After two years with the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Schools Agriculture Entrepreneurship Project students say they have learned skills in agriculture and business that can benefit them for life.
The students graduated recently, receiving their official qualifications at the Frank Collymore Hall.
One student, Tara Forde, said she realised that it was not all fun and games.
“I do not like to talk to people in front of their faces, but my job at the programme was to sit in front of everyone and speak. I did not know how to count money, but … after the third day I mastered it. We all learned to help one another and it was a pretty good experience. I never thought that I could learn so much over the past couple years, but it was good,” Forde said.
The project, organized and supported by the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation and the Massy Foundation, aimed to encourage more interest and innovation in the agricultural sector, increase entrepreneurial opportunities and food security.
Chairman of the Massy Foundation Everton Browne noted that certification was key for the Foundation.
“As I reflected on what attracted us in the Massy Foundation to throw our support behind this programme, one of the main [factors] was the built-in National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) component which provides certification to successful students. And although this Level 1 standard was not approved in the time frame on which to evaluate this cohort, it was the perfect curriculum on which to informally assess the students,” Browne said, adding that he believed that the Level 1 standard had the potential to be applied at the regional level.
“We [in the Massy Foundation] believe that it is of such calibre and substance that it can be … recognized as a Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ). Therefore, we urge you to advocate for this regional accreditation process through the TVET Council,” Browne said.
Responding to Browne’s statement for the National Vocational Qualification standard to be taken to the Caribbean Marilyn Rawlins, Acting Senior Technical Officer of the TVET Council noted that the Council had developed a regional outlook and they were hoping the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Project will be implemented in the region.
“We don’t develop NVQ’s to remain here in Barbados. We … take them to Caribbean Association of National Training Agency, [which] sends them throughout the Caribbean and they ratify them or they review them in each country. We are hoping that the NVQ in agriculture entrepreneurship, actually the entire suite, will become CVQ’s in a short while,” she said. (LG)