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TVET expanding its scope


FIVE secondary schools are among a set of educational institutions across Barbados that are preparing to be approved as assessment centres for the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) and its regional equivalent, the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ).

Word of this has come from Chairman of the board of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council, Hensley Sobers. His comments came as he delivered remarks at a signing ceremony for a Memorandum of Understanding between the TVET Council and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP) and the Barbados Vocational Training Board (BVTB) at the Hilton Hotel yesterday morning.

According to Sobers, the schools identified are the St. Lucy Secondary School, the St. Leonard’s Boys, St. George Secondary, Parkinson Memorial Secondary and the Grantley Adams Memorial Secondary.

These five, he said, along with the BVTB, the Cave Hill School of Business and the Barbados Community College are expected to be approved by September this year. The areas of study at the schools, he added, will focus primarily on the skills of artisans as well as cosmetology.

“The Council’s role in all of this includes, in addition to developing occupational standards in collaboration with employers and practitioners, conducting quality assurance procedures for the delivery of NVQs and CVQs, inclusive of training and certifying assessors, internal verifiers and external verifiers, and ultimately serving as an awarding body for the NVQs and the CVQs in the workforce.

“The Caribbean Examination Council will serve as the awarding body for the Level 1 CVQs in the schools,” he explained.
Sobers added that the TVET Council together with its main training provider partners – the BVTB, SJPP and the BCC – is working to transform the vocational training system by making it competence-based, through the use of occupational standards and standards-based certification.

He stressed that TVET has a critical role to play as a workforce development tool, preparing the economy for the future, helping to close the country’s gap with its competitors and contributing to social inclusion.

“Traditionally, qualifications awarded by training providers have tended to speak to what people know and can reproduce in an examination, rather than what they can do and the skills they can demonstrate in a work environment. Conversely, competence-based qualifications provide evidence of ability to perform the work role,” he stated.

At present, he noted, NVQs have been approved in 12 occupational areas and CVQs have been validated for implementation in 14 occupational areas. (JRT)

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