Eighteen teachers are now certified by the National Training Agency to be assessors, who will evaluate secondary school students currently engaged in the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) programme, for certification.
The Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development and the National Training Agency (NTA) collaborated on this endeavour and presented certificates of completion to the teachers, during a ceremony on 31 October 2017.
The CVQ pilot, which began in January 2016, is being implemented in 5 secondary schools in Grenada in the areas of Commercial Food Preparation, Crop Production, Furniture Making and General Construction. The students completing the programme will be evaluated by the newly trained assessors in 2018. Students will be given competency-based training in the areas listed and will be assessed based on how well they can do the tasks listed for each vocational skill.
Elvis Morain, Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education & Human Development, said, “Teachers, I’m very happy that you have embraced that opportunity to be trained, at that level, and out of what you have done, you can only do well for our education system.”
Natalie Ruffin, the Quality Assurance Coordinator at the National Training Agency (NTA) reminded assessors of their responsibility. “You have the critical role of quality assurance in the competency-based education and training assessment system. As a result, we require from you certain things. You must have a high degree of integrity; you must be dedicated to your tasks and, of course, accuracy is critical,” she said.
Ruffin went on to list several more attributes and requirements of an assessor, including confidentiality, professionalism, fairness and good communication skills. She says that final certification for secondary school students, following assessment, will be provided via CXC.
Kellisha Granger, a trained assessor, gave advice to her peers, saying, “Do not compromise what is right, or what you have learnt during your assessor training for anything else. All assessments must be relevant, authentic, valid and accurate.” Granger encouraged assessors to approach the process, through careful planning and execution, while maintaining high standards. She said many persons, whom she has assessed and who have received their CVQs, now have improved quality of lives.
Morain said, “There would be a significant shift, in the quality of education that we deliver, if we ought to look at competency based. It means therefore that we have to begin to re-define qualification, in the right context, as opposed to certification. Many of us can possess a lot of certificates, but the question remains: Can we do what is expected of us?”
The Chief Education Officer is says CVQ is here to stay. He is satisfied with its implementation in schools thus far and expects a wider implementation of the programme, following the pilot.
Ministry of Education