Belize City, 31st March – 4th April, 2014
The Ministry of Education has through the support of the European Union engaged the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) to provide Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQ). CVQ is the certification needed for free movement of artisans and other skilled workers throughout the Caribbean under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. CVQ represents a qualification that can be given to students graduating from the ITVETs and High Schools as well as to persons already in the workforce, for achieving a set of skills towards a trade such as electricity, plumbing, hospitality, etc. Belize, as a signatory member of the CSME, is expected to prepare its citizens for this free movement of labour.
To initiate the process, the EU is funding two CXC experts, who are visiting Belize from 31st March to 4th April, 2014. These experts will work alongside the staff of the Employment Training and Education Service of the Ministry of Education and to build capacity for the implementation of CVQs in Belize. During the visit, the CXC Officers will visit ITVETs and Technical Secondary Schools in the Banana Belt to obtain firsthand information of existing infrastructure, systems, processes, and human resources that can contribute to preparing students for CVQs They will also hold separate consultations with TVET administrators and instructors from all districts in Belize to further enhance their knowledge of the existing system and to identify gaps that need to be addressed.
At the end of the visit, it is anticipated that the Ministry of Education will establish a road map for the full implementation of CVQs with the assistance of the CXC officers and initiate activities to enable students to receive CVQ certification from CXC.
The European Union (EU) has allocated EUR 720,886 (approximately BZD 1,946,000) to the Government of Belize under the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) 2012 Programme to support activities leading to improving access to quality and relevant Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the Stann Creek and northern Toledo districts – the Banana Belt. These activities will foster the social and economic development of the Banana Belt particularly through support for education. The major activities to be undertaken under the education component of BAM 2012 include the alignment of the national TVET curricula with regional occupational standards, the upgrading of TVET curricula, the introduction of the Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQ) in ITVETs and Technical High Schools and the implementation of a communication strategy to rebrand TVET as an attractive career option. It is envisioned that all these activities should lead to the full implementation of the CVQs in Belize. In addition, these activities will contribute significantly to the achievement of the TVET related goals as expressed in the Belize Education Sector Strategy.