Ministry boosting tech-voc programmes

The Ministry of Education continues to focus on its Technical and Vocational Education (Tech-voc) programme to ensure that more skilled persons are entering the work force.

Minister of Education Shaik Baksh said more money will be spent to expand the programme countrywide to accommodate more youth, in his speech at the 35th Annual graduation and prize giving ceremony at the New Amsterdam Technical Institute (NATI).

According to a press release 199 students graduated with Grades A, B and C passes in both the certificate and diploma courses in electrical installation, computer science, mechanic, plumbing, bricklaying, motor vehicle work, welding, radio, electronics, commerce, carpentry, joinery and agricultural engineering.

To further boost the Tech-voc programme two skills training centres are slated to be built next year; one in Region Three and the other in Region Five. Incorporating the theme ‘Building skills for development’, Baksh told an audience including graduates, parents, teachers and other students that NATI has contributed significantly to national growth and development and it has trained more than 22,000 persons, 17,000 of whom have graduated from the institute.

The release said that about 600 students are currently enrolled at NATI for training in 18 different skills. An additional four skills are expected to be added to the programme next year. Baksh also said more teachers will be trained in subject areas where weaknesses have been identified in order to boost the level of education in schools. These include the science subjects Chemistry, Biology and Physics. He also told education stakeholders, during his visit to Region Six, that the ministry has several other “plans, programmes and initiatives” to implement to improve the quality of education. He said the ministry is formulating a ten-year National Science and Technology Strategy, which will be completed next year, to “guide teachers on the sciences.”

Baksh urged the students to be diligent and to dedicate their time to achieving their goals. He also encouraged them to take full advantage of the government’s scholarship programme and other education opportunities provided.

Region Six Regional Education Officer Shafiran Bhajan and other education officers joined Baksh at the meeting. It was hosted at the Tagore Memorial Secondary School.

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