Georgetown, GINA, July 26, 2016
Public and private sector stakeholders today engaged in consultation on institutional strengthening of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). The discussion at the consultation centered on sourcing sustainable financing for TVET.
The consultations for strengthening institutions that deliver TVET are made possible through collaboration between the Government of Guyana, and the European Union through the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
Today’s consultation was held at Regency Suites, Hadfield Street where Consultant John Seeram noted that adequate financing has been affecting the delivery of TVET.
Seeram pointed out that there is a need to find additional sourcing since money allocated from the National Budget is not sufficient. “Inadequate allocations for recurrent and capital expenditure have resulted in creating a financing gap,” Seeram stated.
One area that was highlighted that would require financing is staff development. According to Seeram, lecturers of the TVET programme need to be properly trained.
“You cannot want one to be delivering their lectures every day and not give them the opportunity to develop themselves, so money has to be spent on staff development,” Seeram asserted.
One suggestion that was made by Seeram to source funds is to have the public and private sector start making small contributions via a levy. However this idea was shut down by the stakeholders who noted that having a levy would cause some amount of problems.
Tallim Karimullah, a stakeholder at the meeting, pointed out that “levy is something that works if the entire population is benefitting. For example if you have levy on payroll taxes to have free health care services, it would work.”
Another suggestion was to have the students pay a small fee for undertaking studies. Hugh Griffith a stakeholder representing Machinery Corporation (MACORP) said that if students pay, they would also value the education being received.
Griffith explained that “we want to have a system that is in place to facilitate some loan or something that will enable them to have the education, but they would be responsible for the education… with that, they would value the training that they receive.”
Diana John-Baptiste who represents Guyana Gold Mines Ltd, pointed out that one way of sourcing finance is letting people know how TVET is doing. She posited that if people are more aware, they would be more inclined to invest.
“Where is social media? Where are the TVET youth ambassadors saying this is what TVET does, this is what we are out here doing?” John-Baptiste cited.
The next consultation meeting is scheduled to take place in approximately three weeks.
TVET is currently being offered at 14 registered training institutions countrywide. For the year 2015, 467 youths have graduated from TVET institutions while for the year 2016, 345 have thus far graduated.