Nov 29, 2017 News
To address the disparities that exist with the access to Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) by both genders, the Council for TVET has partnered with stakeholders to mainstream gender in workforce training and development.
This was done yesterday at the National Racquet Centre, where the Guyana TVET and Gender Policy National workshop was held.
The workshop was a collaboration between the Caribbean Education For Employment (C-EFE) programme and the Ministry of Education, led by the Guyana Council for TVET. It examined gender data and trends in TVET, and worked towards an explicit inclusion of gender in the TVET policy, supported by methods to achieve gender parity.
Attending the workshop were members of the Guyana Council for TVET, representatives of the Ministry of Education and C-EFE along with Principals of TVET institutions and TVET educators.
Chairman of the Council of TVET, Mr. Clinton Williams, welcomed the participants to the event saying that the workshop was geared towards addressing the stigma that is associated with certain TVET programmes.
He explained that there are programmes that boys feel are specifically for girls, even though they may have an interest, and vice versa. According to Mr. Williams, skills and programmes need to be developed to attract and accommodate both genders so that students can leave their institutions equipped and ready to contribute to the development of Guyana.
The representative of the CARICOM Education for Employment Programme (C-EFE), Dr. Linda Cooke explained, that the programme was being sponsored by the government of Canada. She said that the purpose of the workshop was to discuss how TVET institutions can ensure that all persons have access to education so that they can become employed to support themselves and their families.
She said that access is bigger than just having programmes available, and saying they are open to both genders. According to Dr. Cooke, the programmes and policies need to be designed in such a way that both genders feel comfortable to enrol in any area of TVET training that they desire.
Further, Dr. Cooke said that since the National TVET Policy will be reviewed at the workshop, it is timely to discuss how best Guyana can integrate gender in the National Policy.
Meanwhile, chargé d’affaires of the Canadian High Commission, Ms. Jan Sheltinga, the Council for TVET has been a very supported partner to help in the transformation of TVET.
She said that the workshop should produce measures that offer more choices to both genders so that they do not feel limited by their gender.
Chief Education Officer, Mr. Marcel Hutson, posited that gender equality is now at the core of the employment sector, whereby employment can be provided to both men and women. He said that the Ministry of Education is happy to partner with colleges and institutes in Canada in this effort to eliminate any disparities along gender lines that limit the access to good education.
Mr. Hutson added that while efforts are being made to eliminate the disparities, the importance of research cannot be overemphasized. He said that results from research conducted on this issue are important to inform the path that must be taken to best address the issue.
Such research, he said, should be disseminated at the policy level to fuel discussions so that the necessary tools and programmes can be designed to achieve the needed results.
The workshop is part of the C-EFE Programme which is designed to strengthen Technical and Vocational Education and Training in 12 Caribbean countries.
The C-EFE programme supports institutions, including National Training Agencies and training providers. Further, through partnerships with the Caribbean Association of National Training Authorities (CANTA) and the Association of Caribbean Tertiary Institutions (ACTI), the C-EFE works at the institutional, employer, national and regional levels.
The C-EFE has supported the development of the CARICOM Regional TVET Strategy for Workforce Development and Economic Competitiveness. In Guyana, it has worked with the TVET Council on a number of CANTA initiatives and supported capacity building for technical staff, preparation for the CANTA audit to award the Caribbean Vocational Qualification and the costs for the CANTA audit.
Moreover, the C-EFE has supported two institutional partnerships in Guyana, one between the Linden Technical Institute and the College of the North Atlantic to develop a Heavy Equipment Maintenance programme and one between the Government Technical Institute and Durham College to develop an Automotive Electronics Programme.
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