UNESCO Team pleased with TVET Policy Progress

Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS) — A UNESCO team has reported that they are pleased with what has been accomplished with the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Policy.

The duo included Associate Evaluation Specialist Ekaterina Sediakina and Senior Consultant/Managing Partner Bert-Jan Buiskool.

During their recent visit to the Federation, they explained that UNESCO is doing an evaluation of organisations working under the TVET policy world-wide and has selected St. Kitts and Nevis as the country being looked at in the Caribbean.

“We were able to learn a lot during this mission,” said Ms. Sediakina. “We see that the development of this policy was a very big achievement. However, now comes the implementation which is of course the challenging part.”…We did see that overall everybody was quite happy with UNESCO’s intervention and that they found it to be very helpful and useful as it is a good blueprint for the way forward for the TVET system.”

Mr. Buiskool explained that it is essential that the policy be continuously reviewed and updated.

“I think that it’s important to have first of all a good analysis of the situation, that is, what’s going on in TVET given the importance of TVET and the importance for society to train people for the new skills needed for the labour market and to progress as an economy. …So by having a good insight into what’s happening, you can really develop your policies and focus your policies on the necessary areas to invest.”

The senior consultant further stated that it is vital to improve the skills of the working population to satisfy the needs of employers and also the future needs of the economic sector like the tourism industry as well as the construction and building sector, as there are many developments taking place.

In light of extensive investment in these sectors the Government of National Unity supports the view that it is in fact important to ensure that people have the right skills to do their jobs.

A few years prior, a policy review of Technical and Vocational Education and Training following a request by the Ministry of Education for UNESCO to lead the charge was accepted favourably by the organization.

Over a one year period, there were several missions to conduct the policy review which according to the team was actually “a stock taking” of the TVET system, the policies in place, the persons involved and the mechanisms used. This led to the process of developing of a new TVET policy for the country. A national drafting team worked together with the UNESCO experts to draft this policy. It was presented to the cabinet and was approved in December 2013.

Implementation of the policy is underway.

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