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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Twenty-five custom officers at the Jamaica Customs Agency are benefitting from a free Spanish course, being taught by 2013 Civil Servant of the Year, Enthrose Campbell.
  • The custom officers are being given 40 hours of free lessons under the programme, which is set to end in July.
  • Each week the officers gather at the Customs corporate office on King Street, downtown Kingston, where the lessons are taught.

Twenty-five customs officers at the Jamaica Customs Agency are benefitting from a free Spanish course, being taught by 2013 Civil Servant of the Year, Enthrose Campbell.

The custom officers are being given 40 hours of free lessons under the programme, which is set to end in July.

Each week the officers gather at the Agency’s corporate office on King Street, downtown Kingston, where the lessons are taught, to equip them for their daily tasks, which include handling documents written in the language.

“This course will be helping me, and the wider Jamaica Customs, to be able to understand the different packages that come from various countries, in different languages,” supervisor at the Agency, Damion Beckford said in interview with JIS News, on Wednesday, March 26.

“It will help us to understand  them (Spanish documents) better, as well as enable us to carry out our functions more effectively,” Mr. Beckford added, while noting that the programme is very “instructive and beneficial to all of us”. He expressed gratitude to Miss Campbell for volunteering her time.

Customs officer, Karen Campbell also expressed appreciation, stating that, “it will assist us in our daily work, reading invoices, and to deal with passengers at the airport, and also when we go on courses overseas, especially in Panama”.

She added that “at the end of it, she (Miss Campbell), will be very proud of Jamaica Customs.”

Meanwhile, Miss Campbell, who is also Director of Production at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), said by providing the Spanish lessons, she is helping the officers to become familiar with foreign words that are common in the operations of customs.

She said the programme will bring the officers to a “point where they can say things like contraband, invoice, and they can identify items and invoices that come from Spanish speaking countries”.

Miss Campbell said the officers are doing “very well” noting that 100 persons expressed interest in the programme, but only 25 could be accommodated at this time.