One of the problems facing technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in the Tobago is the lack of awareness and understanding of its real value.
So says, CEO of the Eco- Industrial Company of Trinidad and Tobago (E-IDCOTT) Lois Leslie, the main speaker at Thursday’s “Let’s talk TVET” seminar hosted by the National Training Agency (NTA) in collaboration with the Tobago House of Assembly at the Anne Mitchell Gift auditorium of the Scarborough library.
In her presentation Leslie, a former teacher, said when she thinks TVET, she thinks about “taking us very excellently to the top.”
“This is the kind of psyche that we need to ingrain among us, among everybody who lives in this little space called Tobago, on this little dot. We have to raise our game and in order for these young people to operate at a level that is considered not just acceptable, but dynamic and full of energy, we have to show them… it means that it has to start with us.
"We do not give and we are not our best sometimes and we need to be that most of the times, because they learn what we teach them,” she said.
The CEO said it is time to stop talking and start moving and living industrial development.
“We need industrial development, we need it on several levels in many different spaces so that we can grow, we can become better, we can compete, we can stand out and we can make inroads in markets home and abroad.”
She said Cove is a space that is been prepared to support Tobago's industrial thrust.
Administrator in the THA Division of Education, Innovation and Energy, Cheryl-Ann Solomon said the division saw it fitting to collaborate with the NTA to host a week-long TVET awareness, as there are students in Tobago who are excelling in TVET, making mention of Signal Hill Secondary’s Danique Debra Edwards who topped TVET in the Caribbean at the CAPE level.
“The division’s purpose is to provide continuous education to all and we have to focus on persons distinctly, not just in the academic but persons who their passion goes into skills – nail technicians etc. The whole idea is that we have to look at where the trend is and that is why this whole week of activities was carded...If you follow your passion, you wouldn’t need to work a day in your life,” she said
Technical Advisor to the secretary of education, Dr Verleen Bobb-Lewis said that members of the division visited Trinidad approximately six weeks ago and after the discussions, the assembly’s team was asked if they were willing to “set the stage” with regards the TVET conversations and they responded in the affirmative.
Dr Bobb-Lewis said that for far too long TVET is put on the back burner, described by the masses as a non-academic area.
“When you actually get into TVET, who says it's not academics – it is. We have to look at it as an academic subject that she should encourage every student in every school to do at least one area. This is something that we all have to change the conversation about… see TVET as important for every child and not otherwise,” she said