Jan 08, 2011 News
– $US9.6M allotted by CDB for technical and vocational institutions
To curb the drop-out rate at secondary level the Ministry of Education will be introducing the Secondary Competency Certificate Programme (SCCP) in 14 more schools this year.
Education Minister Shaik Baksh at a recent forum, pointed out that the programme has been making a positive effort to stem the drop-out rate at the early grades of secondary school.
He reported that available data has indicated that the number of school drop-outs this year has been fewer compared to the previous year.
According to the Minister, a number of drop-outs have also returned to school to do the programme with the hope of obtaining a certificate that will make them eligible for first level entry jobs.
He said, too, that there will be changes to the delivery of technical and vocational education with attention being placed on the issuance of learning packages to students to promote open and distance learning.
The changes which are expected to come on stream this year, Baksh noted, will go a step further in satisfying his Ministry’s quest to cater for the varying and individual needs of learners and to prepare them for the world of work.
The move is in keeping with the Ministry’s vision of creating an alternative pathway for students who are not desirous of pursing the academic subjects. He said that Guyana has been leading the way in the introduction and implementation of pre-vocational programmes in the Caribbean as it seeks to build an education system that responds to its developmental needs.
The programme which aims to stem school drop-outs is currently being offered at 35 secondary schools and several practical instructional centres in Georgetown. The Ministry of Education is hoping to implement the programme in 70 schools by 2013.
The Ministry of Education has revised the Technical Vocational Education curriculum to make it more relevant to the world of work and Baksh also pointed that some of the $US9.6M Canadian Development Bank funded project for the construction of technical and vocational institutions at Leonora in Region Three and Park, Mahaicony, in Region Five will be utilised for training and re-tooling of TVET institutions.
Also, some $129M was approved by the House late last year for the latter purpose.
He added that the Carnegie School of Home Economics will be upgraded to a hospitality institute and a study is being done by a consultant to map the way forward.
The goal, the Minister stressed, is to enhance relevance and quality of the programmes offered by the school through both internal and external examinations of its standards.
He noted, too, that the SCCP Unit and the TVET Council have already completed the groundwork to become a CARICOM Vocational Education (CVQ) certifying member next year.
Recognition by CARICOM will enable the unhindered movement of local artisans and other skilled persons in the region through the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).
The Ministry of Education is also expected to introduce an entrepreneurship programme at secondary schools and technical institutions next year. This is to better prepare students for the world of work on completion of their studies.
Greater emphasis is also being placed on the development of Information Technology in the school system to enable Students to bridge to digital divide.
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