Ministry of Education, Guyana

04 Nov The alternative pathway

Published in From the Minister's Desk Read 2753 times

The recent graduation of some 750 students from the Secondary School Competency Certificate Programme (SCCP) represents a paradigm shift in attitude towards technical and vocational education in the school system.

It positively signals that there is now an established avenue in the school system that caters for students who are technically inclined.

Years ago, many students dropped-out of school because the curriculum paid heavy emphasis on the pure academic subjects and scant attention to those in the field of technical and vocational education.

In many cases, too, there was the perception that the area is reserved for students who do not perform well, and this created a negative stigma on this field of study.

Today, the perception is changing, and the number of students who recently graduated from the SCCP stands out as evidence. The endorsement of the area by many parents and students has been achieved mainly through the new approach adopted by the Education Ministry policy officials in marketing the programme.

The fact remains that not every child can become a doctor, lawyer, economist or accountant in life, and these are not the only jobs that make a rewarding career. Welders, carpenters, caterers, motor mechanics, electricians and other skills persons can also become successful in life through the development of their skills and by venturing into the field of business. Training in these areas is also important as it allows Guyana to have a pool of skilled personnel to meet the demands of both the private and public sectors.

It is against this backdrop that the SCCP is being promoted as an alternative education pathway, with a range of rewarding career opportunities including the provision of necessary certification for students to pursue higher studies.

The SCCP apart from providing students a broader career option has played a critical role in stemming the school drop-out rate.

The ministry recently introduced the programme in Grade Nine where the majority of school drop-outs occur, and the move has resulted in dip in the drop-out rates at the schools the programme was implemented. Importantly too, the programme prepares students for life long learning. Students who complete Level One of the programme in Grade Nine can move one to complete the programme in Grade 10, and eventually write the subjects at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and pursue education.

Alternatively, they can enter the world of work and embark on building a successful and rewarding career in their chosen area of practice, or establish small enterprises to ply their skills.

Entrepreneurship is a key driver of economic growth.  Wealth and a high majority of jobs are created by small businesses started by entrepreneurially minded individuals, many of whom go on to create big businesses.

People exposed to entrepreneurship frequently express that they have more opportunities to exercise creative freedoms, higher self esteem, and an overall, a greater sense of control over their lives. As a result, many experienced business people, political leaders, economists, and educators believe that fostering a robust entrepreneurial culture will maximise individual and collective economic and social success on a local, national, and global scale.

As more people create their own and other jobs through self-employment and new business formation, the number of unemployed people will decrease.

Job creation depends in large part upon the initiation and expansion of small businesses and with proper training, entrepreneurs should able to use their ability to spark new ideas and develop new products and services that create new businesses, which in turn create the need for new jobs.

This is the kind of activity that is needed in Guyana to further accelerate economic growth, and drastically reduce unemployment and poverty.


Last modified on Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:44
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