Today, the Ministry of Education held its third national TVET Conference at the Biltmore Plaza. The focus of the conference is to highlight and promote technical and vocational education and training. It is aimed towards all stakeholders in vocational education, from the trainees to the employers. Love News found out more today from the Minister of Education.
Patrick Faber – Minister of Education: “This is the third TVET Conference and like I said this morning I am very enthusiastic about the possibilities that can come out of this. The TVET sector is one that is very important for Belize’s Development and of course there have been struggles getting out ITVET’s and the wider curriculum for the TVET education functioning in this country and so this two-day session will bring stakeholders together. I am very pleased that stakeholders from industry and business are here. They are sitting down with the Ministry and the other stakeholders so that we can hear suggestions, hopefully to come up with very concrete plans to improve the quality of TVET education and to make it relevant to our development here in Belize.”
Reporter: “What message would you hope that the people here today and tomorrow would take away from this conference?”
Patrick Faber – Minister of Education: “ Well, I would hope that people feel free to contribute, there a lot of people who have a lot to say or as folks said just now in the opening ceremony and they criticize from outside. Well, we have invited the stakeholders to be here this morning. In fact, they have shared with us this morning an app that people are able to put in their comments and their questions so even anonymous questions will be entertained and suggestions so that we are able to come up with the proper ideas that will fix the issues that we are having in this sector.”
We also asked the Minister how he thinks students can become more interested in vocational studies.
Patrick Faber – Minister of Education: “I think the key to getting them is to make it attractive, something they want to be a part of so that has to be the focus but as you know the ITVET’s were born out of a regional concept and it was imposed on the Early School Leavers Set Project. I think that is where we have been handicapped for many years to try to say to people that the TVET education, in general, is not something for people who are not smart. It is for people who may not be academically inclined or even if you are you can still join in TVET. We were joking in the opening ceremony about men who are academic vs. men who are vocationally and technically inclined. There can be that mix and also women can certainly engage in vocational and technical education so it is something for any and everybody who sees this as something they can do, that is the message we want to send to young people. We want those yes who may not find the academics as their strengths but we also want those who have academic strengths who can put this all together and make a higher quality offering for the services that evidently Belize needs as it checks on to development. Our hope is through these kinds of initiatives we can learn what it is that people want to see: the stakeholders in general but especially the students, those trainees so that we are able to tailor make something for them.”