A Boost For Technical & Vocational Education

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Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP) was today given a boost in the form of BBD $30,000.

The donation, handed over to Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones, was made by Dr. Robert Oxtoby, Professor Emeritus, University of Bolton, United Kingdom, at the Ministry???s headquarters at the Elsie Payne Complex, Constitution Road, St. Michael.

Professor Oxtoby was an advisor on technical education in this island???s Education Ministry from 1973 to 1974, under the Caribbean Technical Assistance Arrangements of the British Government.

Stating that his time as an advisor was pivotal to his own career and gave him his first experience working overseas, he said: ???Since that time, I have had engagements in a dozen or so countries, in each continent of the world???. My wife and I were both privileged to be here during the early years of Independence in Barbados. It was a very happy and stimulating time and it???s perhaps fitting we feel that in this your 50th anniversary year of Independence, we are able to make this presentation.???

The philanthropist also expressed the hope that the SJPP would be able to develop its services further.

Mr. Jones, in expressing his gratitude, agreed that Professor Oxtoby???s stint had been critical, helping to create ???integrated streams of learning???not only what people referred to as the academic pursuit???. He said it was also about bringing a deeper understanding of the technical and vocational pursuits and the mix that all persons really should have.

???Your contribution, of course, in the development of the syllabi and the curriculum helped foster that technical and vocational education within the secondary school establishment, as well as the SJPP, and [helped] to look generally at TVET education across Barbados,??? the Minister added.

Mr. Jones updated Professor Oxtoby of the progress made with implementing TVET in schools, and noted that some were now equipped with several kinds of TVET apparatus and equipment. He also mentioned that Caribbean Vocational Qualifications, a new assessment methodology, were also being rolled out within schools with emphasis on testing the competency-based aspect.

Meanwhile, Political Officer with the British High Commissioner???s Office, Gilly Metzgen said: ???This is the sort of thing that we love to see happen; we are so pleased that a British representative will be bringing funding to Barbados; that you are generously giving this funding to the SJPP and I???m sure they will make terribly good use of it.???

Professor Oxtoby has a long history and relationship with Barbados. His outstanding contribution included Technical and Vocational Educational Training courses for the SJPP, the National Training Board, the Barbados Community College and secondary schools; the proposed re-location of the SJPP to its present site at Wildey, St. Michael, and the creation of a National Industrial Training Programme, including a new Apprenticeship Scheme, in August 1973.

Professor Oxtoby???s assignment in Barbados led to his award of a Degree of Master in Education at the University of Manchester for a thesis entitled: The Vocational Function of the Educational System in Barbados.

joy-ann.gill@barbados.gov.bb

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