Registrar of the CXC, Glenroy Cumberbatch, speaking yesterday.

MISMATCH BETWEEN EDUCATION and JOBS

There is a mismatch between the curriculum in the schools and the jobs being created in the work environment.

So says Registrar of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), Glenroy Cumberbatch. He made the comments while delivering remarks at the media launch of the 2019 National Career Showcase, held in the conference room of the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training.

Using the cultural industries as an example, Cumberbatch lamented that while Barbados has been pushing this area, few persons are actually pursuing studies locally at the CXC level in that field. He made the point while noting that the CXC has endeavoured to keep pace with the changing work environment and has been offering exams in a number of new subjects, including entrepreneurship, performing arts, green engineering as well as gaming and animation among others.

“You have a problem where people are in schools, they are being prepared, they get qualifications, but when they leave do they have the skills that are necessary for the jobs that are out there? And they become unemployed, not because they haven’t done well, but because they are not ready to take the opportunities that are available,” he indicated.

Cumberbatch maintained however that the solution alone cannot be to change the range of subjects being offered. He insisted that as a country, Barbados would have to determine what it sees as the drivers of the economy going forward and plan to suit, placing emphasis on the subjects and programmes needed to make the goals a
reality.

“It is the education system that provides the resources to drive the economies of the region, and if the education system is not doing that, where else can it be done?

What is the role of secondary school education? Do we really expect people to leave secondary schools and go straight into jobs and function in jobs? Or is it now a requirement for people to spend at least two years after secondary school in better preparation for the economies? All those are questions we need to answer,” he contended.

Moreover, CXC registrar said one of the fundamental question that has to be answered is whether a subject-based curriculum is still important or whether a skill-based curriculum is now more important at this time.

“And the skills we are talking about are not necessarily carpentry and so on, but the skills of communication, critical thinking – those kinds of skills that it does not matter what job you have, you have to demonstrate those skills,” he maintained. (JRT)

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