Educator wants more emphasis on technical and vocational training

One of the island’s educators has said that Barbadians have bastardized technical and vocational education and lionised their academic counterparts.

Dr Ian Marshall levelled this charge at policymakers on Thursday night while delivering the Samuel Jackman Prescod Memorial Lecture at the recently renamed Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology, Wildey, St Michael.

Distancing himself from that idea, Marshall said: “I understand, but do not agree with the thinking of that time (!969) which was those who are ‘more capable’ should leave Tech-Voch education for those who are less ‘capable’. That written or unwritten policy, whether wittingly or unwittingly, established a cancerous culture of Academics versus Tech-Voch that seemed to infect the students, the tutors, the administrators, and the general population, such that when the question of a merger with the University College of Barbados was mooted there was a deafening outcry that hotly declared that the SJPP is not an academic institution, they are Tech-Voch.”

Marshall reminded his audience that this outcry came at a time when the institution was headed by someone who had a PhD from City and Guilds, London, in the person of Dr George Callender.

“I want to suggest that this dichotomous mode of thinking must be eradicated from the narrative that seeks to reconceptualise Tech-Voch education and training,” he said.

Marshall said we have come full circle with world skills competitions clearly demonstrating that technical and vocational education is certainly not reserved for those with lesser academic ability, adding that technical and vocational education is a billion-dollar industry with the potential to leverage economic growth which is badly needed in our Caribbean economies.

He said Barbados has achieved education for all, contending that it is now time to focus on the provision of quality technical and vocational education.

“The new thrust must be quality and not quantity or expediency. Attention must be paid to graduation rates and tracer studies that follow students in their fields of endeavour after graduation, this information could be used to inform the nature and structure of future course offerings,” Marshall said.

8 Responses to Educator wants more emphasis on technical and vocational training

  1. F.A.Rudder October 21, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Well said !! without Tech-Voch education Boeing, Rolls Royce, MBB, NASA, and companies too many to mention would be sitting at the stand-pipe and micro waving would be a dream.

  2. jennifer October 21, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Academic idiots/slaves. Push entreprenureship with the tech and voch too. Don’t push it for the students to go into SERVITUDE after. And put BLACK history before slavery up in dey too. Start with Cain and Abel – Esau and yacob. Long time so. Wanna may be too late though. The tide turning and the water sloshing, by the water bearer carrying the pitcher.

  3. luther thorne October 21, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Well said my friend
    Something must be done about the lies that are being told about everything in this country. The myths, the stereotyping, the high pricing of items which is also a lie and trickery, the lie that I am more important than you so I should be paid 50 times mote than you so that I can buy bigger house, pretty car , drink big-mout drinks and entertain friends. The lie that I am more important than you facilitates the myth that Tech-Voch is not as important as the other. It gives the Conservative people their reasons for not supporting the Zoning of schools for example, which would eliminate the massive dependency on the Transport system to criss croos students all over the island. This is one example but the bias against Tech Voch which is rooted in classism Racicsm, Racial Discrimination, Social stratification based on Race and ethnicity and might I add – Ignorance along with such unsavoury things as one -upmanship and elitism coupled with fraternal links buttressed by the Old School Tie, is real and needs to be gone.

    • jennifer October 21, 2017 at 3:41 pm

      OK luther. Mind you I do not even see why racial should come in. But it will come in because some proud academic leaders did not seek to correct this self hate syndrome which radiated from slavery. They pushed PRIDE and NO industry amongst this people. Among a whole host of other wickedness and bewitching devices.

  4. jennifer October 21, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    This whole academic Bs got me baffled. How can a people come out of a slave trade and found themselves sucked back into such great servidude for continued pittance. Oh I know! It was dah old money and advancement. Grantley of himself had issues. But if only I could talk to these national hero’s EWB, JMGM Adams, etc on this issue. And as far as I am concerned all of them is the same set of rosetta stones.

  5. hcalndre October 22, 2017 at 1:13 am

    I commented that UWI only seems to put out a bunch of lawyers every year, as many as 50 attorneys were admitted to the bar a couple weeks ago and if those numbers were in the technical field, that would have been great. I visited the Court on White Park Rd. some years ago and saw about 3 dozen lawyers in their black and white like penguins on one floor just awaiting a call from some poor person, how many big cases can they get to make enough to prevent them from being dishonest to their clients? Too many of them so they have to turn to politics and if they are lucky to be elected, that`s when they make sure that they have it made.

  6. Epaphras D. Williams
    Epaphras D. Williams October 22, 2017 at 4:21 am

    Nobody is versus anybody in reality; If I want my hair cut I don’t walk into a doctor’s office and if the doc wants a nice do he/she better get in the barber’s or hairdresser’s chair. If I want legal representation do I go to someone who doesn’t understand the system? Attorneys are cheap as hell but they’ll still pay a pool-man rather than clean the pool themselves.
    Listen, nothing should ever come down to money or job description as a determinant of worth. It’s skill, it’s class, it’s efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of your work, it’s making customer or client so happy that you are boosted by word of mouth alone. It’s about turning in at the end of the day with clean hands and a clear conscience.

  7. Sheron Inniss October 22, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    Well said.

    I see conventional doctors becoming a thing of the past when more persons accept the truth “you are what you eat”.

    As for the lawyers – steupse. The politicians – steupse.

    Creativity is what’s ruling the world and used the right way a lot of jobs will become obsolete. However, music, the arts and inventions will always thrive. Tourism probably will too as the need to explore is human.

    I believe the “tide has already turned”.


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