Educators urged to embrace technical, vocational trainingTuesday, May 11, 2021
BY BRITTNY HUTCHINSON
AN official at HEART/NSTA (National Service Training Agency) Trust says there is a negative perception about technical and vocational education and training (TVET) among some education leaders, which she said is an area that should be recognised for its major economic value.
“They [education leaders] still have a bias and TVET now has to be repositioned. It's not only about training, it's really about education and training,” said Dr Amonde, senior director for TVET development and support systems at HEART/NSTA Trust.
“We really need to integrate [TVET] as part of our education system and promote the education aspect of it, promote the training part, and ensure that we are integrating the science, technology, engineering and the mathematics to ensure we are developing those higher-level metacognitive skills in our students and in our trainees,” added Dr Amonde in her address at the recent launch of the fifth annual International Conference on TVET In the Caribbean.
She explained that while the traditional areas of TVET are important, there should be more focus on emerging areas which include cybersecurity, renewable energy, coding, animation, mechatronics and robotics.
“It is one way – as we do the conference and as we engage to really promote TVET as an agent of workforce development and economic competitiveness – to really believe that it can move lives. It can move communities and it can move economies forward by training our students and trainees to international standards and getting them ready to perform at international standards and for the world of work,” said Dr Amonde.
Admitting that the Caribbean region has done much to enhance the development of TVET but has failed to do research to keep track of the progress, she said, “I think the conference will provide an opportunity for us to begin to explore some of what we are doing and the impact we are having and how we improve as we go along.”
Meanwhile, Dr Disraeli Hutton, senior lecturer in the School of Education at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona argued that there should be more focus on TVET, rather than only its policy.
“It [forum] is really an opportunity to revamp TVET. When we look at G C Foster College of Physical Education and Sport, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), it suggests to me that TVET is not just centred around production of goods as we usually do, but these are areas that we have to encompass as part of TVET/skills development,” said Dr Hutton.
“In terms of who participates, it's also the best and the brightest. Those who are not motivated – TVET is the solution and of course it's an integration of generally education and skills development. So, as we look at our policy, we need to look at TVET and what TVET should mean from now onwards,” he added.
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