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TVET Enhancement Project aims to improve learning, teaching of technical subjects

From SKNIS
     Basseterre, St. Kitts – The Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Enhancement Project is critical for St. Kitts and Nevis, says CEO at the St. Kitts-Nevis TVET Secretariat, Kertney Thompson, adding that this project will dramatically improve the way TVET is taught and learned.
     The project, which started in 2016 and is scheduled to end in 2021, is geared toward addressing access to quality education and training, participation and quality assurance in the educational system in St. Kitts and Nevis.
     “Those are areas of concern specifically in TVET,” said Thompson on the radio-television show “Working for You” Oct. 25. “We have quite a large percentage of our folks leaving secondary school between fourth and fifth form and they leave without any recognized certification. They leave without any qualification that will allow them to get quality employment. We have a lot of folks out there who are working on jobs and do not currently have any certification, don’t have any formal training.” He added that the five-year enhancement project is geared toward filling that gap.
     According to the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the government of St. Kitts and Nevis has received financing from the CDB “in an amount equivalent to US$8.3 million toward the cost of a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Enhancement Project.”
     The project has five components, said the CEO. One component will focus on the institutional framework for governance and management of the TVET system. The enhancement of the environment is another component. “Some of the facilities in the training institutions need to be expanded so that we can get more space,” said Thompson. Training institutions include the Advanced Vocational Education Centre (AVEC), the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP) and Project Strong.
     Thompson also said that TVET needs to be enhanced from a training standpoint, as there are teachers in the system who “know the material, they went to university, and they got degrees, these types of things,” he said. “They have probably gone to teachers’ training college, but they lack the ability to teach from a technical vocational standpoint. CBET, what we call Competency Based Education and Training methodology, will really help them to train the trainees properly,” he added, referring to an element of the enhancement project.
     The third component is the management of TVET institutions. “We are really trying to ensure that we improve the management of TVET institutions,” said the CEO. “In fact, we have a number of our principals who should be going to Italy shortly to pursue some training in the management of institutions.”
Additionally, support for at-risk learners will be addressed in the project. Finally, the fifth component will review the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP).