High school technical teachers were on Thursday urged to ensure they are knowledgeable of the latest advances in their fields of study.
This advice came from the Dean of Construction Trades at The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI), Alexander Darville, while speaking to public school technical teachers during a professional development workshop.
“You cannot rely on the ministry to do everything. As instructors, you should be on the cutting edge of what’s happening out there,” urged Mr. Darville, who spoke on BTVI’s role in preparing students for construction and technical trades, student pre-requisite standards and program readiness.
“Instructors must be trained. If an instructor can’t use an air gun because he likes a hammer, we’re not preparing students for industry. Are you preparing students for exams or for the world of work?” he questioned during the workshop held at C. C. Sweeting Senior High.
The workshop’s theme was, ‘Designing pathways to the future – Establishing standards at each level.’ Teachers represented government schools which offer the following disciplines: Electrical Installation; Carpentry; Drafting/Autocad; Plumbing; Electronics; Auto Mechanics; Auto Body Repair, and Air-condition and Refrigeration.
Additionally, Mr. Darville expressed the need for there to be an alignment between high schools and BTVI. “All the subject -matter experts need to bridge the gap. It is far over due to have a relationship with BTVI,” he said.
Supporting these sentiments was the Ministry of Education’s Senior Education Officer for Technical Studies, Trevor Ferguson.
“I agree with you 100% that it is far past time to forge a relationship. BTVI is our premier technical and vocational institution and we are the nursery for the training. We need the relationship to take our students to the next level,” acknowledged Mr. Ferguson.
Furthermore, during his recommendations, Mr. Darville suggested that all technical instructors should complete the international 10-hour Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) certification. He added that as subject-experts, they should also sit to the table when planning the curriculum, a suggestion that resulted in an eruption of applause from the teachers.
The workshop was the opportunity to strategically plan, coordinate and implement efforts for the benefit of the present and future generations of technical workers and Mr. Darville noted that at BTVI, the goal is to empower students to not only prepare for the world of work, but become entrepreneurs.
The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute
Caption: PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT – BTVI’s Dean of Construction Trades, Alexander Darville, is shown speaking to public school technical teachers during a professional development workshop.