September 18, 2012
Gilchrist calls for support of TVET

by Bria King Tue, Sept 18, 2012

A senior education official has highlighted the importance of literacy and numeracy skills, even in technical and vocational education.{{more}}

“Have you ever seen hands work independently of a head?” Chief Education Officer Lou-Anne Gilchrist said at a Ministry of Education press conference yesterday.

“Have you ever seen a seamstress that cannot divide by four make a good dress?” she further said.

On the topic of Technical and Vocational Educational Training (TVET), Gilchrist said there is a lack of parity of esteem with regard to academic subjects.

She pointed out that TVET subjects are academic subjects and urged individuals to work to remove the stigma associated with TVET.

She made the point that parents should not discourage, but rather support their children in their choice of TVET and allow them to follow the academic path to which they are inclined.

On the flip side, resourcing TVET is an expensive venture and the Ministry of Education has not been able to provide Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQ) to students as they initially wanted to, Gilchrist said.

Local qualifications tailored as close as possible to the CVQ are offered.

However, the Government is working to ensure that technical centres are upgraded and that teachers are trained appropriately to deliver CVQ, Gilchrist said.

Mechanisms are being put in place to eventually certify the national qualifications, which the student gains at the end of the course of study.

Once certified under the system called Prior Learning and Assessment, individuals can gain a regional qualification, which ensures them seamless mobility within the CSME.