There are many challenges in the education system in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) with one of the most important being the need to change the mindset of people towards Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
“I think that is the most crucial, and linked to that also is to get the business community on board,” Minister of Education Curtis King said on radio last Sunday during We FM’s Issue at Hand Program.
King said organizations like the St Vincent Electricity Services Ltd (VINLEC) that take students on attachment must be commended.
Recently, King and 13 other educators from the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) participated in a 10-day study tour of TVET structures in Germany and the Netherlands.
The Minister said these countries have well-structured TVET programmes that allow students to be assigned to work sites that pay them while they learn.
King said that with a set up like this, the education system will not have to invest money to design teaching facilities to resemble the workplace although this has already been done in some instances here.
“The point I am making, the state has to extend that type of resource, but in their system (The Netherlands and Germany), because the persons are doing that training on the job, on the spot, the school does not have to do that because the training is done there in a real life situation,” King explained.
The educator said the education system in SVG needs some revamping in an effort to help with the developmental needs of the country.
“…And what we need today is to recognize the new society that we are now living in and accept that the education system which was basically formulated to deal with a past society, the old society, it is no longer, let us say, totally relevant to the developmental needs that we have identified that would transform our society and enhance persons’ living standard,” King said.
He said we must recognize that changes need to be made to the system.
The Minister also noted that the Education Revolution in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is a continuing process and not just something that is started and ends.
“I’ve always indicated from the start that, look, what we have commenced is a series of initiatives that is having a revolutionary impact on the system…,” King told radio listeners.