ROA-CN highlights vocational programme
- February 05, 2013
Management of Dutch CaribbeanCouncil for Education and Labour Market ROA-CN held a press conference Fridayto familiarize Saba with the institution’s role and accomplishments. ROA-CN’simplementation team comprises Director Elyane Paul and trainers CharmaineAlberto and Elisabeth George in Bonaire, Micheline Hinse for Saba and VioletDuggins- Gumbs for St. Eustatius. Headquartered in Bonaire, the new institutionhas recently secured board members from each of the three public entities.ROA-CN Chairman Herbert Domacassé, Treasurer Orphaline Saleh and SecretaryAnthony Cecilia from Bonaire are joined by Saba Board Members Gied Mommers andBettina Alkema-Schroeter and Roy Hooker and Monique Brown from Statia.
Paul,who is ROA-CN’s Director since September 2012, explained that the organizationis funded by and works under the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science,and functions as a “bridging entity,” reflecting the labour force needs of thelocal business community. “It transposes those needs into specific educationalprogrammes implemented in collaboration with the local schools.” The mainbeneficiaries are vocational students, whose internships with local businessesare to provide them with skills required to secure jobs on the islands. Thebusinesses are also beneficiaries in securing intern workforce and trainedstaff after completion of the programme. Paul suggested that in the futurethere may be tax incentives associated with business’ mentorship. Participatingbusinesses on Saba commit themselves to three days of training, at the end ofwhich they become recognized as accredited vocational training establishmentsby their specific Expertise Centres in The Netherlands.
One of ROA-CN’s functions is tooversee the accreditation of the vocational curriculums provided while cateringto each island’s specific needs. Saba opted for the TVET 1 English programmesince school year 2011/2012, securing the equivalent Dutch VMBO accreditationfor vocational streams, to be completed in two years. The streams provided hereare General Construction, Food Preparation/Housekeeping and Hospitality. Thecurriculum adds extra courses in Dutch, Cultural Formation and Social Studies.Saba also succeeded to secure the TVET 2 programme in 2012/2013, which isequivalent to the Dutch MBO level 2, also in general construction andhospitality.
Depending on local interest ROA-CN may be able to extend theirprogrammes with other streams, such as secretarial-administrative associate,accounting or social pedagogic work. ROA-CN develops qualifications dossiersfor each professional, practical training programme and coaches the mentors ineach participating company in developing their intern’s skills. Once completed,the training-certificate programmes are recognized by the Ministry ofEducation. Saba trainer Hinse spoke excitedly about her close work with mentorsin the various participating businesses, with the schoolcareer counsellor andstudents. She monitors the “positive interaction” between business mentors andstudents, as well as the accomplishment of skills outlined in eachqualification dossier. She trains the mentors and organizes “branch meetings”with them to secure constant feedback from mentors on the labour needs of theisland.