JIS News

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  • Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, is giving full support to plans by the South Trelawny Edu-Skills Centre to expand its training curriculum to include agriculture.
  • He has also called on the HEART Trust /NTA to provide the necessary certification and human resource in upgrading the institution.
  • He said that South Trelawny can contribute significantly to reducing Jamaica’s food import bill, which is estimated at US$1 billion a year.

Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, is giving full support to plans by the South Trelawny Edu-Skills Centre to expand its training curriculum to include agriculture.

He has also called on the HEART Trust /NTA to provide the necessary certification and human resource in upgrading the institution “to support the development of that agriculture campus, which seems to be the next horizon for the South Trelawny Edu-Skills Centre.”

Rev. Thwaites was addressing the institution’s graduation ceremony held recently at the Albert Town High School.

He said that South Trelawny can contribute significantly to reducing Jamaica’s food import bill, which is estimated at US$1 billion a year.

“We have the land and you have the skills to grow the food profitably to feed ourselves,” he said, noting that in order to achieve national and personal prosperity, “we must plant and eat the food what we grow.”

Rev. Thwaites congratulated the 80 graduates on their achievements and encouraged them to further their education and training through the HEART/NTA, community colleges and other institutions.

He had special commendation for valedictorian and oldest graduate, 69-year old pastor, Travor Gordon, whom he hailed “as an example to all that no one should languish in ignorance and under-achievement”.

The Minister invited the South Trelawny Edu-Skills Centre to partner with the Jamaica Foundation for Life Long Learning so as to facilitate others like Pastor Gordon, who wish to gain their high school diploma.

The graduates were presented with certificates of competence in housekeeping, general construction, and food and beverage. Another 60 trainees will be certified in call centre services, general construction, and tour guiding in November and December of this year.

The South Trelawny Edu-Skills Centre is the brainchild of Member of Parliament, Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert, who established the facility to help young men and women in her constituency, who had left school prematurely or without the requisite skills for work.

Others partners are the HEART Trust/NTA; the Culture, Health, Arts, Science and Education (CHASE) Fund; and housing developer, James Goren.

The centre opened its doors in the 2009/2010 academic year with classes in housekeeping and restaurant service. General construction, call centre service and tour guiding, were later added to the curriculum.