85 successfully complete YEST programme at STC

GINA, GUYANA, Friday, November 25, 2016

The Sophia Training Centre’s (STC) twenty-ninth Youth Entrepreneurial Skills Training (YEST) programme began on May 16, 2016 with 105 trainees. The programme ended today with the awarding of certificates to 85 graduands (61 males and 44 females), who, despite challenges pursued their training to the end.

The youths received their certificates at a graduation ceremony held at the Carifesta Sports Complex.

Minister within the Ministry of Education, Nicolette Henry and staff of the Department of Culture, including Permanent Secretary, Alfred King with the Twenty Ninth YEST graduates of the Sophia training Centre

Minister within the Ministry of Education, Nicolette Henry and staff of the Department of Culture, including Permanent Secretary, Alfred King with the Twenty Ninth YEST graduates of the Sophia training Centre

Minister within the Ministry of Education, Nicolette Henry, who graced the ceremony, commended the youths for successfully completing their training. She was accompanied by staff of the Department of Culture, Youth and Sport, including Permanent Secretary Alfred King.

“Your performance is worthy of note especially since 105 started, but only 85 made it to the end,” the Minister told the graduands.  “I am sure that the six months you spent attending classes here were very challenging, but your perseverance has borne fruit,” the Minister added.

The batch successfully completed training in one of six areas: Catering, Office Administration and Information Technology, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (AC,) Welding and Fabrication, Masonry and Plumbing and Sheet Metal.

During their stint at the STC, they were not only exposed to academic subjects and skills training, but were also given the opportunity to benefit from six weeks of attachment at a number of private and public sector agencies. Most of the agencies have since offered permanent attachment to the students. “This is an indication that what is taught and the performance of the students during their attachment are a credit to this training centre,” the Minister said.

Now that the graduands have been empowered, the Minister urged that they continue to be good ambassadors of the STC, and that they further develop their skills for the betterment of themselves and their communities. “You are now equipped with the knowledge and skills which you can use to become self-dependent. Utilise your talents and the skills you have acquired in the areas you have been taught, to develop products and services from which you can earn a living. Become an active participant in developing your communities. You are now in a position to contribute meaningfully towards the development of your community, and not to depend on what your community can do for you,” Minister Henry said.

Debra Johnson, who delivered the STC’s twenty-ninth course report, explained that most of the graduands live within the parameters of

Minister within the Ministry of Education, Nicolette Henry addressing the Sophia Training Centre’s Twenty Ninth   YEST graduation ceremony

Minister within the Ministry of Education, Nicolette Henry addressing the Sophia Training Centre’s Twenty Ninth YEST graduation ceremony

Georgetown, but some had to travel from as far as Timehri, Parfaite Harmonie, Bagotville, Crane and Ann’s Grove. Two were from Belladrum and Moleson Creek, she said.

However, too often the students presented themselves late for classes, and there were cases of absenteeism due to the economic situation at their home. According to Johnson, some of the graduands were themselves parents who had to pay daycare, or send their child/children to school before reporting for class.

On the positive side, she gave credit to the one female graduand who opted for and completed training in the non-traditional skill area of refrigeration and air conditioning. Another male student also successfully completed the Masonry programme after being involved in a vehicular accident and losing his leg.

Johnson also explained that regardless of their area of skill training, all of the graduands received instruction in remedial Mathematics, English, Entrepreneurship and drama.

The graduands also benefitted from daily hot meals, a stipend of $3000 monthly, educational tours to other training institutions, sport activity and travelling allowance to offset expenses incurred through their work study stint.

Further, teachers, and parents of the graduands benefitted from training. Johnson said that the parents benefitted from a parental workshop, and the staff from a one-week staff development session.

Credit was also given to the agencies that worked with the STC to facilitate the work attachment for the students. Johnson particularly singled out the Guyana Police Force (GPF) whose entire Refrigeration and AC department is managed and staffed by past STC students.

Best graduating trainees were Cassey Crawford, in the catering programme; Rafiki Khalifay, in Office Administration and Information Technology programme; Ryan Sukhu, in the Refrigeration and AC programme; Lesland Williams, in the Welding and Fabrication Programme, Jamol Griffith in the Masonry Programme and Roger Limerick in the Plumbing and Sheet Metal programme.

Cassey Crawford was also named the STC’s twenty-ninth YEST Valedictorian.

 

 

By: Macalia Santos

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