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Educators complete BTVI advanced technical training
By Hadassah Deleveaux
Mar 24, 2021 - 2:24:56 PM

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Ministry of Education Career and Technical Education (CTE) staff member, Victoria R. Cooper, was excited to participate in the recent completion of advanced technical training of 162 teachers, staff and administrators at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI). She is shown here with President of BTVI, Dr. Robert W. Robertson, Photo: BTVI

One hundred and sixty two Ministry of Education teachers, staff and administrators recently completed advanced technical training at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI).

The courses included, but were not limited to Instructional Materials, Teaching Online, Entrepreneurship, Microsoft PowerPoint, Introduction to Python, JavaScript, Microsoft Word and Internet Fundamentals. The courses were virtual and included 54 participants from nine family islands.

They collectively earned over 560 digital badges. BTVI’s digital badges are managed by City and Guilds of London via DigitalMe. The badges are stored on Credly – considered as the world’s most trusted credential network in the blockchain.

Ministry of Education teacher, Shavado Gibson (l), was one of 162 educators, staff and administrators who recently completed advanced technical training at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) of which the government provided scholarships to all participants. He is shown here with Director of Education, Marcellus Taylor. Photo: BTVI

All of the 162 participants earned at least one digital badge, indicating successful course completion. Of the participants, 111 or 69% earned a minimum of three badges and 137 or 84% earned at least two badges. Two individuals earned seven digital badges. The government provided scholarships to all participants.
The advanced training charter group was chiefly from the Career and Technical Education (CTE) section of the ministry, headed by Assistant Director of Education, Keyshan Bastian.

Director of Education, Marcellus Taylor, noted during the drive-in ceremony held on the grounds of Chapel on the Hill, Tonique Williams-Darling Highway, that the year has been “difficult,” having to deal with a pandemic, altering how business and life itself are now conducted. He thanked them for being responsive to duty during this kind of time.

Business Studies teacher at the Ministry of Education’s virtual school, Tiffany Johnson, was one of 162 government staff, faculty and administrators, who completed advanced technical training at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI). She is shown here with BTVI’s Chairman, Kevin Basden. Photo: BTVI

“With COVID-19, we’ve had to lift the education system from brick and mortar onto the virtual platform, so we’re happy the deliberate, systematic set of courses were offered at this time. We know that teaching cannot revert completely to how it was before. You, as professionals, who have gained these skills, utilize them to enhance the teaching and learning process,” said Mr. Taylor.

Mr. Taylor added that the ministry is on a mission to create a 21st century education system. Currently, public school students continue to meet in virtual classrooms amid the pandemic with some days face-to-face.

BTVI’s President, Dr. Robert W. Robertson noted that the whole field of education has evolved.

“It’s certainly a different world. It’s been a difficult year, learning new devices and then internet problems - and those things happen everywhere - but from what I’ve heard and seen, BTVI has risen to the occasion and the Ministry of Education has done the same,” he said.

“BTVI has been on the leading edge of work you will continue to see post-COVID. We can look forward with confidence that we will be better prepared, as a result of these nano courses you have taken, to be in a better position to turn the corner - as we deal with this new reality,” he said.

Dr. Robertson encouraged the Ministry of Education staff to avail themselves of other opportunities at BTVI, inclusive of certifications.

Family and Consumer Science teacher, Church Smith, thanked the Department of Education for investing in them. He described the courses as “intense.”

When the program began in September of 2020, many of the teachers had just returned to blended learning; hence they had to adjust to teaching and learning online.

“The journey was not easy, but this program made me more confident, removing the wall of hesitation,” said the C. C. Sweeting Senior High teacher.

Business Studies teacher at the ministry’s virtual school, Tiffany Johnson, described the courses as an “intellectual obstacle course.” She said she gained a wealth of knowledge.

“I assess differently and I give feedback differently. As for BTVI’s instructors, I thought I knew how to teacher, until I met them. They were patient, kind and extended grace. At 6 and 7 in the morning, they were online to assist before an 8 am class,” said Ms. Johnson who admitted that she “crawled” to the finish line.
Additionally, BTVI’s Chairman, Kevin Basden, noted that the board has great expectations that through the skills acquired, the participants would make an indelible impact on the education system and by extension, communities and the country at large.  

“We live in an age where you are privileged to have been afforded quality technical training right from the comfort of your homes. One of the many lessons the COVID 19 pandemic has taught us is that with technology at our fingertips, learning is even more accessible,” said Mr. Basden
“Continue to equip yourselves and stay current in your respective subject areas in order to remain competitive in a global workforce, but also to better prepare students – some of whom will no doubt eventually study at BTVI,” he added.

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