Acting Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Senator Lucille Moe speaking at the SJPI’s graduation and awards ceremony last Saturday at the Hilton Barbados Resort. (GP)

The Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training (METVT) is pushing ahead to ensure that the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology (SJPI) becomes an accredited educational institution by the year 2020.

Acting Minister of Education, Senator Lucille Moe, said the METVT had a “vested interest” in moving the Institution, along with all the other tertiary institutions under its ambit, to the point of accreditation with the Barbados Accreditation Council (BAC).

She was speaking at the SJPI’s Graduation and Awards Ceremony last Saturday at the Hilton Barbados Resort, which was held under the theme ‘Architects of our Future’.

“The designation of ‘accredited’ is essential if the institution is to be recognized internationally and its graduates given the opportunity to make their contribution, which they are more than capable of making, in the global marketplace. I’m extremely pleased and proud to be able to congratulate you on successfully taking the first step in this direction by becoming registered for accreditation with the BAC in April 2018.

“The Ministry’s goal is now to help you achieve the status of an accredited educational institution by the year 2020. To this end, we have covered the cost for consultation by experts for the: Completion of your Development Plan by the Mindbloom Consultants; assistance with your policy development, through the Harvi Millar Consultancy; and provision of funding in the area of quality assurance and standardization,” Senator Moe disclosed.

She further explained that investment in the areas of development planning, policy development, quality assurance and standardization were all essential elements in the accreditation process which once achieved, would allow the SJPI to function as a “worthy player in the global education playing field”.

Shifting her attention to the programme offerings at the Institute, the Acting Education Minister said the SJPI gave persons a second chance for retraining and retooling, particularly those who were negatively affected by these economically challenging times.

She added that the institution had made “significant strides” in competence-based training through its work with the Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council.

Students could earn Caribbean and National Vocational Qualifications at Levels 2 and 3 at the Institution, Senator Moe pointed out, in areas such as Amenity Horticulture, Cosmetology, Nail Technology and Massage Therapy.

Additionally, she noted that approval had been granted for CVQs assessment in Carpentry and Joinery and Cabinet and Furniture Making.

She told those in attendance that the Ministry continued to support the advancement of the SJPI and was “heartened” to see the investment being poured into its programming, citing the Inter-American Development Bank’s funding of the Competency-Based Training Fund and the Skills for the Future Program.

Through its partnership with other agencies, the SJPI has trained an additional 200 students in key skill areas such as Garment Technology, Renewable Energy, Fibre Optics, Computer Numeric Control Technology and Live Sound Engineering, the Minister noted, in addition to the over 900 students it already trains annually.

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