JIS News

The HEART/NSTA Trust is working to complete a civics curriculum to facilitate the introduction of the subject as part of its programme offerings.

The competency standards have already been developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.

Managing Director of the HEART/NSTA Trust, Dr. Janet Dyer, told JIS News that the entity is looking to introduce the subject in May.

“Not only will our students have access to it, but it will be open to all Jamaicans to be able to access training in civics,” Dr. Janet Dyer said.

“It will be a job-certified programme, so persons who complete the programme will get a National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQJ) job certificate in civics,” she noted.

Dr. Dyer said that the ‘New Vision Civics’ textbook written by Joanne M. Simpson, which has been endorsed by the Education Ministry, will be utilised in the programme.

Meanwhile, HEART is now recruiting students for the May cohort of its Optoelectronic Technology programme, which is one of its new offerings.

Trainees will be equipped with the necessary skills to become optoelectronic technicians, a new field of study that combines components of electronic and photon technologies.

“This programme is coming out of our partnership with the VCOM College and Shenzhen Institute in China. This is a partnership that came to us through our world skills partnership, which allows us to interact with Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) practitioners across the world. This enables us to see the new and emerging skills that are there for us to be able to benchmark,” Dr. Dyer told JIS News.

She noted that HEART also partners with TVET practitioners in Germany and other countries with fully developed TVET practices, which has propelled the agency towards participation in the WorldSkills’ World Championships of Vocational Skills.

“Our students here in Jamaica get the opportunity to participate in a local competition and from the local competition we go to the world competition. The last one we had was in Russia in 2018 and we entered in seven different skills.

“We came home with the ‘Best of Country’ award but in addition to that, our students came home with so much exposure,” she told JIS News, noting that one student has gone on to set up her own business in the industrial electronics area.

“So, we are looking at these emerging skills in mechatronics, industrial electronics and robotics,” Dr. Dyer said.

Considered the gold standard for skills excellence, the World Championships of Vocational Skills showcases rising talent and potential in vocational skills application. It is held in different parts of the world every two years.

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