The Government is taking steps to advance the integration of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in secondary schools across the country.
This is one of the key recommendations in the Jamaica Education Transformation Commission (JETC) Report, whose Chairman, Professor Orlando Patterson, is currently leading a two-week engagement with academic institutions at all educational levels across the island.
On Friday (June 3), Professor Patterson visited the HEART College of Hospitality Services Runaway Bay in St. Ann, where he told staff that the Government has charged the Commission to gather feedback, as well as make recommendations on how TVET can be executed effectively in the regular school system.
The objective is to equip students with skills for the workplace.
“There is some TVET but it’s small scaled in the schools. We hope to do what is done in Germany, Denmark, Singapore and other high-performance countries to incorporate TVET in the regular system,” Professor Patterson said.
“You go to Germany, TVET [training] is as high as training in regular academics and students have the option of moving into either. Some of the brightest students go into technical training and it goes right up to the tertiary level,” he pointed out.
Professor Patterson said that the Commission is also carrying out a thorough review of the HEART/ NSTA Trust, looking at the kind of technical and vocational training being done in the institutions, as well as how the programmes can be more efficient, and to have more people trained.
The school visits, which started on May 30, is to engage with and get feedback on the JTEC report, as well as observe school operations and practices.
The objective is to inform Government initiatives to reform the education sector.
Professor Patterson said that the Commission is currently in phase-two of the undertaking and is collaborating with two major overseas organisations whose representatives will be visiting the island next month.
He noted that during the first phase “we had to rely entirely on research data and speaking to stakeholders, as we weren’t able to visit the sites because they were closed because of the pandemic. However, we are looking at them now [and] so that’s why I am here.”
On January 13, the JETC released a report that outlined some 154 recommendations to the Government for the advancement of the education sector.
Professor Patterson, on Friday, also visited the Parry Town Primary and Infant School as well as Toddlers Learning Centre in St. Ann.