“You have to be the change agents and leaders that this nation demands of you,” said Chief Education Officer (CEO), Olato Sam, as he addressed a gathering of senior Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) staffers attached to the Ministry of Education.
Sam was at the time speaking at a leadership workshop/retreat for the TVET officials venued at the Church View Hotel in New Amsterdam, Berbice, yesterday.
The CEO, in deliberating before the gathering warned that “you can no longer operate with a limited, somewhat myopic view of your particular roles…” even as he pointed out that “at the most basic level, emerging from this engagement must be a collective realisation and a resolve to significantly restructure and redefine the way we do business in this sector.”
Moreover, the five-day event which is being attended by a wide cross-section of TVET officers is one that is aimed at crafting strategies to enhance the delivery of TVET.
The workshop/retreat comes at a time when TVET is gaining immense attention in the education sector.
In his deliberation yesterday too, Sam lauded those who played an integral role in bringing the workshop/retreat to fruition even as he eagerly pointed out that it is relevant as it is critical. “It comes at a most appropriate time, in my estimation, in the evolution of TVET in Guyana,” he observed as he went on to highlight that the education sector is at a point, where it has the largest ever numbers of its student population enrolled in TVET related pursuits.
According to Sam, the Secondary Competency Certificate Programme is currently offered in more than half of the secondary schools in the country and plans are apace to expand TVET offerings at this level. “An unprecedented number of those (TVET) students will be graduating in a few weeks and we continue to modernise our PICs (Practical Instruction Centres) and expand their offerings also,” related Sam.
Added to this, he informed that technical institutes and training centres are already strategically situated in all Coastal Regions, even as he noted that “we have recently devised a model that will provide TVET in Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine also.”
Moves to significantly expand competency based education have been recognised as priority, as Guyana gears to offer the Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQs).
Moreover, the CEO underscored that the education sector has already laid the relevant infrastructure to fully embrace this component with a view of allowing it to “truly fulfil its mandate and equip our youths with an array of technical skills that will significantly advance the country’s developmental agenda.”
Sam however, noted that in order for this ambitious course of action to be realised, there is a need to ensure that technical institutions are effectively managed and the processes and strategic approaches match the broader national vision for TVET. “Those of you gathered here this morning (yesterday), are therefore the most critical individuals who play a vital role; not just in relation to the respective institutions you manage but in relation to the broader national objectives.”
“You are, though unheralded, leaders of the new wave of developments in this country and you need to regard yourself as such and that needs to be reflected in the way you conduct your quotidian practical engagements,” Sam told the gathering of TVET officials.
He alluded too to the importance of succession planning, pointing out that such an undertaking must begin with the clear concept of the type of institutions “we want to have going forward.”
Sam further stressed his conviction that “the reality of the situation is that for too long we have allowed others to dictate and define the state of TVET…in many of our institutions we have allowed this backward, underachieving mindset to envelop us and our institution…”
The CEO therefore vocalised his belief that TVET should in fact be in the forefront of all the progressive approaches in Guyana as he pointed out that “what you all are managing on a daily basis is directly linked and critically important to the development of this nation.”
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