The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) on Thursday past, held a special Information, Recognition and Appreciation Luncheon for a number of craft instructors, as well as stakeholders who have and continue to play an intricate role in the institution's programs.
According to BTVI’s Associate Vice President, Freeport Campus, Veronica Collie, it was important to highlight and recognize such persons and corporate entities for having the confidence in BTVI and its various initiatives.
“Today, we are calling it an informational appreciation and recognition luncheon. We had some craft instructors who did some training last year at the Pelican Bay Hotel. Those instructors have now completed all of their courses and so today, they will be receiving their certificates. In the form of appreciation, we have also invited some stakeholders, such as a Freeport Container Port, whereby we had some of their staff who were a part of our City and Guilds program, completed recently. So, we are showing appreciation to the stakeholders for what they have done and the fact that they had enough confidence to invest in us,” Collie said.
In terms of various offerings now available at BTVI, she continued as follows: “We also have a program going on right now in West Grand Bahama, with the National Construction Certification, Education and Research (NCCER). That is a partnership that we have with Valenica College. Persons enrolled, who are participating in something called the CORE Program, which will go towards receiving technical certifications.”
The initial phase is entitled CORE. However, Collie informed that the participants, once successfully completing the CORE phase, will move onto level one, two or as high as required.
“That is in comparison to City and Guilds, depending on which level they start at, they will receive certifications at that level. That is one of our programs that we have just introduced through the NCCER.
“Our Information Technology (IT) Department has come up with what we call Nano Courses. With these courses we are presently conducting training with our instructors as well as to offer it to students. We also have some short 10-week programs that we will be offering beginning this summer, which will involve the Nano stream as well as the technical stream core as a part of it.
“We also have something called DevNet, which is a development program offered in conjunction with Cisco. That is also a branch of our ICT (Information and Communications Technology) Program for students who are out of (high) school are taking advantage of that program. They will be looking at some of the same kind of qualifications, that they would gain in our ICT Program but they will be doing it through DevNet. The good thing about DevNet is that it is something that is completed online, meaning that you can be offered a job from any part of the world; any one that has Cisco as a part of their platform can be offered jobs in industries or countries related to DevNet,” she said.
“We also have something called the Revive Program, through the government.”
This particular program, Collie informed, is for persons who are imprisoned to afford them the opportunity to obtain some form of certification. “What they are doing is identifying persons who they feel may be at risk, and they are offering what we call, soft skills which we are offering. That program has been going on for a while now.”
According to Collie, the University of The Bahamas (UB) is also participating in the program as well, in terms of academic instruction for the participants.
“Those are just some of the things that we have going on. We are also proud to announce that we can actually view our programs, using our bar scanner which has a list of all of the programs that we offer.
“Our President, Dr. Robert Robertson just announced a while ago that Google recently disclosed something which is similar to what we are doing, in terms of offering these short courses, because of what is going on in the world now, getting involved in these long programs which take so long, when you need to get a job. So many people are now working online. They are training you to work online, with our courses. And so, yes, definitely we are doing a lot here at BTVI,” she added.
In terms of the government-initiated ICT Program, which was officially launched back in 2018 and affords high school students to learn the basics of Information Technology, she noted: “We have had the 2018 and 2019 cohorts and now we are starting the last cohort, hopefully this summer. We had intended to start it during the fall of last year and then spring of this year. But what is taking place now, those students that are in need of certification from the 2019, meaning they would have completed 2018 and intended to move onto 2019; there were some certifications that they were unable to complete due to the hurricane and the pandemic, they have now started training to prepare them for those certifications. That is also happening during this semester.”
Once completed those students will then have the opportunity to obtain a degree with BTVI as they would have secured about 30 credits through the ICT Program.
“In fact, it was announced a while ago that we have had students who have been accepted into universities abroad as a result of having those credits,” concluded Collie.
In terms of the consistent courses now being offered at the learning institution, Andrew Gape, Chief Financial Officer of BTVI, noted that they are ideal for all persons, regardless of their current employment status.
“I do not want the public to be afraid that when we say 10 weeks full time that that means the programs are only offered during the day. Whether it is our skill or IT courses, in the cases where the instruction has to be in the class, it will be offered in the day and in the evenings.
“For the unemployed or for those that have corporate sponsors, the full-time day sessions will be for 10 weeks. We are talking about flexibility. A lot of the programs that we have in skills are modular, because they allow you to jump in and jump out. For example, the first section might be two weeks, you can go in and complete those two weeks. You might then have a baby and so, you can wait for another two weeks and then jump right back in and complete the next module.
“This flexibility is taking education to where you need it to be,” concluded Gape.