Career and Technical Education – the Building Block of Successful Countries

One hundred and ninety students from 18 schools across the country were inducted into the Department of Education's National Technical Honor Society, Bahamas Chapter 4999, at the National Training Agency, Tuesday, May, 23, 2023. Minister of State in the Ministry of Education and Technical and Vocational Training the Hon. Zane Lightbourne brought remarks. (BIS Photos/Patrice Johnson)

Minister of State in the Ministry of Education and Technical and Vocational Training the Hon. Zane Lightbourne explained that it is often said that Career and Technical Education is the building block of successful countries.

It is essential that students learn, develop, and master skills that are required in a developing nation, the Minister of State said at the Department of Education’s National Technical Honor Society (NTHS), Bahamas Chapter 4999 Induction Ceremony at National Training Agency on Tuesday, May 23, 2023.

“Therefore, the Ministry of Education and Technical and Vocational Training is committed to developing the Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs to ensure that students are ready and able to meet the demand for skilled labor.  Effective CTE Programs bridge the gap between high school and the job market.”

He explained that CTE programs (combining academic and technical knowledge with practical workplace skills) ensure that students are also college ready by introducing them to the basics of their preferred career. 

The Scholarship Division has secured relationships with more than 45 international colleges and universities that have all committed to offering tuition waivers and discounts to any Bahamian student who has been accepted to attend.

The division also offers The National Technical Scholarship which is awarded to Bahamian students who wish to pursue a course in the technical and vocational field.

The Minister of State said the historic occasion being celebrated was yet another major step in the journey toward advancing career and technical education in The Bahamas.

He said, “The establishment of the Department of Education’s National Honor Society for Career and Technical Education will provide students with over $300,000 in scholarships annually, among other opportunities which will connect education and industry.

“I wish to congratulate the student and teacher honorees of this very first Career and Technical Education Honor Society Induction! Students, use this opportunity as a stepping stone to improve yourselves and your country.”

The Minister of State noted that the inclusion of “technical and vocational training” in the Ministry’s name is intentional. “We are committed to the advancement of career and technical education by focusing on The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) as the first option for Bahamian students to obtain applied learning and strategic workforce development.

“We are also committed to nationwide access to applied learning by establishing BTVI campuses on more islands. Most recently, myself and other officials from the Ministry of Education and Technical and Vocational Training and BTVI held a contract signing in Abaco to renovate the former Dundas Town Primary School to house the new BTVI campus. Eleuthera and Exuma are also expected to have fully operational BTVI campuses soon.”

The NTHS is an honour society dedicated to recognizing excellence in career and technical education.  The organization serves over 4,000 schools, including high schools, career tech centres, community colleges and private institutions.  The NTHS has chapters in all 50 States in the United States, Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and The Bahamas.

The induction ceremony included 190 students.  There are 18 schools participating including eight in the Family Islands and incorporates private and public schools.  The islands include: New Providence, Grand Bahama, Andros, Eleuthera and Exuma.

By LLONELLA GILBERT/Bahamas Information Services