|Parliamentary Secretary, Senator Harry Husbands (left) and Chief Education Officer, Laurie King enjoying the exhibits at SCITEX. (A. Miller/BGIS)|
A government official in the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation sees the revival of the Schools Craft and Industrial Technology Exhibition (SCITEX) 2013, as auguring well for the future of technical and vocational education and craft on the school curriculum.
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry, Senator Harry Husbands, in addressing its official opening at the Queen’s Park Steel Shed, praised the high quality of the exhibits designed from wood, metal and textile and showcased by over 20 secondary schools as well as the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic.
He told students that SCITEX had its origin in the then Barbados Lumber Company Industrial Arts Exhibition, conceptualised in 1989 by the late Amory Phillips, added that the March 8 to 11?? exhibition highlighted the creativity of Barbados’ students and technical and vocational education.
Noting that 24 years after Mr. Philip’s vision for that first woodwork and metalwork exhibition, the Ministry had rebranded the exposition, he said: "…The many exhibits on display are evidence that technical and vocational education and craft are significant areas on the curriculum at secondary schools. Technical and Vocational Education and Craft should be seen as critical in the development of our young people."
Students were told that TVET was promoted as a strategic pillar in economic development. And, the Parliamentary Secretary noted: "TVET and skills training are essential to job creation for the empowerment of young people. It should be seen as part of the process of lifelong learning, central to reducing poverty and to increasing the likelihood of finding decent work or generating income through self‐employment…
"The importance of Technical/Vocational Education in enabling people to gain access to employment or to self-employment and to participate in society through their economic activity is clear. Unemployment is at the root of most of the destructive forces in our societies. Access to Technical/Vocational Education is one tool that may be used to address this problem."
Mr. Husbands expressed the hope that the next edition of SCITEX would see the addition of new categories "as we seek to challenge the creative minds of our students". "Students will be asked to develop products using photovoltaic and other renewable energy systems and robotics. This will allow students not only to compete, but also to develop as innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs. We hope that this challenge will stimulate the creativity of our students and we look forward to seeing what they will present to us," the Parliamentary Secretary stressed.