Ministry of Education, Guyana

Monday, 18 June 2012 00:00

TVET gaining scope in Guyana

There have been many views regarding technical and vocational education and training especially on who can and should access such an education; however educators in the field have taken the responsibility to change that trend that those who are good with their hands and are not academically inclined should attend technical institutes to learn a trade.

TVET has taken on a stronger image in light of the fact that many of the world’s occupations, particularly those that aid development of industries, depend on people with the necessary skills. It is important to note that pursuing TVET programmes requires a strong background in Maths, Science and even English Language.
In Guyana the Education Ministry has been trying to change the way the population views TVET, and thus far investments have been made in the construction of two new institutes in Regions 3 and 5 while the other institutes have benefited from the installation of new equipment.

These efforts are clear indications that TVET is finally getting the recognition it deserves, not only in Guyana but in the Caribbean region as well.

TVET Guyana Vision 2020
Recently the Ministry held a stakeholder consultation where people with interests in TVET, particularly the Principals of the TVET centers and instructors, gathered to discuss the planning of Guyana’s national TVET policy entitled TVET Guyana Vision 2020.
This policy seeks to facilitate a regional and concerted approach that guides TVET reform in operations, administration, stakeholder involvement, funding and certification within the TVET Council, and secondary education. It also aims at ensuring that TVET is given prominence as a requirement necessary for further education and workforce development, social progress and employment.

Education Minister, Priya Manickchand who also attended the consultation had emphasised that the development of the TVET policy plan is an important move and the ground work has already been laid for its take-off.
In highlighting that the Education Ministry is tasked with ensuring that the government’s vision for TVET becomes a reality, the Minister outlined what she anticipates from the offering of TVET at the secondary level. These include students having a deep interest in pursuing further studies, students certified as being competent (a CVQ type competency in a specific area), students being able to continue their studies in the institutions built to facilitate TVET, and that they leave certified and competent at that level, and are absorbed into the workforce of the country so that they can contribute to Guyana’s continued development.

The planning of a national TVET policy is being done at a time when the National TVET Council has positioned itself to introduce several innovative mechanisms for TVET nationally which include the implementation of competency based education and training programmes at formal and non-formal institutions, a national strategy for assessment and certification, and quality assurance guidelines for Guyana to be recognised as an accreditation body for the CVQs.
The National TVET Policy is expected to bring into consideration an integrated system that offers the opportunity for lifelong learning, the establishment of a centralised unit that can oversee all TVET training, setting up of a system that is based on competences and occupational standards set by or in collaboration with industries, catering for varying learning abilities and potential, integrating concepts of internship and entrepreneurship, and stipulating safety, quality and excellence.

The motto for the proposed plan is ‘Skill is Wealth’ and outlines 15 action points. These include safety, student recruitment, retention and completion, governance, financial support and its sustainability, human resource development and sustainability, process and procedures (written and communicated), environmental concerns, students and staff wellness, records input, storage and retrieval, awareness and information creation, dissemination and marketing, TVET employers’ alliance, and the introduction of TVET at the nursery and primary levels.
The plan also looks at governance and management of TVET, curriculum and syllabus development, delivery and assessment of TVET programme, financing TVET, monitoring and evaluation, legal framework and policy implementation plan.

Guyana prepares to offer CVQ certification
To further advance the efforts towards the improvement of, and widening the scope of TVET, the Council for TVET in collaboration with the Caricom-Education for Empowerment Project/ Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) hosted a workshop where focus was placed on quality assurance requirements for the delivery of the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ).
This session targeted representatives from the Georgetown and Linden Technical Institutes, Kuru Kuru and Guysuco Training Centres, and the Board of Industrial Training. They were brought up to speed with what is expected from the institutions that will be readied to offer the CVQ certification.
Director of the Council for TVET, Sydney Walters outlined several critical areas geared at moving TVET recognition further ahead. These include the establishment of a national training policy, use of regional occupational standards for development of curriculum, establishment of an assessment strategy, training of line management functionaries, practice of clinical supervision, acquisition of adequate facilities, development and implementation of certification qualifications, development of systems for storage and retrieval of records and monitoring and evaluation.
Thus far the TVET Council has audited the post-secondary institutions in preparation for another audit which will be done later this year.

Article Complements of GINA

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