JIS News

Some 307 young people have been trained as teachers’ aides, having successfully completed the National Youth Service’s (NYS) four-week Early Childhood Education Corps programme.
At a graduation exercise held yesterday (Feb. 1) at the Knox Cobbla campus in Manchester, the trainees, from the island’s 14 parishes, were awarded with certificates, which would allow them to assist teachers in early childhood institutions, for a six-month period.
NYS Programme Manager, Kerry-Ann Metcaffe Green, told JIS News that in addition to core courses in writing and talking for success, personal development and leadership, the participants also learnt how to play with young children and stimulate their minds, how to make developmental toys, how to conduct themselves in the classroom and to motivate young persons.
She noted that at the end of the training period, “the graduates were well disciplined and well poised . which really showed that the four-week orientation process really works”.
Broadcaster and political analyst, Beverly Anderson-Manley, who was the guest speaker at the function, urged the graduates to use the knowledge and skills they have learnt to positively influence less privileged persons in the society. “Your duty is to choose to be a leader right where you are,” she said.
Meanwhile, the most outstanding female participant, Keisha Dyer from Cross Keys, Manchester, who was also the chairperson for the ceremony, said that the NYS programme helped to “improve our self esteem and . to bring out our talents,” adding that, “we are taught to always be on time”.
“I think we have greatly benefited from this programme,” she stressed, informing that she had encouraged some of her colleagues to sign up for an education grant, which is offered as part of the progrmme.
Omar Kelly from Kingston, who was the most outstanding male participant, said that the NYS programme is very beneficial to young persons.
“This programme is a very good programme. I have benefited from [it] by becoming more disciplined and more punctual and more eager to succeed in life,” he stated. The focus of the camp, he said, “is to get each individual to believe in [him or herself] . that you can achieve anything in life, and from the programme, I have gained that”.
The NYS conducts training programmes in areas such as clerical administration, uniform and conservation services, tourism, customer care, leadership, micro entrepreneurship, agriculture and early childhood education.
A total of 320 persons are now being trained as clerical assistants in Chesterville, St. Andrew and commencing February 17, a new batch of participants will begin training in tourism at the Cobbla campus in Manchester.