34 additional secondary schools likely to offer CVQ
A pre-stakeholder meeting to begin the assessment of 34 secondary schools in Guyana to offer the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) was on Monday hosted between the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), the Ministry of Education, and the Council for Technical Vocational Education and Training (CTVET).
Giving an overview of what the meeting entailed was Linda Stuart-Doman, CVQ Auditor and a Manager in the Syllabus and Curriculum Development Department of CXC.
According to Stuart-Doman, the pre-stakeholder meeting allows CXC to provide an overview of the audit procedure and to clarify any concerns stakeholders may have regarding the audit instrument and the processes to be executed. Further, she said it focuses on assessing the readiness of the institutions to deliver the regional occupational standards and to implement the CXC quality assurance criteria in training candidates pursuing programmes for CVQ certification. She noted that the process has various stages which will include physical site visits to schools.
Presently, eight schools in Guyana are offering CVQ certification in four areas. The Ministry intends to add 34 more schools to that list with the bigger aim to eventually have CVQ programmes offered in every secondary school across Guyana so that each child can exit secondary school with both a CXC certificate and a CVQ certificate. Secondary schools from each Education District are included.
Secondary education programme
Chief Education Officer, Dr Marcel Hutson said that following a deliberate review of its secondary education programme, the Ministry is determined to ensure that all the students are offered a secondary level education that will make them academically and economically viable.
He said that countries with similar historical timelines as Guyana that have invested heavily in TVET in their formal education system have lower unemployment rates.
According to Dr Hutson, Guyana can ill-afford not to invest in TVET, as the data support the argument that the time is right for Guyana to move in this direction.
Deputy Chief Education Officer (Technical), Dr Ritesh Tularam said that the meeting marked a historic engagement for the Ministry and the Ministry’s TVET Unit as the second phase of pre-readiness audits begins for the additional 34 schools in 12 CVQ occupational programmes.
These programmes are crop production, aquaculture, commercial food preparation, housekeeping, plumbing, masonry, garment construction, fish handling and processing, furniture making, livestock rearing, customer service, business administration, data administration, fabric design, metal work engineering and agro-processing.
He said that in 2021 the Ministry’s TVET Unit moved to have eight secondary schools and Practical Instruction Centres (PICs) to satisfy the pre-readiness audit requirements for the smooth implementation of the CVQ programmes. As such, CXC gave Guyana the green light to commence for the first time, the implementation of the programmes.
As a result, 119 students had successfully secured registration for the CVQ level one programmes in the four occupational areas; commercial food preparation, furniture making, fabric decoration, and crop production, according to Dr Tularam.
Further, Dr Tularam stated that the ultimate intention of the Ministry is to ensure that every secondary school must consciously and proactively strive to ensure that the CVQ programmes are institutionalised and form part and parcel of the schools’ programmes.
The Director of the CTVET, Patrick Chinedu Onwuzirike said that once the programmes are implemented properly, employers will receive a stock of well-prepared human resources. He said that TVET is industry-led and is informed by market intelligence information which says what skills are needed by industries during specific periods.
Onwuzirike added that TVET and the CVQ will not only reduce unemployment but will attract further investment to the country.
The Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of CXC, Dr Wayne Wesley said that CXC is transforming for greater regional impact. He said that part of the Council’s strategic agenda is to provide and facilitate access to educational services and products that will enable Ministries of Education to offer a convocation, such as CVQ through a secondary education system.
Dr Wesley said that the Council is extremely pleased to see the Ministry of Education taking such a bold step in ensuring that there is a comprehensive approach to human capital development.
“It is highly commendable to see the action being taken for the preparation and expansion of the Caribbean Vocational Offerings to 34 [schools], representing the skills necessary not only to equip students with the requisite skills to take advantage of emerging job opportunities but also to advance the economic development of the country,” he expressed. (G2)
Regional Education Officers, TVET instructors and teachers from the various schools were also present at Monday’s engagement.