Education officials, teachers??and students at this morning’s SCITEX exhibition in the Queen’s Park Steel Shed. (A. MIller/BGIS)

Students and their teachers have come in for much praise for their dedication and creativity towards the staging of the Schools Craft and Industrial Technology Exhibition (SCITEX) 2013.

Chief Education Officer, Laurie King, in addressing the official opening ceremony at Queen’s Park Steel Shed today, described the exhibition, which runs until Monday, March 11, as "the single major display that highlights the specific accomplishments of technical education in secondary schools".

Noting that it provided a point of advocacy and promotion of the finest achievements within the education system, he said: "The competition promotes and encourages programmes of industrial arts in our schools, raises the status of industrial arts in our schools and the wider community, serves to demonstrate the positive accomplishments of our young people and affords youngsters the opportunity to develop skills which can provide them with gainful employment."

Mr. King noted too that the introduction of the Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQ) programme could only be enhanced with the staging of the exhibition, which, in itself, promoted the use of the competency-based methodology of CVQ.

As he urged educators to ensure programmes were technologically relevant and broad-based, he said: "It is my conviction that the concept from Science and Technology should be used to inform craft work as this would offer peculiar and rewarding challenges to our young charges. We must provide them with new insights and encourage innovation."

Meanwhile, Senior Education Officer (Curriculum) and Assessment, Vaneisha Cadogan, said SCITEX, heralded "the beginning of a path towards new horizons, innovative ventures, and unprecedented inventions – in short, it marks the start of a transformation".

She stressed: "Events like these should make us re-examine the way we define education and the measures of success we use for our children. If our accolades are reserved for those who have mastered the art of regurgitating information and who then graduate to the halls of fame in the long revered professions, we send a message that we are not ready for this century.

"We must do more to honour those young people who can apply the dynamism that is a feature of technology, who have the capacity to give birth to products and be entrepreneurs in areas we have not yet thought of, if we expect to advance in this competitive world. Today, we showcase the achievements of our secondary school students in two significant areas of national development – Industrial Technology and Craft… There are few things as captivating as the work of children since their creations are usually snapshots of their thoughts, imaginations and uncultivated potential."

A number of students were awarded by sponsors and the Education Ministry for high quality work in textiles, basketry, wood work metal work, building construction, electronics, draughting and innovation.??

St. Leonard’s Boys School emerged the top institution among the exhibitors and was followed by Princess Margaret and Frederick Smith Secondary schools.


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