Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 27, 2018 (SKNIS): Deans at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) have underscored the importance of having soft skills, and not just acquiring certification, as essential qualities for efficiency and effectiveness in the world of work.
“Our programmes are continuously evolving and we are looking at ways that we can improve,” said Dean of the Faculty of Technical, Vocational, Educational and Management Studies (TVEMS), Mr. Andrew Abraham, while appearing on “Working for You on June 27. Mr. Abraham noted that the college is implementing core subjects into programmes across the board to promote holistic learning for students to be able to perform at a local level as well as an international level.
He added that the college is continually looking for ways in which graduates can get training on utilizing their soft skills to better prepare them for the world of work.
“It is very good that we are having this conversation. It needs to be in the Federal environment so people can understand. It is something we have to include in the development of our curriculum,” said Mr. Abraham.
Ms. Wanda Hughes, Dean of the Faculty of Adult Continuing Education (ACE), explained that there is a stigma particularly in relation to CFBC where the tertiary institution gets labelled for producing students who lack soft skills. She added that this issue stems beyond the CFBC level and right back to early childhood education and the home.
“The flack is usually geared towards CFBC, but the whole issue of soft skills is one that goes back down to preschool, early childhood, primary and secondary. In fact, when they get to CFBC we shouldn’t have a problem with soft skills,” she said.
She also noted that soft skills tend to take the back burner in learning because the culture in the Federation is “exam driven.”
“As long as we remain exam driven, the soft skills will always stay second place and that has to change,” she added.
Dr. Moyia Rowtham, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Science, and General Studies (ASGS), added that she teaches the importance of soft skills to her students.
“We need to train students from the womb to the tomb,” she said, while highlighting that soft skills are increasingly more important now due to the high demand for jobs in the hospitality and tourism sector in the Federation.
Soft skills are a combination of people skills, social skills, communication skills, character traits, attitudes, career attributes, social intelligence and emotional intelligence quotients among others that enable people to navigate their environment, work well with others, perform well, and achieve their goals with complementing hard skills.
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