The economic and social development of Guyana and the Caribbean region is heavily dependent on the preparation of citizens in technical and vocational education, Minister of Education, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, told technical and vocational education stakeholders.
Guyana has recently been authorised to grant Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQs).
Speaking at the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (CTVET), Guyana launching of its accreditation toward CVQs, at the Pegasus Hotel, today, Dr. Roopnarine said TVET is a key element in preparing a country’s manpower for development.
Further, Minister Roopnaraine challenged technical and vocational educators to not become complacent in their achievement of regional accreditation, but to work steadfastly at encouraging citizens to pursue this much needed line of education.
“CTVET (Guyana) is therefore challenged to embrace its additional function of promoting and propagating technical and vocational education, and pushing back the stigma that has negatively impacted entry into the technical and vocational fields, thus depriving those jobs of the quantum and quality of manpower required.”
The Education Minister stressed that “the very future of our country and region depends on the work done by the CTVETs of the Caribbean.”
In recognising the importance of the work done by the CTVET, Guyana, the minister said, “Today marks another historic day in the delivery of education in Guyana and the Caribbean, particularly technical and vocational education. In the case of Guyana, we are marking the award of CVQ as an integral part of the country’s qualification framework even at a time when the subject is still the subject of a consultancy, being undertaken for the National Accreditation Council which is mandated to develop that frame work.”
Meanwhile, Roopnaraine stressed the important role education plays in the development of human capital. “Education is the center of all that we do…I believe that education can once again see Guyana as we were once seen as an outstanding country in the region for its education that is what we want to restore,” Roopnaraine stressed.
Acknowledging the discovery of commercial quantities of oil, offshore Guyana, Dr Wayne Wesley, chairman of the Caribbean Association of
National Training Agencies (CANTA) said that, “Whatever you do, I want you to ensure that it redounds to the benefit of the people of Guyana. The human resources must be prepared, now that you have built this institution, the Guyana TVET council with the requisite capacity to be able to develop competency standards.”
Further, CANTA’s chairman encouraged the establishment of partnership for the development the requisite human resources. “You have your neighbouring country, Trinidad which has been in extraction for a while. Perhaps you need to partner with them on how to develop the CVQ to train your people to take advantage coming through this oil extraction. We should not be importing workers…if any country wants to advance it must place high importance on the development of its human resources,” Dr. Wesley noted.
Underscoring the importance of the accreditation of technical and vocational training facilities, Dr Wesley said the prosperity of the Caribbean region is dependent on, “worker productivity which in turn depends on the skills of our people, which is the foundation of decent work.”
According to Myrna Bernard, Director of Human Development, CARICOM, “At its 29th meeting held in Guyana on March 3 and 4 this year, the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD), gave authorisation to Guyana and St. Vincent and the Grenadines to award the CQV, based on the recommendation of CANTA.”
The decision by COHSOD allowed the two countries to join five others, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, St. Lucia and Grenada in awarding a regional qualification, the CVQ to persons who have satisfied the stringent technical and other competency requirements associated with specific occupations.