(August 8, 2022) – The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC®), the Ministry of Education and the Council for Technical Vocational Education and Training (CTVET) today hosted a pre-stakeholder meeting to begin the assessment of 34 secondary schools in Guyana to offer the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ).
Giving an overview of what this entails was Ms. Linda Stuart-Doman, CVQ Auditor and a Manager in the Syllabus and Curriculum Development Department of CXC ®.
Director of the CTVET, Mr. Patrick Chinedu Onwuzirike
She said that the pre-stakeholder meeting allows CXC to provide an overview of the audit procedure and to clarify any concerns stakeholders may have regarding the audit instrument and the processes to be executed. Further, she said it focuses on assessing the readiness of the institutions to deliver the regional occupational standards and to implement the CXC quality assurance criteria in training candidates pursuing programs for CVQ certification. She said that the process has various stages which will include physical site visits to schools.
Ms. Linda Stuart-Doman, CVQ Auditor and a Manager in the Syllabus and Curriculum Development Department of CXC ®
Presently, eight schools in Guyana are offering CVQ certification in four areas. The Ministry intends to add 34 more schools to that list with the bigger aim to eventually have CVQ programs offered in every secondary school across Guyana so that each child can exit secondary school with both a CXC certificate and a CVQ certificate. Secondary schools from each Education District are included.
Education Officers and teachers in attendance at today’s meeting
Chief Education Officer, Dr. Marcel Hutson said that following a deliberate review of its secondary education program, the Ministry of Education is determined to ensure that all the students are offered a secondary level education that will make them academically and economically viable. He said that countries with similar historical timelines as Guyana that have invested heavily in TVET in their formal education system have lower unemployment rates.
He said that the data supports the argument that the time is right for Guyana to move in this direction. According to Dr. Hutson, Guyana can ill-afford not to invest in TVET.
Deputy Chief Education Officer (Technical), Dr. Ritesh Tularam delivering remarks
Deputy Chief Education Officer (Technical), Dr. Ritesh Tularam said that today marked a historic engagement for the Ministry of Education and the Ministry’s TVET Unit as the second phase of pre-readiness audits begins for the additional 34 schools in 12 CVQ occupational programs. These programs are Crop Production, Aqua Culture, Commercial Food Preparation, House Keeping, Plumbing, Masonry, Garment Construction, Fish Handling and Processing, Furniture Making, Livestock Rearing, Customer Service, Business Administration, Data Administration, Fabric Design, Metal Work Engineering and Agro Processing.
He said that in 2021 the Ministry’s TVET Unit moved to have eight secondary schools and Practical Instruction Centres (PICs) to satisfy the pre-readiness audit requirements for the smooth implementation of the CVQ programs. As such, he said that CXC gave Guyana the green light to commence for the first time the implementation of the programs. He said that as a result, 119 students had successfully secured registration for the CVQ level one programs in the four occupational areas; commercial food preparation, furniture making, fabric decoration and crop production.
He said that the Ministry’s Strategic Plan speaks to ensuring that every child leaving secondary school leaves with a duality of certification, that is, a CSEC and CVQ qualification.
Further, Dr. Tularam stated that the ultimate intention of the Ministry of Education is to ensure that every secondary school must consciously and proactively strive to ensure that the CVQ programs are institutionalized and form part and parcel of the schools’ programs.
The Director of the CTVET, Mr. Patrick Chinedu Onwuzirike said that once the programs are implemented properly, employers will receive a stock of well-prepared human resources. He said that TVET is industry-led and is informed by market intelligence information which says what skills are needed by industries during specific periods.
He said that TVET and the CVQ will not only reduce unemployment but will attract further investment to the country.
The Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of CXC, Dr. Wayne Wesley said that CXC® is transforming for greater regional impact. He said that part of the Council’s strategic agenda is to provide and facilitate access to educational services and products that will enable Ministries of Education to offer a convocation, such as CVQ through a secondary education system. He said that the Council is extremely pleased to see the Ministry of Education taking such a bold step in ensuring that there is a comprehensive approach to human capital development.
He said, “it is highly commendable to see the action being taken for the preparation and expansion of the Caribbean Vocational Offerings to 34 [schools], representing the skills necessary not only to equip students with the requisite skills to take advantage of emerging job opportunities but also to advance the economic development of the country.”
Regional Education Officers, TVET instructors and teachers from the various schools were also present at today’s engagement.cv