in light of shifting economic trendsIn response to socio-economic trends in the Region, the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) on Thursday introduced its Green Engineering syllabus in Guyana.The new Green Engineering syllabusSubject panel member, Dr Paulette Bynoe, at the launch of the new syllabus at the Theatre Guild, Parade Street, Kingston, stated that since the late 1980s there has been global concern about the state of the environment and so there is an obvious necessity for educational institutions to take strap of what is taught in schools and education facilities and “reorient existing subjects and introduce new ones to address issues of sustainability”.Thus, she explained that CXC established a committee, of a panel of six persons to brainstorm the existence of such a syllabus and afterward meetings were held to draft it. She posited that the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) Green Engineering subject is divided into two Units – Introduction to Green Engineering and Application of Green Engineering and Principles. These units are further segregated into modules.The modules in Unit One are Concepts and Issues; Theoretical Framework of Green Engineering and Green Engineering in Practice, while Unit Two’s modules are the Utilisation of Sustainable Materials and Energy, Sustainable Designs and Green Engineering Solutions.Dr Bynoe stated that the topics covered in Unit One are concepts of sustainable development, sustainability and efficiency, current trends related to the utilisation of natural resources, risks in the engineering environment, consequences and challenges of engineering, the need for sustainability, principles of green engineering and sustainable issues related to product design.Whereas, topics covered in Unit Two are sustainable utilisation of materials and energy, the environmental consequences of utilising different energy sources, policies and decision-making in manufacturing and using of natural resources, principles related to design, products and infrastructure, and occupational safety and health issues related to the manufacturing of products and construction of engineering infrastructure.She pointed out that the syllabus has been designed in such a way to guarantee that the focal point is not only students’ ability to recall, but also on knowledge and comprehension, application of knowledge and practical ability.“This will allow students to really exercise their problem solving and critical thinking skills – very important for engineering – so it is not a case where a student will cram and pass the exam. We don’t need that sort of thing. The knowledge is important but we have to begin to transcend the knowledge if we are going to make a decision in the world today,” she declared, noting that the syllabus provides for lectures, research, laboratory experiments, debates, use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) and case studies.The School-Based Assessment (SBA) would account of 30 per cent of the marks while the multiple choice questions will account for 70 per cent of the marks.CXC’s Senior Assistant Registrar, Syllabus and Curriculum Development Division, Howard Campbell indicated that the Green Engineering syllabus was among those developed to respond to the changing social and economic demands of the Region to ensure the continued relevance of our products and services.He stated that while the Region has received a level of social and political independence it still has a level of economic dependence that can be reduced through entrepreneurship.“This has garnered an opportunity for CXC to rethink and rebrand our products,” he said, highlighting that over the last four years they have developed a number of syllabuses at the CAPE level, and branded them as their new generational syllabuses.Each of these syllabuses, he said, has a component that focuses on developing entrepreneur skills. They are currently being implemented across the Caribbean.“This new syllabus in Green Engineering is intended to produce citizens who will be more aware of development challenges in the Caribbean region while finding the solutions that will lead to more sustainable communities,” he said.Education Minister, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine stated that the introduction of the Green Engineering syllabus comes at a time when the creation of a green economy has been declared a national policy and so applauded CXC for the launch in Guyana. “Green Engineering is, therefore, of immediate import and application to Guyana. The offering of a course in Green Engineering is, therefore, most timely from the standpoint of developing the manpower that is required by Guyana for the implementation of its policy of a Green Economy”.Caricom workingHe emphasised that the Caribbean Community (Caricom) has come under incessant attack about being slothful and also for its failure to implement strategies which will benefit the Region. However, Minister Roopnaraine stated that this new initiative by CXC is a clear indication that Caricom is doing something.“… very so often Caricom is castigated for its slothfulness and failure… without any accolades for its successes, like the success of the developing of a green engineering syllabus,” he argued.The Examination body, which was established in 1972, has introduced eight other “new generation” syllabuses: tourism, financial services, digital media, physical education and sport, entrepreneurship, performing arts, agricultural science and animation and game design. Animation and game design is expected to be launched in Guyana in September, with lecturers being out sourced.