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A total of 75 young people from Clarendon graduated from the National Youth Services’ Education Corps last Tuesday (February 2), after successfully completing four weeks of intense training in the early childhood and primary education curricula.
Once they have completed their final assessment the graduates will receive level II certification from the National Council on Technical Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET), and will be placed in institutions across the parish for a maximum period of six months, where they will serve as teachers’ aides.
The NYS Education Corps also called Teachers’ Assistant Training Programme is to provide support to teachers in the public education system across Jamaica, whilst at the same time providing meaningful engagement and certification for unattached youths.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony held at the St. James Methodist Church in May Pen, Acting Executive Director of the NYS, Anthony Woodburn, told the graduates that he is confident that they will leave an indelible mark on the lives of the students within the schools in which they are placed.
“As you transition to the workforce as a teacher assistant, I am confident that each and every one of you here will make an indelible mark in the lives of all those you will encounter within the schools in which you are placed and by extension, the society at large. As you enter these schools, you must embrace the thinking that ‘every child can learn and every child must learn’,” he said.
He further urged the graduates to seize the opportunity to make a positive and sustainable change in their lives.
“My charge to you today is simple, seize this opportunity to make a positive and sustainable change in your lives and remember that only you can determine your attitude and altitude and in so doing, I want you to give of your talent, knowledge and wisdom freely and generously to those with whom you will interact,” he said.
Auditing Manager of the Student Loan Bureau, Janet Phillips-Cross, who was the guest speaker, implored the graduates to “maintain the core values instilled in you by the National Youth Service”.
She noted that the NYS “empowers youths that would otherwise be disenfranchised” and that “an interest in youth is necessary to national development”.
Established in 1973, the NYS was re-launched in 1995 after a 12-year break amidst major concerns about the high level of youth unemployment, academic underachievement, and lack of training opportunities for young people and their escalating trend toward anti-social behaviour.