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Don Jardine’s Blog

C-EFE Dominica – The drive from the airport to the capital, port city of Roseau, Dominica takes us through a tropical rain forest, rich in spectacular greenery, vibrant with calming wildlife noise and with temperature fluctuations of 5-7C.  The roadway weaving with elevation changes is not a drive for a weak stomach without ginger or motion sickness meds.  The driver, Daniel,  can assist though by stopping by the roadside to pick lemongrass, a local remedy, for sniffing.

Jan. 4 – 9, 2016 saw the final phase of faculty training in Dominica for the Caricom Education for Employment (C-EFE) Youth Skills Development Pre-Technology Programme.  Based on preparation work with CVQs (Caribbean Vocational Qualifications) and NVQs (National Vocational Qualifications), an industry workshop was facilitated to identify the profile of a graduate of these 12 week programs – 10 weeks of classroom/shop and 2 weeks of industry placement.  The January industry groups were "Beverage and Bar Service Level 1" and "Housekeeping Level 1".  In October 2015, industry consultations in Dominica were facilitated with Electrical Installation, Plumbing, Refrigeration/AC and Landscaping industry stakeholders.

The CICan Pre-Tech. programs are designed to re-engage youth (15 – 29 years) in education and/or employment.  Program development included pathways into higher education should the learner want to pursue this option immediately or at some point in the future.  All programs included the ability to achieve at least one transferable CVQ Level 1 credit, "Follow principles of Occupational Health (OS&H) in the work environment" once assessed by an external TVET assessor.

Faculty included three current Dominica State College faculty but the majority were industry experts and have not taught to date.  Workshops based on Competency Based Education and Training (CBET) philosophies included an introduction to andragogy, learning styles, coaching youth with multiple barriers ('youth at promise'), importance of hospitality/customer service in Dominica, gender equity in the classroom and workplace, environmental sustainability, creating objectives, assessment/evaluation, lesson planning, work plan development, journaling/reflection, etc.

The week culminated with group lesson presentations, a media launch and presentation of certificates to participants.

Our new colleagues, friends and locals that we met quickly gave us a sense of their national pride and love of this beautiful isle steeped in culture.  Most accommodating, they brought smiles, passion and inquisitive minds to the classroom and project ahead.  I wish I could bottle their enthusiasm!

Professionally and personally, this project was a most rewarding experience with the potential of changing the lives of Dominican and St. Vincent youth.  Along with my College of the Rockies colleagues, I wish the Dominica State College and St. Vincent Sector Skills Development Agency sustainable success.  I am grateful for the opportunity and NSCC's support!

Don Jardine

Academic Chair

School of Trades & Technology

NSCC Kingstec Campus

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