OBSERVER: Educators from six Caribbean countries, including Jamaica, are in the island for a week-long capacity building project intended to improve their delivery of the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) Green Engineering syllabus.

 

The syllabus was launched in Guyana in July 2016, and the first papers sat in the exam period of 2017.

 

Dr Carol Granston, pro-registrar at the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), which administers CAPE, said green engineering was introduced among a list of new generation subjects.

 

“CXC has recognised that the learning population is changing as rapidly as cellphones (and other technology). To catch up with this constant change, CXC launched a set of new generation CAPE subjects. We started working on these subjects from about 2011. Animation & Game Design, Digital Media, Agricultural Science, Performing Arts, Financial Service Studies, Logistics & Supply Chain Operations, Tourism, Entrepreneurship, Physical Education & Sport, Green Engineering,” Dr Granston said.

 

The organisation also responded to this change by developing an E-strategy. Students and educators can now participate in exams electronically via E-exams, E-testing and E-marking. Already, students have completed paper one exams via the E-exams system. It is expected that the paper two components will be accommodated this year.

 

The method of teaching has also changed to match with the technology available, Granston said, pointing to the use of digital tool kits in the classroom, as virtual groups for students and teachers. One for principals is reportedly in the pipeline.

 

“We have developed digital tool kits for teachers and students. It includes animations, short video clips, info graphics and images,” she stated.

 

Dr Granston was speaking at the launch of the capacity building project at Knutsford Court Hotel last Wednesday.

 

The countries represented were Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, and Trinidad & Tobago.

 

Senior Assistant Registrar Jodine Williams explained that the project was being financed by German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) .

 

“CXC is a member of the Capacity Building and Research Working Group of the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Strategy Programme. As a member of that working group, we are pleased to partner with GIZ. We're partnering with them through their Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technical Assistance (REETA) programme. This partnership also directly involved the Organization of American States (OAS), specifically based on their sustainable energy sector programme,” she continued.

 

The REETA programme is implemented by GIZ and financed by German Federal Ministry for Economic Operation & Development.

 

This is not the first project that GIZ REETA has done in capacity building in the Caribbean.

 

“The programme has supported training workshops at UWI (The University of the West Indies) where faculty and students were trained in various area such as solar PV installation and entrepreneurship. Secondly, there was the development of a master's programme in sustainable energy and climate change. This multidisciplinary programme is currently being offered at the UTech (University of Technology, Jamaica). Last year saw the first intake of students,” Amanda Harris, a representative from GIZ REETA noted.

 

She said further that: “The region is in an important phase of development, where its leaders have recognised the importance of keeping abreast of global trends in reducing dependence on fossil fuels, reducing energy cost, and preserving the environment by reducing carbon footprint. Our youths need to be exposed to the basic principles of sustainable energy issues that embrace innovation in a manner that involves aspects of technology as we currently live in the digital age.”

 

CXC says the study of CAPE Green Engineering will enable students to acquire the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes needed to sustain the natural environment. The course will enable students to apply Scientific, Technological, Engineering and Mathematical (STEM) principles to improve their environment at the local, regional and global levels.