—two art students get scholarships to Barbados from Education Ministry

Sharing a dream and passion for Fine Arts, Renella Hamlet and Hershelle Pillew two former students of the E.R. Burrowes School of Art are being given the opportunity to study at the Barbados Community College through a scholarship granted by the Education Ministry.

As part of its push for increased Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET), the ministry has, this year, granted 20 scholarships in TVET fields to the University of Guyana (UG) and four to the Barbados Community College (BCC).

The two of the four scholarships to BCC are being made available to students of the Carnegie School of Home Economics (CSHE) while the other two are being offered to Hamlet and Pillew, from the E.R. Burrowes School of Art.

The pair will be reading for their Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), an undergraduate degree with a focus in Graphic Design. Both expressed their eagerness to return and teach the subject at their Alma Mata.

Speaking to the Department of Public Information (DPI), Hamlet said her love for graphic design was nurtured at school until the graphics tutor left the position.news 20190902

“When the opportunity came, I was like ‘there is a God’. I wanted to do it and it was pulled away from me [during school] and still I can do it now because of the Government providing this scholarship,” she explained.

Sharing her excitement, she added “I’m so excited that in my suitcase I could fetch my whole house too. I’m so overwhelmed, I’m a little scared I won’t lie. Leaving my family and adventuring into new places and I think it’s a great opportunity to expand [my]self and being able to help the country also,” Hamlet said.

Pillew, who was beaming with excitement, shared his dream for expanding graphics knowledge in Guyana among youths.

“We’re interested in expanding the arts field and the Art School because they are many youths interested in the Art field and we will be able to provide them with an opportunity when we return and begin lecturing at the school. That way they will be able to learn Graphics and we will be able to expand together,” Pillew said.news 20190902 2

The scholarships fall under the purview of the Guyana Skill Development Project, a sector of the Ministry of Education which seeks to implement the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ).

Project Officer, Leon Greaves said the ministry has recognised the need for capacity building in several areas and rolled out the scholarships to fit those needs.

At present, Greaves said, that the government is trying to implement the level one CVQ programme in schools and at technical institutes levels two and three. To issue level three CVQ, the lecturers must have a Bachelor’s Degree.

“In the traditional system our students were being exposed basically to theory and not necessarily training and then when we looked, we recognised there’s a gap between the education system and the job requirements,” he noted.

Greaves further explained that the gap is being filed through TVET programmes to allow more practical skill-based training.

“I think the Ministry of Education is working also to look at some of the programmes offered at these technical institutes to try to bring them to meet the needs of the workforce,” Greaves added.

The Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) will be piloted in 11 secondary schools starting in September to provide students with validation of skills.

The Ministry of Education is collaborating with the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) on the implementation of the CVQ within the secondary schools identified, Canje Secondary, Aurora Secondary, New Bartica Secondary, Paramakatoi Secondary, BV Practical Instruction Centre, Parika Salem Secondary, Dolphin Secondary, Belladrum, Linden Foundation Secondary, St. Ignatius Secondary and North West Secondary schools.