Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 27, 2018 (SKNIS):Substantial investment in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is causing a paradigm shift in the way persons view technical studies, says Andrew Abraham, Dean of the Faculty of Technical, Vocational, Educational and Management Studies (TVEMS) at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC), who appeared on June 27 on the radio-television show “Working for You.”
“We are beginning to see a change in behavior and attitudes as it relates to persons who are in that particular area of training, more specifically, the intervention to TVET,” said Mr. Abraham, noting the more positive outlook on technical studies.
Speaking to the TVET Enhancement Programme, Mr. Abraham said that the government has procured a loan from the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) in excess of US $10 million to invest into TVET.
He explained that the purpose of the project is to help strengthen and develop TVET within the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“That project is looking at building the capacity for the TVET Council eventually becoming a national training agency—also, having persons who are providing training in the skilled areas, access to university or college quality training abroad. [The programme] will be providing funding for that,” Mr. Abraham said.
Mr. Abraham added that the project also helps in building capacity in terms of helping to train assessors and verifiers, which will be required as a part of the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) and the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ).
Further, it provides funding for training resources in both the high school and college levels, the TVEMS Division at CFBC, and also the Advanced Vocational Education Centre (AVEC).
In addition to the loan from ECCB, a grant was received by the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) for upgrading physical training facilities including work shops and classrooms and providing tools in that area.
“Our programmes are now outfitted and housed in a much more esthetically pleasing and friendly environment and students like the places they go to for their training,” he said. “[It has] become welcoming, nice, so to speak.
The dean said that much investment into the skilled areas has resulted in more students, especially from the high schools, gravitating towards technical training with some receiving scholarships and other awards to access programmes at the tertiary institution.
“Based on the number of students, we would have the most head count at the college in terms of the number of students right now at CFBC and this did not happen by accident,” he said.
“In a nutshell, all of those things that I have mentioned have contributed and are contributing towards changing behavior and attitudes towards TVET,” he said. “That project is taking in the funding for almost all areas of TVET –administrative resources and programme development in terms of the different levels of the CVQ. In terms of the development of the syllabus, the project will be taking all of that into account and providing the necessary funding. Even the physical structure as we will see in the not so distant future, AVEC will take a different shape to becoming that National Training Centre.”