The inaugural Bahamas National Technical College Fair is the beginning of a new approach to this field of study that the Ministry of Education believes will assist with its vision to equip and empower students for life after high school. Keyshan Bastian, Assistant Director of Education, said attempts are being made to dispel the myth that career and technical education is for students who “cannot”. “There’s an academic component of technical education as well as a hands on component; we want persons to understand that. Coming out of this, with the cadre of colleges that are here students will understand that you can be enrolled in a certification programme or you can be enrolled in a degree programme, which is an academic qualification.
“The vision is that you get as many schools from Canada, the USA — wherever they would come from — and are willing to meet with our students and say to them what the criteria
Participants included Senator Jamal Moss; Director of Labour, John Pinder; and Belinda Wilson, President, Bahamas Union of Teachers; Sharmaine Sinclair, Assistant Director of Education/ Planning and Research; Shirlean Burrows, First Assistant Secretary; Education Officers Pearline Baker, Patrice Green, Iris Strachan, Zoe Powell and Clevette Gibson, coordinator. Senior high school counselors, school principals
Ms. Bastian said the fair provided students with the opportunity to compare institutions, interact directly with college representatives, enquire about schools and their programmes, the visa process, the enrollment process, scholarships and more. “It is our hope that having been exposed to all that they will be exposed to, the colleges in the United States and Canada, that leaving and coming back they will bring with them the skill sets that they need to face the challenge of satisfying the skills gap that we now recognize in our country,” she said. “Having completed studies at the institutions represented we know that when they return, the skills gap in our country will be satisfied by our very own Bahamian students.”