THE Ministry of Education through the office of the Deputy Chief Education Officer (Technical), Dr. Ritesh Tularam, handed over safety equipment to 10 secondary schools that offer the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes.

This was done in the boardroom of the ministry’s 26 Brickdam Office.

The schools that received over 40 items each, on Thursday, were the Bygeval Secondary School, Hope Secondary School, Bladen Hall Secondary School, the Fellowship Practical Instruction Centre, Vreed-en-Hoop Secondary School, Annandale Secondary School, Richard Ishmael Secondary School, New Amsterdam Secondary School, Canje Secondary School and the Dolphin Secondary School.

The items received were helmets, safety vests, safety goggles and safety gloves.

Present at the handing-over ceremony was Chief Education Officer, Saddam Hussain who said that Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) must take its rightful place in the education system.

He said to do this, schools must be given the tools to ensure that their students are protected and can work in a safe environment.

Hussain highlighted that at this juncture of the country’s developmental agenda, TVET can take the education system to the next level.

He related that, for the remainder of 2023, more emphasis will be placed on promoting and increasing access to TVET education.

Hussain added that the Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand also recognises the importance of TVET education.

He said that the Education Minister is aiming to have each secondary school child graduate from school with five main things.

“We want them to leave with a foreign language, the ability to play at least one sport, the ability to play a musical instrument, a TVET subject and to leave with a spirit of volunteerism,” Hussain noted.

According to the CEO, all secondary schools offer TVET subjects from grades seven to nine, but he noted that the number of students writing the subjects at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) level has to increase in addition to the number of students pursuing the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) and the Secondary Competency Certificate Programme (SCCP).

Hussain encouraged the teachers to ensure that the items are used appropriately and that they are cared for and stored properly.

Dr. Tularam said that Occupational Safety and Health and the Environment (OSHE) is very critical to the delivery of competency-based training.

He said with that in mind, the use of the items in schools was important. According to Dr. Tularam, the schools that have been selected so far are schools that are offering the TVET and the CVQ programmes.

He said: “With that focus in mind, the Ministry recognised that we need to ensure that our teachers, our students that are engaging in these occupational programmes are taking safety as paramount.”

Further, Dr. Tularam noted that, recently, during the national budget presentation, $2.5 billion will be channelled towards TVET education for 2023.

He added that there are plans to reconstruct, retool and retrofit schools and Practical Instruction Centres and Departments to improve the delivery of the TVET programme across Guyana.
Dr. Tularam urged the teachers to ensure that the items are used by the students correctly. (Ministry of Education)