Educators, parents urged to promote the importance of academic and technical education
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Educators and parents are being urged by the HEART/NSTA Trust to keep promoting to children the importance of both academic and technical education for their future employment.
The call came from representatives of the HEART/NSTA Trust, who participated in a ‘Think Tank’ held at the office of the Jamaica Information Service on November 7.
Director/Principal of the Southwest Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Institute, Dwayne Bent, said that while there has been great interest from youth who have visited the trust’s various locations, ongoing promotion from the agency’s end as well as the Ministry of Education and Youth is required to reach students in schools.
This promotion, he explained, will “ensure that secondary students, from as early as third or fourth form, are introduced to TVET and the new and emerging skills they [will] need to ascribe to some of these areas”.
Bent also informed that not only will these skill sets be integrated in students’ learning but that “there will be a uniform transition by the time we get to the point where they are exiting high school”.
He argued that it is also important to understand that within the next 10 to 15 years, the society they will live in will be fully digital and it is these new skill sets that will help them survive.
“The dependency [solely] on academic subjects will have a challenge in the very near future, and we must look at countries, such as Germany, that have done well and understand why they did what they did and why they are where they are now,” he added.
Germany has successfully built apprenticeships to ensure that its youth are outfitted with skills that are highly marketable and can build their career.
The HEART/NSTA Trust, in its efforts to ensure that students can further develop themselves and move on to advanced careers in the digital society, continues to build out its Institute of Apprenticeship, the director told JIS News.
For her part, Managing Director of the Trust, Dr Tanisha Ingleton, argued that when “we talk about the introduction of TVET, we must change the way we look at it because it has always been here”.
“Within our primary schools, the very work that the students do is TVET, and it is up to us to move away from [re]introducing it and, instead, help our educators and students see that it is well within the kind of work they find themselves doing every single day,” she said.
Dr Ingleton further encouraged parents to move away from what would have been referred to in the past as a “strict academic route”, as there is really no difference at this time and “we have to allow our children that space to choose”.
“Over the years we would have created this dichotomy, separating academic and technical education, and we have some work to do in terms of helping our educators to reimagine and refashion how it is that they sell technical vocational education and training,” she advised.
“We are seeing more and more demands in skills, and so as Jamaicans all of us have to rally around that national conversation of breaking down that perception that would have really been plaguing us for years,” Dr Ingleton added.