CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION SECTION
ABOUT THE CTE SECTION
As global trends change, there has been an increased focus on career & Technical Education (CTE), with a vision to increase entrepreneurship, technical competence, national development, economic expansion, and sustainability. The Bahamas is no different! We have come to appreciate more, the relevance and level of expertise required in the CTE areas of study. This has resulted in programme expansion in our schools and increased diversified professional development for our educators. Trends have mandated a shift from teacher-centered, theoretical approaches in learning to student-centered, practical and discovery based environments, which harness the interests and skill sets of our diverse student population. We operate with the mandate to ‘Understand the Whole Picture and Imaging The Finished Results'.
As teachers are exposed, similarly are the students within CTE. In an effort to showcase the collective effort s of teachers and students, The National CTE Exhibition & College Fair has facilitated annually during CTE Month, which falls in February. In addition to showcasing the talents, training and expertise resident in CTE, industry professionals and colleges our students to align their interests and abilities with Corporate Bahamas and/or local/international tertiary institutions.
As we continuously sought creative and relevant opportunities for student development prior to the Job Readiness component of the Bahamas High School Diploma (BHSD), CTE students were exposed during the month of January, to annual two-day industry training, tagged Workforce Readiness Bootcamp. The event is held in partnership with The College of The Bahamas and The Hotel & Tourism Association. These annual activities attractive and exposed thousands of public and independent school students over the years, seeking to address interpersonal, deportment and communication skills for potential employees.
Business students have been engaged in various training seminars and workshops, seeking to afford them the opportunity to apply academics learned daily. They have participated in Business Bowl, a partnership with Berkley University Graduate students that challenge students in a marketing/advertising capacity. This initiative expanded and led to challenges in the areas of Accounting, Commerce, and Economics where we have been able to engage professional partners who are asked to mentor students and provide hands –on training and exposure to compliment our programme offerings. Local accounting firms like KPMG, Copper's & Lightbourne, the Financial Services and Accounting Associations, in addition to entrepreneurs and local businesses here all partnered to ensure exposure for both teachers and students.
Students in our Family and Consumer Science Education (FCSE) Unit are challenged consistently to demonstrate mastery in their respective crafts. The year 2016 saw the 24th edition of the young Chief Competition, in partnership with Mahatma Rice and Robin Hood Flour, where culinary genius is on display by both junior and senior students. In preparation for this awesome display of art and skill, students are engaged in a KNIFE Skills Workshop, where they are provided an opportunity to refine their skills, under the guidance of education and industry professionals.
Students are afforded to industry standard training in Food Preparation, Clothing Construction, Hospitality & Tourism, as well as Cosmetology. The work of students in these areas demonstrate capacity from fundamental to mastery, for which students are able to earn international and regional certifications.
Students engaged in our Technical Studies programmes are challenged in the Building and Mechanical Trades, with a view to maximizing industry exposure, as we prepare them for professional certifications. In addition to academic qualifications, our instructors are ninety percent (90%) OSHA Certified, affording them the opportunity to provide standard training for our students. The Pre-Engineering Build-A-Bridge initiative has gained much positive review from respective industries, as professionals, judge the work of our budding engineers.
Overall in CTE, there are cadres of academically and professionally certified instructors, providing guidance to our next generation of CTE experts. Professional Development exposure is geared to both teachers and students alike, for which we engage community partners and stakeholders to ensure that our standard are high and objective relevant.
We have seen CTE students celebrate for outstanding performance at both the BJC and BGCSE levels, as well as partners where students have been offered internships, Tertiary partners form within The Bahamas, the Caribbean Region and United States have provided scholarships to our students annually, because of the level of excellence they continue to demonstrate. We have piloted numerous programmes in the area which has seen students compete in multifaceted competitions demonstrating, with confidence, their skills.
Some or our programmes have been accelerated, seeing students compete external exams in year one (1) of the senior high school programme. This has allowed them to participate in The College of The Bahamas Dual enrollment programme in year three (3),nearing college credits while in high school.