Historic handing over of Caribbean tech-voc certificates

The Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (CTVET), on Friday handed over 391 Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) certificates to the Heads of Institutions which have partnered with the programme.

Representatives from the Government Technical Institute (GTI), Guyana Industrial Training Centre (GITC), Mahaicony Technical and Vocational Training Centre (MTVTC), Essequibo Technical Institute (ETI) and Republic Bank Training and Development Centre (RBTDC), which have partnered with CTVET to train youths in the areas of technical and vocational skills, collected certificates for their students who have completed the courses at their institutions.

Clinton Williams, Chairman of CTVET whilst speaking at the handing over ceremony at the National Racquet Centre on Woolford Avenue, shared with the gathering that though it was a momentous occasion for CTVET, he recognizes the challenges which the council faces in creating and fostering an environment which would allow for an increased appreciation of the importance of technical and vocational education and training.

Chairman of CTVET Clinton Williams (right) , Technical Facilitator Vincent Alexander (fifth from left) and Director of CTVET Sydney Walters (left), along with other members of CTVET and representatives from the partner institutions.

He highlighted the accreditation process for the CVQ, which was implemented by the Caribbean Association of National Training Authorities (CANTA) with the approval of Caricom.  The objective was to be part of the realization of the Caricom Single Market and Economy which would facilitate cross border trade in technical skills, resulting in graduates being able to ply their trades within the Caribbean and elsewhere without restrictions.

The Chairman said that while most of the Caricom countries have signaled their intention to be accredited with the CTVET, only seven countries, namely, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent and Guyana, presently have the authority to award CVQs to graduates of TVET systems.

Williams encouraged those motivated to join the next batch at any of the institutions. He noted that the ceremony should motivate other post-secondary Institutions, both private and public, to implement the training processes for CVQ certification.

Technical Facilitator from the Ministry of Education, Vincent Alexander, said that the certificates are critical and important, if one wishes to provide goods and services to the citizens. Alexander described the exercise as both unusual and necessary, observing that it was unusual since the council will be handing over the certificates to the various institutions, and in turn the institutions will have to present the same certificates to the students.  Alexander said it was necessary because it a landmark occasion which needed to be placed in the public view, as it was the first time in Guyana that the council was handing out certificates of this nature.

Alexander noted that ‘tech-voc’ education is often stigmatized and this should be reduced. He opined that such education is the way forward, and it is the bulk of the manpower which is required to take the country forward. He added that persons need to realize the importance of technical and vocational education.

He also opined that the education system is moving towards incorporating tech-voc with academics, whilst noting that some schools have already done so under the Secondary Certificate Competency Programme (SSCP) guide.

The GITC had a total of 53 graduates, GTI had 196, MTVTC had 78, ETI had 33, and RBTDC had 31. The students have been trained in areas such as General Office Administration, Bank Clerk, Masonry, Data Operations, among many other areas.

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