Teachers and trainers upskilled to improve the quality of Technical and Vocational education and training (TVET).
Samoa Qualifications Authority (SQA) and Australia Pacific Teaching Coalition (APTC) collaboration enabled thirty one trainers from various Post School Education and Training (PSET) institutions to successfully complete the Australian International Trainers and Assessors Course (ITAC) offered by APTC.
The initiative enabled selected teachers and trainers to comply with and meet the Samoa Professional Standards for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). Skills and knowledge acquired together with the associated qualification will also improve the quality and delivery of technical and vocational education in their respective schools.
A graduation ceremony was held at Vision Restaurant, Vaivase on Friday 7th September.
The two weeks ITAC training that was conducted intermittently throughout June to July was made possible under the Samoa Qualifications Authority (SQA) PSET Support Fund. SQA negotiations with APTC and PSET providers for appropriate timing and logistics made it possible for teachers and trainers to attend.
Upskilling of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) trainers is also a key activity under the SQA Strategy for the Implementation of the Samoa Professional Standards to improve the quality of TVET delivery in Samoa.
The initiative also aims to increase the employability of graduates from TVET providers in Samoa with improved training programmes and qualified trainers. A recent consultation with training providers highlighted that although most trainers may come in as experts in their own fields or trades, unfortunately some have not had any formal training in education delivery.
Vice Principal for Vaiola TVET Institute in Savai’i, Brother Taleni Tufuga Tualesolo was one of the participants in the ITAC programme.
Brother Tualesolo found the training a huge success.
“The content of the training exceeded our expectations in terms of its validity to our work,” he said.
“As a newly registered PSET provider in Samoa we are very fortunate to be invited to the training. It was at the right time given the need we had in constructing our courses and program documents. The training included the proper way of formulating the curriculum that is competency based and incorporates the Samoan National Competency Standards (NCS) and the associated Samoa Qualifications (SQ) from SQA.
“The training was beneficial in showing us how to put together competency based assessments that follow processes and principles that make sure the skills and knowledge attained by learners are of high quality and standards.”
Having served in the teaching field for 9 years, Br. Tualesolo said he will apply and share the knowledge and skills acquired from the training to deliver programmes and conduct reliable assessment in TVET courses for Vailoa TVET Institute.
He pointed out the Assessors Course stood out for him as it broadened his knowledge in conducting assessment for his students.
But the 2 weeks training away from his school and family in Savai’i also had its challenges.
The Vice Principal explained that working in groups with other TVET trainers was a challenge initially because each member came from a different background with different perspectives.
“At first it was difficult to communicate, however it was all part of learning for me personally. These are rare opportunities to learn from other adults and their expertise and as we got to know each other we started communicating better and produced better work.”
He also acknowledged SQA for sponsoring the training and “support in making sure that PSET providers are delivering quality programs.”
Trainers that successfully completed the ITAC training came from Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (CCCS) Vocational School, Don Bosco College and Vocational Training Centre (Salelologa), Don Bosco Technical Centre (Alafua), Laumua o Punaoa Technical Centre, National University of Samoa (NUS), Pesega TVET Institute, Uesiliana Vocational Centre, Vaiola TVET Institute, Small Business Enterprise Centre, Martin Hautus Institute of Learning and SQA.