Ministry of Education, Guyana

Thursday, 01 October 2015 00:00

Ingenuity galore at Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Career Fairs hosted

Innovation and the spirit of creativity are alive and well. Therefore energy should be harnessed to be used for creative purposes.

This was the underlying message of the presenters yesterday when the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (CTVET), and the unit responsible for Secondary School Competency Certificate Programme (SCCP) hosted two fairs at the Arthur Chung Convention Center.

With an aim to create, innovate, make products and develop systems to match entrepreneurial spirit and economic desires for all of Guyana, these two educational pillars which serve post-secondary and secondary institutions respectively, contribute to developing the skills and competency of individuals for employment, careers, livelihood and lifelong learning.

The fairs shared different sections of the same venue in an effort to reduce cost and attract a greater number of viewers to both events.
Archibald Clifton, Chairman of the Sub-Committee for the technological fair, and member of the CTVET Council, said that the aim was to integrate and exchange ideas among young people and institutions, while strengthening skills related to communication, self-esteem, and team work.

Education Minister Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, at the launch, made it clear that he is very keen on the idea of trying to get Technical and vocational education in secondary schools throughout the country and for people to see TVET training as part of their general education.

“To me it’s not some specialized area that people who can’t achieve academically will go to, because children who are academically inclined need exposure to the kind of technical vocational education and similarly, the people who are in TVET need the academic reinforcement,” the minister said after viewing the exhibitions.
One of the fairs was dubbed ‘the Alpha of Technological Fairs for post-secondary school Institutions in Guyana ’. Its aim was to demonstrate how value could be added to benefit students, participating institutions, their immediate community and the country as a whole.

That fair featured projects showcasing innovations from technical Institutes and training centers in Regions two, three, four, five, six and ten that were made from materials which included solid waste such as rubber, leather and textiles, plastic, metals, glass, paper and paper board, wood and organic waste.
The idea to focus on solid waste was decided after a critical review of environmental issues that significantly impact on the way of life in Guyana by a sub- committee which agreed that mini projects were ideal for participating institutions.

Clifton, at the launch, said that the ultimate goal of the 2015 event was to select the best Mini- Project and team to represent Guyana at the Paula Souza’s Center, International Skills Fair in Sao Paulo, Brazil in August.
However, while that did not materialize as planned because of institutional inertia and financial constraints, Guyana tarries on towards 2017.
It also allowed visiting stakeholders to observe how CTVET contributes to the development of innovations and technological solutions needed to address climate change and preserve environmental integrity.

Of note was the fact that because CTVET is not versed in Intellectual Property Laws, they will have to seek professional advice if they intend to market their mini-projects after the fair ended.
Two special entries which were intended to showcase the broad spectrum of skills and creativity that exist in the Secondary and post-secondary Institutions were also included.

Those were from Abram Zuil Secondary School, the winners of the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge 2014 with its project ‘Rice husk particle board’, and the Forestry Training Center Inc. which promoted its vocational Training Programme through brochures, pamphlets, posters and various types of equipment used in the forestry sector. Much focus was also placed on occupational health and safety.

Ritesh Tularam, the Education Ministry’s coordinator of the Secondary Competency Certificate Programme (SCCP) labeled the fair a first and a successful venture for his unit. It was focused on sensitizing youths in and out of school for possible career opportunities that currently exist within the schools that are offering the SCCP. He said the fair was focused on encouraging youths to acquire the certificate to be gainfully employed.

Some 40 booths were on showcase. They were manned by schools, post-secondary institutions and several companies including Banks DIH, Guysuco, Guyana Power and Light, and John Fernandes Ltd.

“The reason for having these people is to showcase what is available within their companies to help persons to make enlightened choices in terms of their career path.” Tularam said that plans are in train for the event to become a cross region affair for his unit and hopefully it will be an annual unfolding.
The projects included an impressive solar water heating system made of Plastic bottles. This was done by the Mahaicony Technical and Vocational Training Center, a Chair set produced from recycled tyres by the GITC, Natural fibers bags and coconut shells chandeliers from Carnegie School of Home Economics.


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