The Council for Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) last week held a Gender Policy National Workshop.
According to a press release from the Council for TVET, the workshop was a collaboration between the Caribbean Education for Employment (C-EFE) programme and the Ministry of Education, led by the Guyana Council for TVET, and examined gender data and trends in TVET and work towards an explicit inclusion of gender in the TVET policy, supported by methods to achieve gender parity.
The release stated that Chairman of the Council, Clinton Williams, during his welcome speech to the participants expressed that skills and programmes need to be developed to attract and accommodate both genders so that students can leave their institutions equipped and ready to contribute to the development of Guyana.
According to the release, the representative of C-EFE, Dr Linda Cooke, explained that the purpose of the programme which is being sponsored by Canada is to discuss how TVET institutions can ensure that all persons have access to education so that they can become employed to support themselves and their families.
According to Cooke, the release stated, access is bigger than just having programmes available and saying they are open to both genders; the programmes and policies need to be designed in such a way that both genders feel comfortable to enrol in any area of TVET training that they desire.
Meanwhile, the release stated that Charge d’Affaires of the Canadian High Commission, Jan Sheltinga, said that the workshop should produce measures that offer more choices to both genders so that they do not feel limited by their gender.
Chief Education Officer, Marcel Hutson, according to the release, posited that gender equality is now at the core of the employment sector and that while efforts are being made to eliminate the disparities, the importance of research cannot be overemphasized. He said that the results from research conducted on this issue should be disseminated at the policy level to fuel discussions so that the necessary tools and programmes can be designed to achieve the needed results.
The workshop is part of the C-EFE programme which is designed to strengthen TVET in 12 Caribbean countries.
The C-EFE programme has supported two institutional partnerships in Guyana, one between the Linden Technical Institute and the College of North Atlantic to develop a Heavy Equipment Maintenance programme and one between the Government Technical Institute and Durham College to develop an Automotive Electronics Programme.