All secondary school students in Guyana could have job-ready, technical and vocational skills and certification by the time they complete their studies as the Ministry of Education is pushing both academic and economic ‘viability’.
This is according to Chief Education Officer Dr. Marcel Hutson, who said that the infusion of more technical and vocational training and certification is part of a long-term plan for students’ development.
“The Ministry of Education is mandated to ensure that Guyanese children are offered secondary level education that will make them academically and economically viable.
“No children must be at risk to complete their secondary school cycle and not be gainfully employed,” Hutson told a gathering of stakeholders at the Umana Yana, Georgetown, on Monday.
Hutson spoke at pre-stakeholder engagement on Monday, which was held ahead of Guyana’s plans to introduce the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) – a Caribbean technical and vocational certification from the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) – in another 34 secondary schools. This effort is expected to target about 2,000 students.
Already, eight secondary schools offer the CVQ in four areas: crops and soil, commercial food preparation, fabric decoration and furniture making.
Deputy Chief Education Officer- Technical Dr. Ritesh Tularam said that once assessed, these 34 additional schools can benefit from 12 CVQ occupations programmes. These include: crop production, aquaculture, commercial food preparation, housekeeping, plumbing, masonry, garment construction, fish handling and processing, furniture making, livestock rearing, customer service, business administration, data administration, fabric design, metal work engineering and agro-processing.
Dr. Tularam also said that the infusion of these programmes is meant to guarantee that all students, in the future, will have technical skills.
“The ultimate intention of the Ministry of Education is to ensure that every secondary school must consciously, committedly and proactively strive to ensure that the CVQ programmes are institutionalised,” he said.
Importantly, Director Council for Technical Vocational Education and Training (CTVET) Patrick Chinedu Onwuzirike underscored that the ministry’s focus on technical and vocational skills is especially needed to supplement Guyana’s ongoing transformation.
With developments in the nascent oil and gas sector and spinoff sectors, he opined that Guyana will soon have a large pool of well-skilled workers, able to meet the labour demands.