Jamaica to host conference on STEM, TVET

THE second International Con-ference on TVET in the Caribbean will be held May 13-15, 2015 at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

An international panel of presenters will explore the theme “STEM Education in TVET: Imperative to National and Regional Development”.

The conference is being hosted by the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona School of Education in collaboration with the UNESCO Kingston cluster office for the Caribbean; the Caribbean Association of National Training Authorities (CANTA); the Ministry of Education in Jamaica; the HEART Trust/NTA; and the University of Technology Jamaica.

Dr Disraeli Hutton, chairman of the conference planning committee, said that the general objective of the conference is to establish a platform for re-engineering the traditional education process, and strengthen academic discourse as it relates to the implications of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). He added that the conference “offers an opportunity to bring together stakeholders from different countries to interact about the prospects, issues and challenges based on informed findings and will showcase currency in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, while addressing regional policies for the mainstreaming of TVET.”

Dr Wayne Wesley, Chairman of CANTA and Executive Director of HEART Trust/NTA, said that the conference is timely, as the “region strengthens the mechanisms for the development of a competent workforce and promoting the movement of certified skilled labour through the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) framework.”

He stated that the economic development of regional economies is hinged on the availability of skilled human resources.

Dr Wesley pointed out that TVET, through its real-world applications, is the ideal vehicle through which the STEM discipline can be delivered.

Conference participants will include local, regional and international officials of critical ministries, agencies of governments and private sector entities. Participants will also include TVET practitioners at various levels of the formal, non-formal and tertiary systems, as well as at the level of universities. National parenting bodies, graduate students and young people from all Caribbean Community member states and the international arena will also be in attendance.

Presentations will be made on the following topics:

* Mainstreaming TVET in the education system

* Transforming TVET through STEM integration

* TVET and industry engagement

* Stimulating innovation through TVET

* TVET: the application of STEM for economic development

* STEM-focused TVET for sustainable development

* TVET and quality assurance

* Effective leadership and management in TVET including financial management.

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