Competency Based Education and Training (CBET) is a modern concept practised by industries and educators in the developed world, and more so the United States since the sixties. It is the concept adopted by all Caricom member states in an effort to standardise education and training throughout the region. It is anticipated that this standardisation will enable the free movement of labour throughout the Caribbean and consolidate efforts toward the Caribbean Single Market Economy (CSME). Guyana is a signatory to this standardisation.
The current system in place allows individuals to acquire certificates for the knowledge gained in a program. Quite often the certificate holders are incompetent to perform tasks in the program. CBET is modularized and the individual is tested for knowledge gained and each competency of the program and is imbued with the attitudes that meet occupational standards for each module. When all the modules of that program are satisfactorily completed then a certificate is awarded.
Individualised training focuses on knowledge, competence and attitudes through Levels 1 to 5. The individual learns at his/her own pace either by him/her; in small groups or in large groups.
It requires the institution offering the new certificate, Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) to meet the certain minimum requirement and to withstand audits to ensure the standards are current; in short, the institution must be accredited and continually evaluated by the governing agency overseeing CVQ.
The competency infrastructure of GTC-PM is in a very good stead to meet the minimum accreditation criteria in many areas. It requires us to acquire certain specifics which are manageable. However, our Resource Centre (classrooms, libraries and teaching aids) has to be reorganised and upgraded. Our approach to discipline gives us a very good foundation for developing the required attitudes.
The Levels 1 to 5 are seamless and provide those with abilities to advance through the levels from a craft equivalent to a degree equivalent.
In 1957, Bookers Sugar Estates established an apprentice training facility, the Port Mourant Apprentice Training Centre (PMTC), to provide young Guyanese with greater opportunity to equip themselves with technical skills. This centre is fully equipped with lecture and residential facilities and practical workshops. Since 1957, the numbers attending training have grown steadily and to date over 2,500 young persons have been trained at PMTC. The scheme apprenticeship is recognised as the best in Guyana with the majority of graduates progressing into skilled and supervisory positions in GuySuCo after a period of consolidation in their jobs on completion of apprenticeship. Technical disciplines include Industrial Electrical Installation, Engineering Fitting & Machining, Factory Process instrumentation, Heavy & Light Automotive Engineering, Automotive Electrical Engineering, Factory Process Sugar Boiling and Instrumentation training for the new Skeldon factory.