Skills training programme for secondary students launched
Six schools chosen for pilot
Stabroek News
January 30, 2004

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The Ministry of Education yesterday launched an alternative to the Caribbean Secondary Education Certifi-cate, which will offer students technical skills.

The Basic Competency Certificate Programme (BCCP) is being piloted in six secondary schools and four practical instruction centres (PIC) in five regions in Guyana.

The BCCP is being implemented in the secondary school curriculum and will serve as an alternative pathway for continuing education, further training and the world of work.

Education Minister, Dr Henry Jeffrey said during his feature address that the success of the BCCP depends heavily on the level of financing put into crafting the programme, adding that some 17% of the budget is to be allocated to the education sector.

He said with the BCCP no child will leave the school system without the capacity for work.

The minister said legislation to deal with setting up a technical and vocational education council was earmarked for Parliament next month.

Chief Education Officer, Ed Caesar, remarked that the structure of the BCCP gave young people the opportunity to choose from a range of courses to better prepare for employment. He pointed out that the programme is an opening for students to be more rounded.

Caesar urged teachers to be good facilitators, adding that students must attain a universal secondary education of a high quality.

"An education system that prepares young people only for careers limited to skills and knowledge, acquired from what can be referred to as traditional education, is not giving full consideration to the varying needs and capacities of our young people", Caesar said in the BCCP foreword.

The BCCP aims at exposing students to a modernised career education programme with emphasis on supervised work experience, developing students' problem solving and creative thinking skills through project work, developing technical competencies and enhancing functional literacy.

Teachers in the programme will maintain a record of students' progress throughout the course in the Student Record of Achievement (SRA), checklists, rating scales and external moderation will also be used to assess students.

Pilot schools are St John's Community High School in Region Three (Essequibo Islands/West Demerara), Lodge Community High School in Georgetown, Beterverwagting Community High School in Region Four (Demerara/Mahaica), Fort Wellington Secondary in Region Five (Mahaica/Berbice), Manchester Secondary in Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne) and the Linden Foundation Secondary in Region Ten (Upper Demerara/Upper Berbice). The PICs are Fellowship in Region Three, D'Urban Backlands in Georgetown, Beterverwagting in Region Four and Hopetown in Region Five.