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Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) has signalled a new era in the assessment of technical and vocational subjects in the Caribbean. This qualification is grounded in a competency-based approach to training, assessment and certification.
Currently, all secondary schools are offering both academic and technical tracks. In fact, some schools are now embracing the notion of dual certification where students follow parallel tracks. In this regard, Erdiston Teachers’ Training College has started to train its academic staff in Competency Based Education to support the delivery and assessment of technical education. A key objective of this approach would be to promote the growth of technical and vocational education and training in order to enhance the competitive position of Barbados.
Another way in which the College is seeking to align its programmes with the educational needs of the society is to broaden and increase its offerings in the Continuing Education Programme to provide education opportunities to the wider cross section of persons in order to foster the holistic development of citizens.
Additionally, we have started to develop the infrastructure of the College to create a state-of-the-art campus that will provide facilities for distance education, meetings, conferences and seminars for the local, regional and international community. More importantly, the College is preparing to become a centre for literacy, numeracy and psychological testing and diagnostic services for students to support the work
Therefore, the College has seen the importance of utilising technology more pervasively in the assessment of teachers. For example, during Teaching Practice Supervision, teachers can videotape their own lessons and upload them along with their reflections to their supervisors. Additionally, best practices can be streamed for viewing by other student teachers. Moreover, the use of online testing will be incorporated as a way of saving time and giving students immediate feedback.
Mr Bentley, who was the second principal of Erdiston College (19601963) said, “Vision and determination are two fundamentals of the training college course. And a teaching profession that has neither greatness of vision nor strength of determination will wither and die no matter what its conditions of service” (Bentley, 1961). We give you our promise that Erdiston Teachers’ Training College will not wither and die because it has a vision and the strength of determination to bring that vision to fruition.
We are redoubling our efforts to ensure that the education we provide as we look toward the future is appropriate for the emerging needs within a global economy and is relevant to the social realities of our people. Strengthening teacher education is at the core of quality teaching and learning. That is the kind of quality education which this noble institution will herald over the next 70 years and beyond as it seeks to sustain our people and our country in the future.