The growing number of young people wishing to access technical and vocational training could benefit from plans for increased places at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP).
Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones revealed plans for increasing SJPP’s capacity while addressing the polytechnic’s graduation ceremony last Thursday.
Minister Jones stated that his Ministry “recognises the urgency with which we need to accommodate the increasing numbers of young people who want to access technical and vocational training.
“The Ministry’s Higher Education Unit has been mandated to coordinate the establishment of a classroom village at the SJPP. These prefabricated classrooms will provide additional spaces for students who want to pursue a technical career,” he added.
Mr. Jones said too that the Ministry’s new agricultural focus would see the allocation of 114 acres of arable land in Hope, St Lucy for tertiary level students to apply their skills in an authentic environment which would include green house farming.
“This is an exciting government initiative which will provide numerous possibilities for students who are keen on establishing an enterprise in the agricultural industry,” he pointed out.
Adding that the SJPP’s attitude toward the pursuit of excellence would “inevitably result in its establishment as an accredited National Vocational Qualification Centre”, Mr. Jones stressed the importance of technical and vocational education in the development of Barbados.
“No longer can persons continue to adopt the attitude that a technical education is for the non- academic learner. Secondary schools in Barbados must be focused on this reality as they provide that balance of academic and technical skills. Our secondary schools, in particular, must continue to create a positive image and foster a positive attitude among students with regard to technical and vocational training,” he said.