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Quality-assured workforce development is the challenge that the educational and training institutions in the Caribbean face presently. The Caribbean Area Network for Quality Assurance in Tertiary Education (CANQATE) – a member of a global network, along with the University of Trinidad and Tobago – organised its 19th annual meeting on this theme in Port of Spain. It was attended by about 200 QA professionals in academia, training agencies, as well as officials from relevant ministries.

The Honourable Lisa Morris-Julian, Minister in the Ministry of Education for Trinidad and Tobago, delivered the inaugural address to the AGM. The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) was invited to deliver a plenary address on the significance of current artificial intelligence (AI) developments and was represented by Dr V Balaji, Vice President of COL. The event was anchored by the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the National Training Agency – an umbrella agency for technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in the country.

In a special address, The Honourable Nigel de Freitas, Acting President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, emphasised the importance of rapid workforce development to improve and sustain the economic development of societies in the region. The Acting President also highlighted the role that innovative approaches could play. Senior academics and leaders from COL’s partner universities in the VUSSC network made presentations on quality assurance in the post-pandemic recovery phase.

Speaking of his participation, Dr Balaji commented, “This important regional event highlighted the value placed on COL’s work in QA while also bringing out the expectations on it to serve as an adviser in dealing with Generative AI in education and training in the region.”

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