Volume 21 (2013)
Making TVET Relevant to a Postmodern Caribbean
We live in a postmodernist society where there is greater acceptance of diversity and complexity, and recognition that multiple viewpoints can coexit in an era that is characterized by uncertainty and rapid changes. Consequently, TVET programmes cannot function effectively unless there are major reforms that can prepare students to better meet the needs of the postmodern work environment. This paper argues for some of these changes. The prevailing notion that TVET is a viable refuge for those who are not "academically inclined" is exposed in this paper as a myth, which has no support in the actual workplace, where scientific principles must be applied by workers in order to create, take decisions, and solve problems. Technological developments have made the workplace more demanding of autonomous workers who can take decisions without waiting for instructions. Hence there is need forÂ greater integration of academics with TVET to widen the understanding of TVET students in preparation for these roles. If adopted, the reforms recommended in this paper can go a long way in preparing a workforce capable of meeting the challenges of the postmodern work environment and raise the social acceptance of TVET as well.
Keywords: Technical and Vocational Education and Training; Education and Employment; Work Environment; Curriculum Reform; Postmodern Analysis; Caribbean