DSC president, ECCB Governor highlight importance of technical education

DSC president, Dr. Donald Peters speaks at TVET certificate ceremony

Technical education is the future of our country.

President of the Dominica State College (DSC), Dr. Donald Peters has said that he strongly believes that.

Speaking at a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Skills and Best Practices in Construction for small contractors and suppliers’ certificate ceremony,  Dr. Peters encouraged children and adults to be involved in technical education.

Peters said the first step in building a nation is to get people to acquire skills that can help in nation-building.

“The second step is after they have done that, send them to the Dominica State College…and the third step is to teach them how to make good decisions, make a lot of money and put out a lot of good work which is what this programme was all about,” he added.

“Always do things the right way,” Peters advised the participants of the TVET training programme. “Do not cut corners when the customer gives you his money to fix his house. That is important.”

ECCB Director General, Timothy Antoine

Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Timothy Antoine, like Dr. Peters, recently highlighted the significance of technical education when he called for greater emphasis to be placed on skills training in schools.

In an interview after the release of the 2019 CSEC results, Antoine expressed his concern that the focus on formal education at the expense of skills training, will continue to negatively impact the regional economy.

“I am deeply concerned about our obsession with subjects rather than skills. I find it difficult to accept that we could go on and on for bragging rights about who gets the most subjects in our schools, and not worry about how we are connecting with the labour market, and what these children are going to do… when they finish school, because what I see before me is rising unemployment, especially amongst our youth,” he stated. “In many of our countries, the youth unemployment rate is double the national average.”

The Governor advised that educational resources must be properly channeled in order to provide youth with the right skills required for the modern environment.

“When you look at the skills required for the twenty-first century, they’re skills in the area of emotional intelligence—the soft ones. Then there is coding, and there is cognitive reasoning, and those are not skills that are being sufficiently addressed in our school system,” he explained. “And what is bothersome is that not only are we setting up our children for frustration, but then when you look at the region, the average spent on education is actually above the average in developing countries, but the issue is really where are we channeling those resources— the quality of the expenditure.”

Antoine noted that in order for the development of the region, we must first “change the dynamic in respect to skills” by taking an inter-disciplinary approach.

“… To discuss the whole evolution of skills in our region, at this time, in our school system, it has to be a discussion that goes beyond education. It has to involve economists, it has to involve private sector, it has to involve civil society, and ultimately, obviously, it has to involve our youth…” he said. “And the truth is, more than just teaching or training for twenty-first century skills, is a mindset that… requires us to have that agility where we continue to re-skill.”

He called for the youth to “keep skilling and re-skilling” by making a “commitment to lifelong learning.”

TVET trainees at certificate ceremony

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  1. Joseph John
    September 18, 2019

    Maybe I am wrong, but it seems to me that our education system is still oriented towards the 3 R’s that prepares students for office type work or clerks in the retail sector.
    Are we preparing our students to exploit our natural resources ?
    Are we preparing them to form companies and corporations ?
    Are we motivating them towards activities that will promote import substitution and export ?
    When we speak of tech ed we tend to think of information technology, but it should embrace “making things.” Things that we consume.
    The focus must be on job creation otherwise upon graduation students will remain idle. This will encourage all kinds of social problems.

  2. winston warrington
    September 17, 2019

    First let me say to FET that he has the wrong Mr Peters in mind.
    Dominica needs both trade school and technical schools: but it appears that we classify both as technical, and that is true to an extent but not precise.
    Trade or vocational schools could provide basic skills that prepare the young for apprenticeships upon graduation from hghschool.Technicians begin training after high school in an institute to specialize in an area of high skill and is prepared to participate in the workforce upon graduation.

  3. Joseph John
    September 16, 2019

    I cant understand why technical and academic education have to be two separate elements of education.
    There are two countries that advanced tremendously after ww2 because they were able to bundle/cluster art, science, academic, physical and technical education from first grade to high school. Then they specialized in technical, scientific and academic from graduate to post graduate.
    These countries also sent their smartest kids to other developed countries to study in every field and return home to contribute to the development of their native land. Advancement was base on the meritorious system in a collective cultural dynamics. This is one model worth following.
    An other model can be the technical assistance aspect. We can obtain technical assistance from developed countries in the high tech field for the transfer of tech competence. Many countries will provide paid human resources, equipment, tools and transport . Local counterparts are provided.

  4. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    September 16, 2019

    When I was a young boy walking without shoe, going to Marigot; Peters was and old adult.
    I am now an aged man: Peters is an old man who should be retired, an old backward-minded man should not be a dog catcher president never mind president of a junior college!

    “Technical education is the future of our country” (Peters).
    Sounds good to him; however that is a stupid comment coming from the mouth of that old man!
    Note: technical education; is the academic and vocational preparation of students for jobs involving applied science and modern technology. Technical education emphasizes the understanding and practical application of basic principles of science and mathematics, rather than the attainment of proficiency in manual skills. If we have a college in the country, the curriculum by now should exceed that of elementary, and secondary school. Shouldn’t the curriculum involve modern advance math, and science? Peters you need to clear the way and go home, leave the college to…

  5. Roger Burnett
    September 16, 2019

    Dr Peters said:
    “The first step in building a nation is to get people to acquire skills that can help in nation building. The second step is after they have done that, send them to the Dominica State College…and the third step is to teach them how to make good decisions, make a lot of money and put out a lot of good work which is what this programme was all about.”

    I am having difficulty in following the logical progression of this statement, in that Dr. Peters omits the means of acquiring a skill in the first instance.

    The skills that we urgently need cannot be taught in a classroom. The best resource for developing hands-skills is the traditional apprenticeship. Sadly these apprenticeships are becoming a thing of the past because most of the master craftsmen able to take on apprentices are now in the next world.

    And bare in mind: a fully fledged apprenticeship takes six years and then some. It cannot be done in six weeks.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      September 16, 2019

      “I am having difficulty in following the logical progression of this statement, in that Dr. Peters omits the means of acquiring a skill in the first instance.”

      You will never be able to find any logic in anything people like Peters have to say since that man is all about politics.

      Political puppets like him will say anything to impress a non-academia like Roosevelt Skerrit to keep his job.

      No matter how educated we may be, there comes a time when we cannot function efficiently using brain power, hence we have to bow out gracefully.

      That guy is probably 85-87 if he is the man I know; at that age he should not be president of the State college, that job belongs to a younger person even in their late 50’s.

      What is the purpose of having a college at any level if you are not teaching mathematical, and other science?

      I have Bs in both electrical and electronic engineering, all my prerequisites were taken in junior college.

  6. Just a thought
    September 16, 2019

    What would go a long way towards ensuring student interest in being certified in Technical education is International Recognition of the certificate awarded to graduates of these programs. If a Dominican student with this certificate were to present it to a carpentry firm or a construction firm in countries such as The united stats or Canada or Great Britain, would it be recognized or would they have to go through the same certification training again? These countries have a standard that they keep and it would be a shame and very discouraging for our people if we were to have to (what essentially comes back to being a waste of time) go back to school simply because our accreditation from Dominica wont be worth the paper it is printed on outside of the island.

  7. Dr Clayton Shillingford
    September 16, 2019

    If technical education is critical for national development what is the Ministry of Education et al doing to school curricula to address that issue

    • Joseph John
      September 16, 2019

      Well you were a teacher and a sports master and the manager. You are a started apostgraduate with a Phd. Maybe you should have, or can, start a volunteer project to help instead of japing and complaining. DO SOMTHING and start talking. Do better then your friend who told us to cut down bananas and plant pepper.
      You and all your educated friends forgot that people are educated to do, to contribute besides talking. you all seem to be taking you cue from the uneducated 5th graders of the uwp. Its like the tail wagging the dog.

  8. CXC advocate
    September 16, 2019

    I am not 💯 percent in agreement with the two esteemed gentlemen. Both area (academic & technical) are important and should complement each other.

    If we concentrate solely on technical education, where will we get the academia needed to lecture in those various fields and and also those needed to fill the various roles where their skills are needed?

    Conversely, if we’re to concentrate solely on academic subjects, where will we find the technically trained personnel that are needed in these areas.

    Thus, both areas are important.

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