NASSAU, BAHAMAS — While traditional enrollment is down about 22 percent, non-traditional enrollment at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) is up, according to its president, Dr Robert Robertson.
Robertson, who was speaking at the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Education and US-based networking solutions giant Cisco, noted that job security amid the pandemic has driven many to seek technical skills training.
“Our traditional student enrollment is down about 22 percent at BTVI, but our non-traditional enrollment for short courses is up. We see a lot of people concerned about employment and they are not really looking for a full academic programme like they were pre-pandemic,” he said.
Robertson noted that a recent survey of online students revealed that many students expressed the desire to continue their courses at the institute online as opposed to returning to full face-to-face instruction.
“We will be virtual in spring of 2021 and try to supplement it with blended courses where if you are in technology, you can come and participate in boot camps with social distancing protocols. My sense is that with education generally — and particularly in The Bahamas — will move more aggressively toward virtual learning, meaning blended, partly online and partly on the ground,” said Robertson.
He noted that BTVI has established a centre for online and business education that currently offers more than 40 classes virtually across all of The Bahamas.
“We have an ICT program going into its third year, which is a dual enrollment program. Currently, it has 300 students and will be recruiting another 100 students,” said Robertson.