Regional Guidelines for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)Institutions and Implementation of Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQ) in the Caribbean during COVID-19

Since March 2020, the delivery of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and the teaching, learning and assessment of the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) have been impacted in various forms across CARICOM Member States; in schools, TVET institutions, enterprises and other training modalities, with some skill areas more affected than others. Whereas guidelines have been developed for general education, few countries have specifically targeted the TVET sector. Indeed, a UNESCO-UNEVOC Survey conducted in May 2020 reported that none of the over 60 countries that participated in that survey had developed special guidelines for the health and safety of trainees (learners, students) and teachers/instructors in TVET, although most of the countries reported following local Governmental and WHO guidelines on protective measures. A void, therefore, exists for guidelines for the TVET sub-sector. The Caribbean Association of National Training Authorities (CANTA), as the CARICOM organisation responsible for the coordination of TVET in CARICOM states, highlighted the need for the development of such guidelines as being critical for the reopening of TVET institutions, especially for learners pursuing the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) programmes. Guidelines were required for:

(a) The safe operation of classrooms, labs and workshops (labs, workshops and other similar facilities would be particularly challenging because of the many tools, equipment, machinery and material surfaces that are touched by multiple persons during training delivery)

(b) Valid CVQ Assessment and Verification Guidelines within a safe environment

The Regional Guidelines for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Institutions and Implementation of Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQ) in the Caribbean during COVID-19 has been informed by the ‘Framework for the Reopening of Schools in the Caribbean, including Schools for Learners with Special Education Needs’ (CDB/CARICOM/UNESCO IIEP 2020) and the CANTA Quality Assurance Criteria and Guidelines (2015). The guidelines have been developed out of a collaboration between CANTA, the CARICOM Secretariat and Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The final version was revised through an engagement with TVET institutions and stakeholders in CARICOM States, representatives of the Education Management Development Unit (EDMU) of the OECS Commission and development partners including UNESCO/UNEVOC and the International Labour Organization.

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