Canadian High Commissioner to Barbados and the OECS, Her Excellency Marie Legault presented two awards of recognition to Dwight Lewis, Ministry of Education St Vincent & the Grenadines, for the partnership between St Vincent & the Grenadines Community College and the University of Guelph-Kemptville Campus; and for the pre-technology partnership between The Sector Skills Development Agency and College of the Rookies.
Canadian High Commissioner to Barbados and the OECS, Her Excellency Marie Legault is of the view that the importance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training cannot be overstated.
“It was neglected for a period; it was not as “sexy” as other ways of learning before, but I think we have come to recognise that this is extremely important today,” she stressed.
Her comments came yesterday as the High Commission of Canada recognised the Caribbean’s contributions to the CARICOM Education for Employment Program (C-EFE). The regional program, implemented by Colleges and Institutes Canada, has been supporting Caribbean educational and training institutes to move towards a more responsive, demand-driven TVET system that equips learners with skills for the jobs of the future.
High Commissioner Legault described the program as one which responded to the needs of the region.
“There was a lot of consultation, 12 countries are participating, and every country chose which field they wanted to work on – whether a country decided to work on marine technology, climate change, cosmetology, aircraft maintenance – these were areas that were important to them…nothing was imposed on them,” she pointed out.
The program boasts almost 2 000 graduates, which according to the High Commissioner, means that we have 2 000 people that can embrace the new technologies and help their countries … Also, I was also very happy to see that 56 per cent of them are women which is great because technology is not a field [where] we have a lot of women”.
Celebrating the results to date, a plaque presentation was held during the second-last Program Steering Committee meeting of the seven-year C-EFE program, at Courtyard by Marriott.
Institutions and departments receiving awards of recognition were the Council for TVET St Lucia; Ministry of Education St Vincent & the Grenadines; T.A Marryshow Community College in Grenada; National Tool and Engineering Institute in Jamaica; and Council of TVET Guyana.
In addition, today the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology will be presented with its plaque of recognition for its partnership with Sault College. (TL)