BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Students and graduates are responsible for eradicating the negative stigma attached to technical education, according to Andrew Abraham, Dean of the Division of Technical and Vocational Education and Management Studies (TVEMS) at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC).
“We have seen that shift in terms of persons accessing technical education and that stigma that we all are familiar with is that persons who access Vocational Education and Training are the ones that are not so smart,” explained Dean Abraham. “Our students, our graduates are the ones in my view who would have done an excellent job in marketing what we do at the college in terms of training.
“The students and graduates have accessed the programmes and succeeded. He added that persons who access the programmes available receive more credits when they apply to universities and colleges.
“They are the ones who have now matriculated into colleges and universities around the world,” he said. “And we live in a small community and word gets out. Students who access our programme at the technical division get more credits when they apply to universities and college, regionally and internationally and they complete their degree programmes faster than persons who would have accessed other programmes at the college.”
With regards to employment, Dean Abraham stated that graduates from the division are employed at local banks, local businesses and hotels.
“Technical education graduates play a major role in our local environment and the employment situation,” said Dean Abraham. “When you go into our local banks, our local businesses or hotels, tourism and hospitality, the persons you are experiencing when you go there, they are our graduates.
“They are the ones who are actually getting well-paying jobs. They are the ones who are sharing that kind of information with their friends, their peers, and their neighbours.”
He noted that these students have assisted in changing the view that technical education is for those who are not academically inclined.
The college has done face-lifted and retooled its shops. This, he said, also attributes to the positive view of the Division. At the same time, programmes have been reviewed to ensure they meet industry standards.
“We don’t only want our students to be village champions, we want them to be able to go out and compete within the region and internationally and we have done that,” said the dean. “We have an exchange programme with Nova Scotia Community College where our students go out there for a year and are able to train and sit in the same classroom of students at that college in Canada.”
The National TVET Scholar pogram recognises two top performing students in the technical division and givs them a full scholarship. He said this also contribute to the changed view of the division.
“That is another incentive for persons who are looking to apply and matriculate into the programmes at the CFBC, to be specific the Division of Technical and Vocational Education and Management Studies, they have a wealth of opportunities,” said the dean.
IT students also who take part in robotics competitions.
“They are articulate, they are confident and they are what is out there in the community and people are seeing that,” concluded Dean Abraham.