Ministry of Education, Guyana

Thursday, 02 December 2010 07:27

National Accreditation Council strengthening capacity of assessors

The National Accreditation Council (NAC) yesterday commenced a two day training workshop geared at building the capacity of its assessors in the techniques and tactics in undertaking evaluations.

The seminar organised by the Council with support from CARICOM and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) aims to familarise local assessors with the principles and elements of accreditation, their role, responsibility, importance of protocol, procedures for executing a focused evaluation visit, good practices in programme evaluation, interpreting criteria and standards and applying them.

The exercise, being facilitated by Dr. Ethley London of the University Council of Jamaica is the third of its kind and also seeks to train and expose staff of NAC to the functioning of world class accreditation bodies. Technical Coordinator within the Technical Action Services Unit of CARICOM, Melbour Phillips addressing a gathering of heads of public and private institutions and representatives of the Council at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) underscored the importance of accreditation in the context of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

Notably, he pointed out that with the free movement of labour within the region, it is imperative to achieve a harmonisation of certifications of the various states in the region. This task, Phillips, stressed will have to be done by the local accreditation boards of the respective territories to ensure standards and established criteria are satisfied. Guyana, he said was the first state to receive supervision from CARICOM in establishing its accreditation board and noted to date, that body has been making progress in its work.

Technical Advisor to the Minister of Education, Olato Sam said the Ministry of Education has recognized the need to monitor programmes offered by private education providers as it seeks to safe guard Guyanese from substandard versions and the NAC is being groomed in this regard.

Online, distance and programmes delivered through the face- to- face mode of delivery in the class room, he stressed must be able to not only withstand rigorous scrutiny from NAC but must also be in consonance with the demands of the rapidly changing world.

Education Minister Shaik Baksh had underlined that the provision of quality education coupled with tested and verified standards of excellence to the Guyanese people is a primary goal of his ministry. He noted that this is paramount in the quest to build a sound knowledge economy that will catalyse economic growth and positive developments at all levels of society. Baksh called on local education providers to focus on creating access to a quality education that will contribute not only to the development of Guyana but CARICOM as well.

Quality must be at the forefront at all levels of education as spelt out in the , Ministry of Education 2008-2013 Education Strategic Plan and hence, the establishment of the National Accreditation Council to ensure that this imperative is met by all private education providers," the Minister stressed.

This is important, he said particularly as Guyana pursues CARICOM's recognition of its technical and vocational programmes. Recognition by CARICOM will enable the movement of local artisans and other skilled persons in the region through the CSME.

The Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) certification is expected to be accessible to persons already in the workforce as well as students in secondary schools across the region. Apart from technical and vocational education, he said equally important is the satisfying of quality assurance standards for programmes offered by the University of Guyana. Baksh said it is encouraging that the university has taken steps in this direction and pointed out that to date; its medical programme has secured accredited status. He said it is time the other programmes follow suit because at the end of the day, graduates with the requisite skills, competence and aptitude are needed to engineer the social, economic and infrastructural transformation of Guyana.

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