TVET to be introduced at primary level
JAMAICA IS moving to infuse Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) into primary schools, says Minister of Education and Youth Fayval Williams.
Currently, TVET is offered in secondary schools, but the ministry is looking to also introduce the subject areas at the primary level to ensure that students are equipped with the knowledge and skills to meet labour-market needs.
The minister noted that with the Vocational Training and Development Institute established as a fully-fledged institution in her ministry, a national mandate is being pursued “to get more TVET teachers into our schools as we expand it into our primary schools”.
“We are also putting TVET on par with traditional academics,” she declared while addressing the Sixth International Conference on TVET in the Caribbean, held recently at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.
The minister said that legislative changes will be made to allow the University Council of Jamaica to accredit TVET programmes “using the same rigour as they would for traditional academic programmes”.
She noted that the ministry has a budget of $400 million to upgrade TVET laboratories at high schools.
Williams said that the ministry continues to highlight the opportunities presented by TVET in enabling young people to move forward as “highly-valued members” of society.
She said that the education sector is continuously adapting to the needs of a global labour market, and a fundamental expectation is that it will produce skilled people capable of making meaningful contributions to the social and economic development of the society.
“Increasingly, at various levels of the society, there is a recognition that we need to develop an education system with multiple paths to success to support and cater to the diverse strengths and talents of our people. It does not have to be a traditional two-track. The traditional divide between an academic path and vocational path has become artificial and obsolete because what is cognitive and technical is not clear-cut. This is because today, a person needs both knowledge and skills in order to do well,” she argued.
The three-day TVET conference was held under the theme ‘Building Resilience for Sustainable Development in Disruptive Times’.
Williams lauded The University of the West Indies School of Education for launching and sustaining the event over the last six years, noting that it provides a collaborative approach to technical and vocational education and training in the region”.