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PRESENTATION FOR THE OAS WORKSHOP. Past Initiatives in Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Guyana. Formal technical education and training evolved from the introduction of technical subjects

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past initiatives in technical and vocational education and training in guyana
Past Initiatives in Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Guyana
  • Formal technical education and training evolved from the introduction of technical subjects

in the primary school curriculum. Technical subjects such as woodwork, school gardening, home economics, needlecraft and bookbinding were taught.

Exposure to primary education was preparation for work.

This level of education therefore was a form of vocational education. Persons who successfully completed this education were able to gain employment in a wide range of low level occupations.
  • Between 1890 and1958, the expansion of the plantations and the introduction of new industries such as mining, timber, rice, sugar and shipbuilding increased the demand for skilled personnel at all levels. In 1931 the Director of Education established three handicraft centres.
These centres were located in Georgetown, New Amsterdam, and Fellowship on the West Coast of Demerara. The Carnegie School of Home Economics was established two years later in 1933.

During the 1940s the demand for skilled manpower at all levels reached an acute stage. As a result, the number of primary and secondary schools that offered technical subjects on their curricula gradually increased also, particularly the 1940s and 1950s.

Although an apprenticeship system was in place, that together with the efforts of the school system could not satisfy the labour market. The trend was for major industries and the colonial government to recruit technicians and engineers from the developed countries.
  • Some of the reasons advanced for the importation of technical personnel during that period was that the training of craftsmen, which was done mainly through the apprenticeship system by some government departments and large industries in mining, agriculture and shipbuilding was inadequate. Further the training was purely practical in nature.
These and other problems led to a three-prong strategy to enhance the training of skilled personnel as follows:
  • (i) The expansion of the pre-vocational education and the primary and secondary levels, with the introduction of technical departments and an expansion of the Practical Instruction Centres;
  • (ii) The development of post-secondary technical and vocational institutions to provide classroom exposure for apprentices and special training for courses for workers and the unemployed; and
(iii) the training of middle and senior level

skilled personnel overseas.

As a consequence of the latter policy, the Government Technical Institute was established in 1951.In the years that followed, other TVET institutions were established, such as the Guyana School of Agriculture(1963),the Guyana Industrial Training Centre(1968), the New Amsterdam Technical Institute (1972) and more recently, the Linden Technical Institute and the Essequibo Technical Institute.

In 1957 the sugar industry established the first training centre to provide classroom training for its apprentices. This initiative was followed by the bauxite industry and the Guyana Electricity Corporation and other large corporate entities that could have afforded to establish training units to deliver classroom training to their apprentices.
linking the ministries of labour and education
Linking the Ministries of Labour and Education
  • The administration of Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Guyana is divided between the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour.
  • The combined annual output generated by the two Ministries is an average of 1600 skilled personnel.
  • Under the Ministry of Education there are six TVET Institutions, an Home Economics Centre and a Craft Production and Design Unit.
These institutions train both male and female students above 15 years, in a range of TVET Course and produce 80% of the skilled personnel for the labour market. Admission is generally once per year and course are of two-year duration, leading to a technician certificate

or diploma, or a certificate of proficiency.

  • The remaining 20% of the skills generated is an

output of the apprenticeship system which is

administered by the Board of Industrial Training in the Ministry of Labour.

The membership of the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) is tripartite, comprising of representatives from employers and employees organisations along with government representation.
  • The standard apprenticeship has a four-year duration, with the entry age being 15 to 17 years. The training methodology embraces a 30% theory and 70% practical / laboratory work

during the initial two years, followed by another two years of on-the-job or in-plant training.

During the on –the –job training, periodic trade tests are conducted. There is also the preparation of quarterly assessment reports which document the performance of each apprentice, in terms of technical competence and other attributes such as written and oral communication, computation skills, work attitudes, interpersonal relationship and work commitment.
  • As a complement to the apprenticeship scheme, the BIT also provides upgrading training and retraining courses for artisans from the industrial sector.
Over the years there were a number of initiatives leading to the harmonisation of the two TVET systems, among which are the following:
  • There are formal arrangements for apprentices to attend classes at the technical institutes for specialised training, when the resources of their sponsored companies cannot deliver the same.
  • Arrangements also exist for students who successfully completed a two year course at a technical institute, to enter an apprenticeship at the third year.
The Ministry of Education has permanent membership o the Board of Industrial Training, In recent years, the Deputy Chief Education Officer (Technical) chairs the Board.
  • There is ongoing collaboration with the technical institutes to obtain classroom and laboratory facilities for upgrading and retraining courses for artisans.
  • There is ongoing collaboration for the training of trainers and instructors of apprenticed training centres, through the technical institutes.
recent developments in tvet
Recent Developments in TVET

With regards to recent development in TVET and more specifically, regional strategies such as the Caribbean Single Market Economy (CSME).

The Government of Guyana successfully tabled two important legislative bills in parliament on July 22nd, 2004.

The first legislation provide for the establishment of a National Accreditation Council which will have among its responsibilities the following:
  • The establishment of standards for qualifications in education and training in tertiary institutions
  • Establish accreditation criteria and procedures for the various levels of certification
  • Ascertain equivalencies for levels of certification obtained both locally and overseas
Compile and disseminate information relative to accredited institutions and programmes regionally and extra- regionally

The other bill was the legislation for the establishment of a National Council for Technical and Vocational Education (NCTVET).

The NCTVET of Guyana will urgently proceed with the following, among other tasks;

Undertake curriculum review, analysis and design and cause to establish training and apprenticeship programmes and vocational qualifications that are relevant to the needs of Guyana and where appropriate the needs of Caricom member states;
  • Undertake the development and implementation of a national system of Competency based Modularised Training;
Establish national training standards and performance testing;
  • Establish an inspectorate to ensure that curricula, standards, schemes and guidelines that were formulated are implemented by every registered Training Organisation and Technical Institute;
  • Monitor and evaluate the delivery of all the technical and vocational education and training programmes
The NCTVET Of Guyana will function as a semi- autonomous agency under the Ministry of Education. While the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) will continue its supervisory functions for apprenticeship and short-term artisan training in the industrial sector as a Registered Training Organisation, its operations will now be monitored by the NCTVET, in a manner similar to that of the technical institutes.
Beyond doubt, the timeliness of the workshop can be easily recognised, since the TVET system in Guyana has embarked on an important restructuring plan that is quite relevant to the focus of the workshop proceedings.