MoE preparing leaders to advance Technical and Vocational Education in Guyana

…five day leadership conference targets 50 prospective leaders from TVET institutions

(July 17, 2018)- The Ministry of Education (MoE) Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) department on Monday last began a five-day leadership conference at the Lake Mainstay Resort in the Whyaka Village, Essequibo Coast- Region Two.

The intention of the MoE is to assemble the 50 prospective leaders in the same space over five days and offer training and support; especially in the area of leadership as the Education Ministry endeavours to craft a definitive plan for technical and vocational education in Guyana for the next 15 years.

Addressing the participants who were drawn from practical instructional and technical and vocational centres from across the country, was Chief Education Officer (CEO) Mr Marcel Hutson. Mr Hutson reminded the participants of the integral role TVET is positioned to play in the development of Guyana.

Additionally, the CEO asserted that TVET is the engine room of any society and should be in a position to offer training not only in the traditional TVET programmes but also in the new oil and gas sector. Towards this end, Hutson said the notion that persons who attend TVET Instruction centres are not academically inclined is fallacious. In fact, the CEO said 80 percent of jobs advertised internationally are TVET related.

It was with this in mind that the former St John’s College teacher urged the participants to take away as much as they can as they look to take another leap in their professional development. “This workshop is not a cosmetic exercise… we are here for serious business” Huston quipped.

Added to the aforementioned, the CEO posited that Guyana is on the brink of greatness and the TVET programmes should be positioned to expedite this. He said for too long some institutions have been embracing the same approaches that do not work. He urged participants to look to new innovative and creative methods to deliver content and methodology in the classrooms.

Assistant Chief Education Officer (ACEO) – Technical, Mr Patrick Onwuzirike in proffering an overview of the exercise explained that the TVET system in Guyana has come a long way. In fact, Mr Onwuzirike informed that some time ago a Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) funded survey of TVET programmes in Guyana revealed that equipment used were too old to be inventoried. A research done on the instructing staff of the centres revealed that they did not have the professional skills to do the job they were employed to do.

However, Mr Onwuzirike revealed that at present the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) is offering two programmes for TVET instructors who have been graduating with Associate Degrees. On the other hand, the TVET institutions have been graduating students with the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ). “Our TVET facilities have been transformed to meet standards set out by the Caribbean Association of National Training Authorities (CANTA)”.

Mr Onwuzirike believes that Guyana is poised for a transformed economy and surmised that the retreat will begin the process of a succession plan to ensure every TVET institution has a pool of leaders to effectively manage them in the future.

The five-day leadership retreat is being held under the theme “Promoting operational excellence through the development of next-generation leaders in TVET to boost National Competitiveness”