Fourteen educators recently received certificates of completion from the Grenada National Training Agency (GNTA), marking the end of their training as qualified assessors and instructors for the Caribbean Vocational Qualification programme.
The Ministry of Education, through the Grenada Education Enhancement Program (GEEP), contracted the Grenada National Training Agency to train 12 CVQ teachers and 2 curriculum officers, in July 2019 and October to November 2019.
Frances Ruffin, Coordinator for Quality Assurance at the Grenada National Training Agency said there are approximately 60 educators now trained as instructors and assessors. “These teachers will now have the capability to deliver training using the occupational standards, and that training will lead to their learners – their students – being able to receive certification at the National Vocational Qualifications level or Caribbean Vocational Qualifications Level,” Ruffin said.
Explaining what the training entailed, Ruffin said, “During the training, participants were exposed to information on the regional qualification framework; competency-based education and training; occupational standards; the assessment process and quality assurance. Candidates were assessed through practicums; the production of two portfolios and answering oral questions.”
Chief Education Officer Angela Finlay, noted the importance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) – the basis of NVQ and CVQ certification.
Finlay said, “The Ministry of Education also considers TVET as that very vital element in the preparation of students for work and for life in general. Whilst TVET gives the cutting edge to students for employment, in an established venture, it also creates avenues for entrepreneurship.”
Pearl Greenidge-Roberts is a teacher at the Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS) who teaches Home Economics, Food and Nutrition and Health. This year, her Food and Nutrition class had a 100% CSEC pass rate. She firmly believes in skills training as preparation for real world adaptability. She said, “I think I would be better able to perform my duties or be even more competent in performing my duties, in relation to dealing with the boys that come to me from day to day.”
Permanent Secretary with responsibility for Human Resource Development, Religious Affairs and Information Norman Gilbert highlighted the importance of TVET in reducing unemployment. “The role of TVET teachers and trainers in vocational institutions must be enhanced to ensure that young people who complete school can function in the world of work,” he said. “One of the most challenging tasks is to change the attitude towards TVET amongst stakeholders, policymakers, service providers, parents, teachers and the general public.”
Gilbert encouraged the educators to be ambassadors for the CVQ programme.
Anika Noel, a home economics teacher at the St Andrew’s Anglican Secondary School, is looking forward to empowering her students through the CVQ programme. “I loved that we learnt new strategies and so forth to help students who cannot be reached through the paper, pen and traditional strategies that we usually use in the classroom,” she said. “So far, I’ve been advocating that students do the CVQ programme. The approach is different. They would be learning hands-on. They will be able to ask questions more. It’s not a pass or a fail.” Therefore, Noel said she believes there is always room for growth in the CVQ programme.
Gilbert says there is a draft TVET policy which will soon be shared with the public and that the Ministry is also trying to ensure that there is a national strategy for skills development.