The Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) will be piloted in 11 schools starting September 2019 to provide secondary school 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 School.
At the launch of the Pre-Stakeholder meeting for the Piloting of the CVQ in Guyana yesterday at the Umana Yana, Minister of Education, Dr Nicolette Henry, the implementation of CVQ in secondary schools is guided by the Regional Technical Vocational Education and Training in secondary schools, with the aim of providing opportunities for secondary school students to exit with at least one skilled certificate.
She said that at the completion of the CVQ programme, students will have three options: to continue their secondary education by pursuing the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC), to further their technical vocational education, or to enter the job market.
Minister Henry explained that these options will be possible through two strands of the CVQ awarded by CXC where students complete all the required units of a particular occupational standard and are awarded their CVQs or where the CVQ is integrated into the CSEC through the School-Based Assessment and be awarded a Statement of Competency.
“Much has been invested into the implementation, execution and sustainability of this programme, such as the training of teachers as assessors, DEOs, HODs, DHMs and HMs as internal verifiers [and] audits of schools to determine the gaps based on CVQ Quality Assurance Guidelines according to the 2015 revision and putting systems, equipment and in some cases even structures to bridge the gaps so as to satisfy the CVQ Quality Assurance Guidelines within a specified timeline,” Minister Henry remarked.
Further, she said that this paradigm will result in fewer school dropouts, lucrative educational outcomes, and expectation for male and female students who are so inclined, continuity for industries and growth.
Minister Henry thanked all the companies, industries, Chamber of Commerce and the Private Sector Commission for willingly agreeing and collaborating the Ministry to ensure that the students are exposed to the practical aspect of the requirements by apprentices, internships and acceptance of the CVQ qualification.
Meanwhile, Chairman for the Council Technical Education Vocation and Training (CTVET), Mr Floyd Scott said that the validation of skills allows nationals, particularly young people, to continuously attain qualification from entry which is the apprenticeship level as far as attaining higher degrees.
He said that it also facilitates the engendering of lifelong learning and skills certification towards easy access to national and regional job markets.
“The scope of the skill qualification in Guyana spans from agriculture to the oil and gas sectors. In the last two years, there has been renewed vigour in dealing with what is happening within the CTVET context.
CTVET over the years has been able to approve as much as 15 occupational and skills within the areas of refrigeration, air conditioning, plumbing, welding, carpentry furniture making, occupational safety and health,” Mr Scott noted.
He said that the aforementioned programmes have been approved at eight institutions in five regions of Guyana as well as the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in garment making, agriculture and machinery, circuit repairs, automotive electrical and electronic service and repairs.
He added that the engagement with CXC is most welcomed and holds much promise to allow alternative career pathways especially in the areas in which CTVET has the quality oversight, assessment and verification capacity.
Meanwhile, CXC Representative, Ms Linda Stewart-Doman during her remarks said that TVET in the region is necessary for relevant skills development, human capital development, and for preparing a skilled and competitive workforce. She said that under the CARICOM Heads of Government agreement 2008, the CXC was mandated to facilitate the issuing of the CVQ within secondary schools across the region.
“The Caribbean Vocational Qualification is an award that represents the achievement of a set of competences. The CVQ seeks to facilitate the free movement of skilled workers within the single market and economy, developing students with attributes of the ideal Caribbean worker, enhance the profile and attractiveness of CARICOM labour force and to organise TVET systems across the region,” Ms Stewart-Damon said.
Moreover, she said that the pre-readiness audit is conducted prior to any implementation of a programme within any territory. She said that it is through this audit that assesses the ability of adequate and quality resources and processes as outlined by the Regional Occupational Standards and the Quality Assurance Criteria.
She lauded the efforts of Guyana on the bold initiative in launching the pre-readiness audit to start to implement the CVQ towards certification of the candidates.