“The same energy that you would exert for your own progress and your growth, that same energy must also be applied to the children of this nation if you are going to be effective, and if you are going to be a leader who will make any sort of sense.”
This was the informed assertion of Chief Education Officer, Mr. Marcel Hutson, as he addressed a gathering of senior educators who are currently engaged in a five-day Technical, Vocational Education and Training [TVET] Leadership Retreat being held at the Lake Mainstay Resort.
Even as he stressed the need to have a standardised delivery of education, Hutson said that a TVET institution in New Amsterdam, for instance, must be equivalent to what happens at the Government Technical Institute or any other technical institutions across the country.
This is imperative, Hutson said, “because we are all receiving the same training and we have people of the same status, and therefore there must be no disparity or gap because of leadership; people must step up to the plate and deliver.”
A move in this direction, the CEO emphasised is imperative if the education system is to move forward. Crucial to this forward movement, Hutson said too, is planning, which he assured is directly linked to results that will be realised.
“There are people who don’t want to plan and believe that something good is going to happen. How can you arrive at progress, development without a plan? You have to have a plan,” Hutson noted.
He added, “A plan is critical in moving a process or system forward and so what we want to see happening in the school system, we want to see in the technical and vocational system, more planning and more organising.”
Hutson also highlighted the need for evaluation and by extension ascertaining, “Where have we come from? Where are we going to go? What do we want to achieve in this year? What percentage we want to see pass in our schools or what quality of students we want to produce?”
According to the CEO, there have been reports that at some technical institutes, “people just saunter along and they are not impacting. These things must change if we are going to achieve the agenda.”
Even as moves are being made to introduce an oil and gas sector, Hutson stressed, “we don’t want to have to be importing brains, we have brains here, we have very bright people, but what I am saying, what is missing is the commitment and the dedication to a very good cause.”
It is for this very reason, Hutson underscored that technical and vocational educators are critical to the development of any society. In vocalising the important role of technical educators in the system, the CEO added, “I really want to see us beginning to gel as a team and move this system forward. I think it is possible.”
“We must look at our values, attitudes and policies, because technical and vocational education offers some distinct advantages to the society,” said Hutson, as he spoke of the need to adapt the changes that will cater to a developing knowledge-based society.