Electrical installation is one of the professional fields recognized for its major economic value. (Photo: Pixabay)
An official from HEART/NSTA (National Service Training Agency) Trust says there is a negative perception of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) among some education officials, which she says is a area that should be recognized for its major economic value.
“They [education leaders] still have a bias and TVET now needs to be repositioned. It’s not just about training, it’s really about education and training,” said Dr Amonde, Senior Director of TVET Development and Support Systems at the HEART/NSTA Trust.
“We really need to incorporate [TVET] as part of our education system and promoting the educational aspect of it, promoting the training aspect and ensuring that we integrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics to ensure that we develop these high-level metacognitive skills in our students and in our trainees,” added Dr. Amonde in his remarks at the recent launch of the fifth annual International Conference on TVET in the Caribbean.
She explained that while traditional areas of TVET are important, there needs to be more focus on emerging areas, including cybersecurity, renewable energy, coding, animation, mechatronics and robotics.
“It’s a way – as we organize the conference and commit to really promoting TVET as an agent of workforce development and economic competitiveness – to truly believe that it can change lives. It can move communities and move economies forward by training our students and interns to international standards and preparing them to work to international standards and for the world of work,” said Dr Amonde.
Admitting that the Caribbean region has done a lot to improve TVET development but has not done research to track progress, she said: “I think the conference will give us an opportunity to start exploring some of our activities. do and the impact we are having and how we are improving over time.
Meanwhile, Dr Disraeli Hutton, a senior lecturer at the University of the West Indies (UWI) School of Education, Mona argued that there should be more emphasis on TVET, rather than on his own policy.
“This [forum] is really an opportunity to reorganize TVET. When we look at the GC 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 only centered on the production of goods like we we usually do, but these are areas that we need to encompass as part of TVET/skills development,” said Dr Hutton.
“As far as the participants are concerned, they are also the best and the brightest. Those who are not motivated – TVET is the solution and of course it is an integration of general education and skills development. So as we look at our policy, we need to look at TVET and what TVET should mean from now on,” he added.