Government has spent approximately $250,000 on the development of Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQs) in secondary schools.
Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones, made this disclosure earlier this week, at the ceremony to award CVQs to over 100 secondary students from across the island, at the Princess Margaret Secondary School, Six Roads, St. Philip.
The Minister pointed out that the upgrading of facilities spanned 14 schools, including Frederick Smith, Alleyne, St. Leonard’s Boys, Lester Vaughan and Princess Margaret.
While stating that the funds were spent on the upgrading of labs to meet industry standards, he noted that the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council and the Caribbean Examinations Council had conducted audits at these centres to ensure set standards were met.
Funds were also spent on assessing students, and the training of teachers in Competency-Based Education and Training, CVQ Coordinating, CVQ Level 4 Assessment and Internal Verification.
“This Ministry is very supportive of CVQs, and will continue to ensure that secondary students benefit from this form of education, which specifically seeks to develop competencies of our students,” the Education Minister said, while noting that about five years ago, Barbados had embarked on an initiative to assist in the development of the Barbadian worker.
Acknowledging that it led to the development of the policy document called the Barbados Human Resource Development Strategy 2011-2016, Developing National, Institutional and Human Capacity for Sustainable Growth, he stressed, its mission was “to develop national, institutional, and human capacity so that the potential of all Barbadians is fully realised”.
Stressing his Ministry’s support for CVQs, he said it would continue to ensure secondary students benefit from this form of education, which specifically seeks to develop competencies. “It is our vision that every child graduating from secondary school, leave school with some form of certification, whether it is CCSLC, CSEC or CVQs,” he assured.
The Minister called it a “stepping stone to further achievements in the CVQ programme” and told those who had been found competent in some units to complete the other units. And, to those who had achieved Level 1, he urged them to pursue Level 2, in an evening programme at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, or the Barbados Vocational Training Board.
Teachers, assessors and internal verifiers were also commended for their role in the students’ success, and Mr. Jones said it was “a culmination of a long process involving the school, his Ministry, the TVET Council and CXC”.
Meanwhile, Education Officer and Competency Based Education and Training practitioner, Henderson Wiltshire, in recognising the students’ success, said there were over 100 students certified by TVET Council, but this group was the first by CXC.
In lauding the collaboration with the Ministry, CXC and the TVET Council, he added: “To date, 19 schools have been centre-approved and 20 CVQs are being offered in our secondary schools. We are working towards offering Level 2 CVQs in schools to capture students who would have achieved Level 1 in various areas.”