Minister says broadening of educational offerings the way to go


Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness says he would like to see the country broaden its educational offerings by providing vocational training alongside the academics in tertiary institutions.
The Minister made his comments recently in a meeting with Ontario’s Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, Hon. John Milloy, when he visited the Canadian Minister’s office.

Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness (second right) and Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Mr. Seth George Ramocan (right), observe Floor Covering Instructor, Chris Gallucci, conducting a class at the Local 27 Carpenters’ Union Training Centre, in Canada.

Mr. Holness, who was in Canada as the keynote speaker at the Adopt-a-school brunch, organised by the Project for the Advancement of Childhood Education (PACE) Canada, used the opportunity to tour several Canadian skills training facilities and to meet with Minister Milloy.
“We don’t have enough offerings to excite and stimulate students in those areas,” said Minister Holness, adding that he would like to see a full system of apprenticeship training in Jamaican high schools. This would help the students who leave school each year with no skills.
The Minister said Canada is just one of several models around the world which is being studied. Other models include Singapore, Finland and Australia.
Minister Milloy promised to furnish Minister Holness with any information that can assist Jamaica.

Ontario’s Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, Hon. John Milloy (left), makes a presentation to Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness (centre). Looking on is Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Mr. Seth George Ramocan.

Accompanying Mr. Holness were Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Seth George Ramocan and President of PACE Canada, Jamaican-born Dr. Mary Anne Chambers, who was responsible for tertiary education when she served as Ontario’s Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities from 2003 to 2005.
The group toured the Local 27 Carpenters’ Union Training Centre and the Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies at George Brown College in Toronto, Canada.
The Local 27 Carpenters’ Union Training Centre is a state-of-the-art training facility, which offers hands-on training and classrooms that have been fitted to look just like a construction site. The training centre has a carpentry shop, woodworking machine shop, welding shop, computer lab, floor covering installer shop and several electronic classrooms, and offers several apprenticeship training programmes.
Speaking with the Executive Secretary/Treasurer of the Central Ontario Regional Council of the Carpenters’ Union, Jamaican-born Ucal Powell, Minister Holness said he is interested in training Jamaicans to Canada’s Red Seal Certificate standards. The Minister explained that although Jamaica has a certification programme, it is not portable.

Executive Secretary of the Central Ontario Regional Council of the Carpenters’ Union, Jamaican-born Ucal Powell (centre), presents a copy of the history of the Carpenters’ Union in Canada to Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness (left). Looking on is Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Mr. Seth George Ramocan.

Red Seal is the Canada-wide certification programme, which allows trades people to work in any Canadian province without having to sit further examinations. There are 49 trades which are covered under the programme, including carpenters, plumbers, cabinet makers, tool and die makers, hairstylists, welders, roofers and machinists.
The Minister said he was very impressed with the facilities and echoed the same sentiments when he visited George Brown College’s Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies.
The Centre offers certificates, diplomas, degrees and apprenticeship training in several areas in the construction industry, such as plumbing, carpentry and mechanics.
Minister Holness also visited the offices of the Ministry of Education where the Director of the Teaching Policy and Standards Branch in the Ministry, Paul Anthony, gave the Minister an update on the Teacher Learning and Leadership Programme (TLLP), where teachers share teaching methods with each other.
Mr. Anthony also informed that three Jamaican educators will be participating in the upcoming TLLP Summit from November 21-22 in Toronto, Canada.

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