A facilities audit of the St. Lucy Secondary School being conducted in preparation for the implementation of the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) in secondary?? schools last year. Audits were conducted to ensure that training facilities met workplace standards. (courtesy of TVET Council [FP])

The first set of Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) assessments in secondary schools in Barbados will take place next week.

Twenty-eight students from The Alleyne and St. Lucy Secondary schools will move a step closer towards the attainment of Level One certification of the CVQ by the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC), when their work in Masonry, Carpentry and Electrical Installation is assessed.

The assessment to determine their competency will be conducted at the St. Lucy Secondary School from Monday, June 18 to Wednesday, June 20, from 9:30 a.m.??

Students will first be briefed on the procedures for CVQ assessment and then the process will begin with one-on-one scrutiny of students as they demonstrate competence in select units of their specific programme.

Education Officer (Technical & Vocational), Henderson Wiltshire, who will be on hand to ensure the entire process follows set standards and procedures, said the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development endorsed the CVQ, as it meant students would be certified not only with respect to knowledge, but in terms of work-specific competences or skills, employability skills?? and on-the job training.

"CVQs are job-related so it means students would be trained and certified to industry standards, thus making their entry into the world of work an easier transition from school. Additionally, students would be certified in areas that were not previously given such attention, for example masonry and carpentry," said Mr. Wiltshire.

He indicated that this first set of students would have moved from the planning stage of assessment to this point, which is the conducting of the assessments. He stated that the planning and conducting of the assessments are carried out by trained persons who are teachers from the Princess Margaret Secondary School, Grantley Adams Memorial, St. Leonard’s Boys Secondary and St. Lucy Secondary School.

"After the assessment at St. Lucy Secondary School, feedback will be provided to each student on what transpired in the process, and they will be informed as to whether or not they met the requirements for being considered ???competent’ or are ???not yet competent’," said the official, as he noted that such information could be relayed to a student on the same day of the assessment.

Mr. Wiltshire added: "Once considered competent, the student would then move on to another set of units; if not yet competent he/she would have an opportunity to fill those gaps at a time agreed upon with the candidate."

Stressing that it had to be "convenient to the student", he pointed out that CVQ was a student-centred initiative that sought first to accommodate the student’s needs before an assessor is called upon to examine or re-examine work.

The CVQ programme was first implemented in 2009, with a focus on St. Leonard’s Boys; Princess Margaret Secondary; St. George Secondary; Grantley Adams Memorial and St. Lucy Secondary School.

While The Alleyne School and St. Lucy Secondary prepare for assessment next week, the others are busy preparing for their final visit from auditors from the Technical Vocational Educational and Training (TVET) Council to gain centre approval.


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