevant programme and noted that the participants’ knowledge of energy development has been significantly enhanced.  Ms. Tulsie Lochan noted that as a region we all face similar energy challenges and called for greater coordination to find solutions to address them.

Among those in attendance at the closing ceremony were Mrs. Faith Richards-Samuels, Technical Coordinator, Office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining,   Ms. Curt Ann Toby, Executive Secretary to the High Commission of Trinidad and Tobago, Ms. Indra Persaud, Honorary Consul of Guyana, Mr. Winston Bayley, Honorary Consul of Barbados, UTech, Jamaica faculty and staff.

 

Corporate Communications Unit

Advancement Division

University of Technology, Jamaica

 

Friday, November 20, 2015

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