KINGSTON — The National Youth Service (NYS) is pleased with the progress of the Steps- to-Work summer camps now underway in Portland and St. Thomas.
“They are going well. Enrollment is almost 100 per cent at all of the camps,” said the organisation's Acting Executive Director, Alan Beckford, in a recent interview with JIS News.
Some 1,300 high school dropouts, who are beneficiaries under the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), are participating in about 13 non-residential camps to develop literacy and job skills to re-enter the school system, or seek employment.
The NYS is managing the series of four-week camps, which started in July and are scheduled to be completed by the end of August. They are being undertaken in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, HEART/Trust NTA, Jamaica Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL) and private sector entities.
The camps, Mr. Beckford informed, help to re-socialise the students. “It’s a particular group of students, who we want to see the light. We want them to feel that there are opportunities for them, that they may not have thought about before,” he stated.
The students, ages 15 to 18, are being taught numeracy and literacy skills and the personal development curriculum, formulated by the NYS, will guide them to building appropriate and positive values and attitudes.
Mr. Beckford informs that on completion of their training, they will be automatically registered into the Ministry of Education’s Career Advancement Programme (CAP).
By E. HARTMAN-RECKORD, JIS Information Officer