Ministry of Education, Guyana

TVET short of $1B to execute 2016 work programme

During a stakeholders’ consultation on the draft financing strategy for the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) work programme for 2016, it was disclosed that there exists a deficit of $1.0833B to cover TVET expenditure for the fiscal year 2016.This represents 59 per cent of the finances needed to effectively execute the TVET programme.

The sum of $1.0833B represents the difference between what TVET had requested — $2.620B -– and what it had been offered — $1.535B. This deficit further represents a shortfall of $152.2M to cover its Recurrent Expenditure, and $931.1M to cover its Capital Expenditure.
Recognizing that Government alone cannot finance the programme in its entirety, TVET is now seeking to develop a financing strategy for the period 2017 to 2020, so as to ensure it has adequate finance to execute its work programme.
Using 2016 as a base year, it is projected that expenditure for the four-year period would reflect a gap of $15.4367B, representing Recurrent expenditure of $10.7875B and Capital spending in the sum of $4.6492B.

Filling the GAP

Having established the gap as at January 1, 2016, TVET Consultant John Seeram said that without the acquisition of additional funding, there clearly would continue to be gaps for the next four years, and the TVET work programme would be threatened.

Against this backdrop, a proposal was made that Government should be solicited to finance 80 per cent of TVET’s Recurrent expenditure, and private and other parties should be solicited to come up with the remaining 20 per cent.
Conversely, it was suggested that Government be solicited to finance 35 per cent of the TVET Capital expenditure; international aid donors finance 30 per cent, and private and other stakeholders finance the remaining 35 per cent in cash or otherwise.
For Guyana, it was recommended that, with the agreement of the Private or Public Sector, IPL commence with 1 per cent to be paid by the employer. Also a tax credit can be given (subject to the GRA’s approval) on levies paid. Businesses in the private or public sectors should be asked to contribute grants in the form of cash and in-kind. Others — such as the diaspora, students or trainees, and civil society — can also make contributions in cash or kind.
It was explained that international aid donors (IAD) contribute only to Capital expenses; hence IAD can contribute towards expenditure such as the construction of buildings; the purchase of equipment and tools; technical assistance towards the training of staff to upgrade their qualifications and skills. Such percentages are subject to further discussions prior to the signing.
The draft document recommended that changes be made before the proposals are presented to the Project Steering Committee of CTVET, with a copy of the draft document later being submitted to the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
The financial information for the strategy, Seeram said, was sourced from the National Budget and documents at the respective secretariats of CTVERT and the Ministry of Education.
The Financing Strategy aims to determine the following considerations: The financing deficient gaps — recurrent and capital — at January 1, 2016; the recurrent and capital expenditure needs from 2017 to 2020; the various stakeholders likely to finance those expenditures, and the percentage of their contributions.
TVET has been identified globally as top priority. It is expected to upgrade nations with a competent and certified workforce that possesses knowledge, technical skills and employability competencies in order to drive economic growth and development.

Essentially, the image of TVET is about employment, since the workforce today requires a well-rounded, educated and trained individual. Three main bodies in this system are responsible for TVET in Guyana: Ministry of Education (TVET Department); Ministry of Social Protection (Board of Industrial Training (BIT); and the Council for TVET (CTVET). The TVET Department is headed by an Assistant Chief Education Officer-Technical and implementation of 20160829 2
Due to limited financial, human and material resources, CTVET would, on the surface, appear slow in attaining its mandate. However, it has attained some major achievements as follows, including the accreditation by CARICOM to issue the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) to those candidates who have satisfied the Caribbean Association of National Authorities (CANTA) criteria and guidelines: Provide technical expertise for several national agencies for their further development in the field of TVET; the Implementation of competency-based training; and a national system of assessment and certification.
The report acknowledged that there are challenges facing TVET, such as a workforce with low productivity and narrow skills base, while the demand for skills in the labour market is short of the supply available.
It added that the TVET system is yet to achieve the goal of tailoring skills to meet the needs of the economy, while retaining skilled workers in the country so as to prevent a national brain-drain. Additionally, it was highlighted in the report that budgetary constraints limit, and continue to limit, investment in the system.
Meanwhile, Seeram contended that “the enhancement of the image of TVET through public education and awareness campaign on opportunities for obtaining employability through TVET needs to be more intensified. CVET cannot carry out its mandate with its present staff complement.”
Seeram made the case for the fast-tracking of the Draft Financial Strategy, stating that “CTVET and the Ministries of Education and Social Protection need to have the human, material and financial resources to govern the national TVET system, in order to achieve its goals by 2020.”
Through no fault of Government’s, Seeram said, budgetary constraints have been curtailing the development of CTVET/TVET system. “Unless there are adequate finances available, both the human and material resource needs will not be met,” he warned.
He called for provision of adequate equipment, tools, computers, accessories, journals and other learning aids for use by the students, as well as the promotion of public education campaigns on both CTVET and TVET with various stakeholders.
Additionally, it was agreed that the Private/Public Sector partnership should provide a training levy; upgrade extension of workshops and laboratories; provide financial and material grants, seminars and on-the-job training scholarships for sectors’ staffs to be trained; Civil Society should provide financial and material grants; students should be required to contribute towards registration and certification, and make other contributions arising from the consultation.
The report was delivered by TVET Consultant John Seeram at the Stakeholders’ Consultation held Held in the Savannah Suite of the Pegasus Hotel last Wednesday. It was funded by the European Union, in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank. Other key TVET Council members who were present and addressed the forum were: TVET Chairman Dr. Leyland Thompson; Technical Facilitator Mr. Vincent Alexander; and Senior TVET Officer/Acting Director of CTVET, Jerry Simpson. These all congratulated Mr. Seeram on a detailed and well-presented strategy.
Mr. Clinton Williams, who represents the Ministry of Social Protection on the National TVET System, was also present.
The turnout was noticeably lower than the attendance at the previous consultation held two months earlier.


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