Ministry of Education, Guyana

Friday, 28 March 2014 15:46

Government Technical Institute (GTI) hosts Open Day

Transforming Technical and Vocational Education for the 21st Century” is the theme used for the Open Day activity hosted by the Government Technical Institute (GTI) today, to showcase the numerous benefits of acquiring Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET). This Open Day event is one of many to be held at other national technical institutions throughout Guyana, as the Ministry of Education (MOE) intensifies efforts to create better awareness and significantly raise the profile of TVET in Guyana.

In delivering welcoming remarks, Principal of GTI, Mr. Carl Benn noted that GTI continues to be an institution of exceptionally high standards that continues to offer the finest quality TVET in Guyana. “The institute is committed to the delivery of quality education to students in business, science and engineering fields at certificate and/or diploma levels in a learner-friendly and conducive environment,” he said.

Benn recognized the Ministry’s commitment and determination to providing much needed resources for the further enhancement of the delivery of TVET at the institution. He stated that, “The MOE has invested heavily in retooling and refurbishing our classrooms, workshops and laboratories with the purchase of new machinery and tools which have replaced their antiquated counterparts. This means that materials are now available for students to conduct adequate practical exercises at this institution.”

The crucial role of TVET in the education system

Assistant Chief Education Officer – Technical, Mr. Patrick Chinedu, underscored the importance of TVET in the education system, while alluding to the CARICOM Education for Employment Programme (C-EFE), in which resides the CARICOM TVET Strategy for Workforce Development and Economic Competiveness called: Skills and Credentials – The New Global Currency, where the first component is: TVET redefined and promoted as an agent of Workforce Development and Economic Competitiveness.

Mr. Chinedu posited that TVET plays a very important role in strengthening the Guyanese workforce and has a most powerful potential of preparing it for the 21st century. In this regard, he urged employers in industry to embrace and support the Ministry’s efforts at strengthening TVET. He also further emphasized that employers must continuously engage the Ministry and by extension the Council for TVET on the evolving skills required in their workplaces, so as to ensure that the quality of TVET curricula offered at institutions in Guyana provide the relevant knowledge and skills needed in industry.

Guyana will soon join the rest of CARICOM in offering Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) certification, according to Mr. Chinedu, which will follow the implementation of Competency Based Education and Training (CBET).

Government renews its commitment to education

In delivering the feature address, the Honorable Minister of Education, Ms. Priya Manickchand, spoke of the Guyana government’s unremitting commitment to the education sector by allocating it GUY32.2B in the 2014 Budget. “This level of investment in the nation’s children was not done by chance, but by the sustained macroeconomic stability currently being experienced in Guyana. “For the first time in a very long time we have had eight consecutive years of positive growth in our country - from 2006 to 2013,” the Minister said.

She acknowledged that the Government of Guyana (GOG) will continue to make tangible investments in the education sector as a means of providing the requisite knowledge and skills for individuals to gain meaningful opportunities in society. “Investing in Education and meeting the needs of our children in schools and in our technical and vocational centers is the only sure way of alleviating poverty.” The Minister was however keen to point out that investing in education does not yield immediate returns on investment. “The returns on education investments made are seen over a period of time. This is precisely why in 2014 we have technical vocational centers in Regions two, three, four, five, six and 10; whereby 20 years ago these never existed.”

The Minister further stated that: “Careful investment, sticking to the programme, having a healthy vision, and pursuing that vision single-mindedly sees us (government) being able to provide technical and vocational education to persons from six of the ten regions in this country, with an intention to expand to the hinterland regions.”

The Minister was optimistic that there will be no disastrous budget cuts to the education sector budget and that the Ministry can get on with the work it has planned for 2014.

Some of the key areas the Minister mentioned to be addressed through the funding made available in the 2014 Budge are as follows: attaining universal secondary education in Georgetown, Regions two, four, and five; improving teacher quality through training; enhancing the delivery of TVET across Guyana; and establishing better teacher accommodation in outlying areas.

After the opening ceremony, the Minister was given a guided tour of the institution and got a firsthand look at the exhibits on display and at the same time interacted with students and teachers.

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