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Education minister: Stop disrespecting technical and vocational training

Dellrene Thompson and Katusha McIntosh named BTVI top graduating students; Anthony Ramtulla wins Faculty Excellence Award
  • A happy Dellrene Thompson, right, accepts her $500 Graduate of Excellence Award as the top New Providence Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute graduate, from Johnny Ingle, chief ALIV champion, during BTVI’s commencement services held at the Melia Nassau Beach resort. Thompson was the top among 210 graduates. PHOTOS: SHANTIQUE LONGLEY

  • Minister of Education, Science and Technology Jeffrey Lloyd, left, presents a Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute graduate with her certificate.

Published: May 29, 2017

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New Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd did not mince words regarding his views on technical vocational education and training (TVET), which he said serves as the core discipline in the efficiency of any society.

“Stop disrespecting technical and vocational education and training,” said Lloyd at the recent Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute’s (BTVI) recent commencement exercise held at the Melia Nassau Beach resort.

“One ambition of mine is to help us raise the esteem that technical vocational education and training has in our society. There is genius in every vocation," he stated.

Lloyd, who himself completed a certificate in carpentry at the institution, said he has the utmost respect for BTVI. He said any society would come to a halt without a copious cohort of technicians, and that it is the intention of the government to increase investment in TVET.

BTVI’s New Providence campus graduated 210 students from various trades, including auto mechanics, carpentry, electrical installation, fashion, business office technology and heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).

The education minister said that as the economy further develops, the labor market is becoming even more specialized, and, as a result, there is an increased demand for employees with specific skills training.

“Many of you graduates will soon be called upon to fill some of these needs and I am sure that your training at BTVI has provided you with confidence, expertise and overall preparedness,” said Lloyd.

With that, Lloyd said it is the government’s intention to increase investment in TVET in high schools in the near future.

“When that comes into existence, it is my hope that eventually students entering BTVI would already possess enough of the basics in their technical areas from the high school and middle school, so by the time they come to BTVI, they come to master those skills,” said Lloyd.

BTVI President Dr. Robert W. Robertson said during his address that the institution is preparing the next generation of innovators.

“This falls in line with the thrust to bolster human capital outcomes. A skilled workforce supports economic growth and a better quality of life for our people. Hence, BTVI is key to providing skilled labor. Class of 2017, your skills are critical to the development of the Bahamian economy,” said Dr. Robertson.

Fulbright scholar and entrepreneur Dr. James (Jim) Dever from Florida State University lauded BTVI for experiential learning, which he said is the purest form of education.

Dr. Dever encouraged the graduates to fine-tune their skill sets by making learning a lifelong pursuit and to consider opening their own businesses.

“Set yourselves apart, and please use your talents. You have proven you have the brains. Find your competitive edge, but never chase money. With success comes money,” he said.

The New Providence and Grand Bahama commencement ceremonies were powered by Aliv. Aliv recently entered into a three-year, $30,000 partnership with BTVI that will assist with the school’s commencement exercises into 2019.

Aliv provided $10,000 for this month’s graduation exercises on New Providence and Grand Bahama, as well as graduate of excellence cash awards for the top students on both islands. The awardee for New Providence was fashion student Dellrene Thompson and on Grand Bahama, office assistant student Katushka McIntosh, both of whom were awarded $500.

The Faculty Excellence Award went to Anthony Ramtulla.



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