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~ Curricula Review & Update at CTO- organized Workshop in Barbados ~

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (31 March 2014) – Caribbean tourism students are set to benefit from up-to-date content following a regional curriculum review workshop coordinated by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).

Between March 17-20 the CTO brought together, in Barbados, 16 tertiary education institutions, a number of regional and sub-regional partners including the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the secretariat of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), along with several industry practitioners from the public and private sectors to review and update the existing tourism/hospitality curricula at the associate degree level.

The revised curricula will reflect present-day realities and trends in tourism/hospitality and therefore embrace new topics such as “the green economy” and “menu and meal preparation for persons with special dietary needs,” said Bonita Morgan, the CTO’s director of resource mobilization and development.

“The main beneficiaries of the curriculum update will be tourism/hospitality graduates who possess up-to-date knowledge and relevant skills to better service the sector now and in the future,” she added.

For Nicole Alleyne, the chief tourism development officer in Barbados’ ministry of tourism & international transport, the workshop was a useful exercise.

“It is good to take your head up and be open to the new information that is available and assess where you are.  I’m in product development so it was interesting to see how the students are taught and to be able to inform the content of that instruction to make sure it is more applicable to what we want as the final output,” she commented.

Hazel Roberts, a lecturer in the division of technical & vocational education at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College, said: “I found the session was very timely.  Presently we are in the process at the college of reviewing all of the curricula.  I must proudly say that hospitality is the one that has the regional review.”

The session was made possible through the support of the Commonwealth of Learning. COL’s education specialist, John Lesperance, was optimistic that the workshop laid the groundwork for updating the general curricula and the sustainable tourism specialist modules, as well as the advancement of the online components.

“The future looks really bright.  We will be engaging with CTO and these institutions to provide capacity building support.  In addition to this we want to move the associate degree programme online so we will need to work with people and institutions as well to develop the content for us to be able to do that.  I’m pretty sure that by the end of the year we would have done all that is necessary.”

Other outcomes of the session included updating curriculum to offer an online course in Sustainable Tourism Development and the development of short refresher courses for persons already working in the sector.

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