As the relevance of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) are accentuated globally, The Government of The Bahamas has
committed to developing alliances which seek to augment this critical area nationally. It is against this backdrop that the Min. of Education has partnered with thenOne Eleuthera Foundation and the Centre for Training and Innovation for the enhancement of TVET.Essentially, this critical partnership will advance technical and vocational education and
training specifically on the island of Eleuthera; thus enabling an increased number of youth to acquire skills for employment, and to explore entrepreneurial opportunities. It is anticipated that large numbers of Eleuthera residents will ultimately benefit from this public-private collaboration, which is also projected to minimize the migration of family island students to New Providence.
In its quest to expand technical education in The Bahamas, the MOE continues to revamp its curriculum to meet the demands necessitated by international standards. The enhanced curriculum is designed to prepare high school students pursuing studies in Career and Technical Education (CTE), for multiple international certifications, including City & Guilds, Pitman, AP Examinations, and the American Hotel & Lodging
Educational Institute. CTE students have been targeted and engaged in the American College Test (ACT) training in preparation for transition to tertiary institutions, and are trained in exam techniques and strategies for success. Pupils have also been engaged in dual enrolment programs at varying intervals with the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute as well as with the University of The Bahamas, earning college credits while in high school.
Additionally, the MOE has engaged in a number of partnerships which created opportunities for local professional development of its technical teachers. As such alliances are highly beneficial, the Min. of Education is now elated to join forces with the OEF to benefit individuals pursuing careers in the technical field. Minister of Education the Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd noted that this collaboration with the One Eleuthera Foundation in the delivery of crucial vo-tech disciplines on the island of Eleuthera is timely. “Partnerships with suitably qualified private players are critical for any nation. The Ministry congratulates OEF for its unselfish contributions over the years to the development and advancement of our young people.” Minister Lloyd said. In 2015, OEF established CTI, the only tertiary institution on the island of Eleuthera.
Since its inception, its central objective has been to provide training in core academic areas, soft skills foundation, and in the introduction to trades for individuals who have not completed high school. Additionally, CTI has offered professional development courses to workers in pursuit of skills upgrading.
Over the past seven years, OEF has injected more than $15 million into the economy of South Eleuthera. According to OEF Board Chairman, Alfred Sears, this investment was made possible by donations, assistance from philanthropic organisations, technical expertise, and the provision of education and jobs. Currently OEF and CTI employ 65
individuals, and have the ability to engage in contracts with numerous tutors in different disciplines. “It is our view that this presents an opportunity for us to work collaboratively with the Ministry of Education, to ensure that, together, we can provide quality vocational education to the people in Eleuthera and surrounding islands.” Mr. Sears said.
The formalized agreement makes provisions for CTI to facilitate an introductory vocational programme for grades 11 and 12 students; to develop an accelerated industry certification programme; to develop training courses for stakeholders; the deployment of qualified instructors into selected high schools; the maintenance of the woodwork and home economic facilities at the Preston H. Albury High School; and the upgrade of relevant facilities and equipment. Additionally, MOE will permit CTI access to Preston H. Albury and Central Eleuthera High Schools to conduct classes and relevant meetings.
Among the officials present for the signing from the Ministry and Department of Education, the OEF and CTI and the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) were the Minister of Education, the Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd; Mr. Shaun Ingraham Chief Executive Officer, OEF and CTI, Mr. Jim Richard, Chief Operating Officer for the OEF and CTI, Dr. Reginald Eldon, Consultant for Education and Leadership Development, OEF and CTI, Permanent Secretary Mrs. Lorraine Armbrister, Director of Education, Mr. Marcellus Taylor, BTVI Board Chairman Mr. Kevin Basden, Dr. Robert Robertson, President, BTVI, Mr. Leroy Sumner, BTVI, and Chairman of the Board for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Deputy Director of Education Ms.
Sharon Poitier; Assistant Director of Education for Technical and Vocational Education and Training Ms. Keyshan Bastian; and other staff members from the Ministry and Department of Education and BTVI.