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After registration chaos: Gate extends UWI deadline
The University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine, has extended today’s deadline for students to register for the new Gate e-Service to March 14. In addition, the registration centre on campus, Daaga Hall, will now be opened from 8 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday. In a media release on behalf the Tertiary Education Minister Fazal Karim, UWI also advised students that other registration centres were available, including the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC), Mt Hope, TTConnect, the National Energy Skills Centre (NESC) and Metal Industries Company (MIC) locations throughout the country.
Frustration by UWI students attempting to register for the new system was reported in a T&T Guardian article yesterday when students complained of a slow system and misinformation. Specifically, students were having trouble meeting the requirements of the new Gate e-Service, which included providing documents like their acceptance letter, recent transcripts, national identification card and original birth certificates. Also, students were facing difficulties with accessing a scanner to upload their documents. The new system is intended to create online profiles for each Gate (Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses) recipient and to eliminate the need for students to fill out and submit hard-copy forms each semester. Dr Camille Samuel, vice-president of Student Affairs at the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of T&T (Costaatt), another tertiary-level institution required to adopt the new system, said it had several benefits. Samuel explained the Government would be in a better position to track students’ GPAs (Grade Point Average).
“In that way, they could check whether you are eligible for funding,” Samuel said via telephone yesterday. If a student’s GPA dropped below a certain level, funding could be denied the next semester, until grades were improved, she added. Samuel also explained the Gate e-Service provided Government with the ability to track students who were registered at multiple institutions. “So they can make sure people are not wasting money,” she said. When asked how the transition was going at Costaatt, Samuel said the college had taken an approach of allowing students to enroll for classes first, then tackle class-by-class to have them registered for their online Gate profiles. “We prioritised for classes to go so it would not interfere with their studies,” she said. She said personnel at Costaatt were also trained to register students from morning into night classes as well. She conceded there would be traffic on the Web site which could slow down processing times for the applications but that was to be expected with any new system. Another way Costaatt was assisting their students was by providing scanning and uploading services for them. “We are working toward a smooth transition,” she added.
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