Minister of Education, Santia Bradshaw (seated centre) and owner of the No.1 Beauty Supply store, Mohammad Jaouni (right) pose with cosmetology students Ayanna Reid-Walker, Korvelle Cox, and Jada Lamontagne, in the Frederick Smith Secondary School’s new Cosmetology lab which was officially opened yesterday. (S.Pilé/BGIS)

What one local beauty supply company has done to help secondary school students pursue their Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQs) in Cosmetology and Barbering is, in itself, a thing of beauty. Mohammad Jaouni of the No.1 Beauty Supply store has provided students at the Frederick Smith Secondary School (FSSS) with the tools they need to go after their dreams, in the form of a fully equipped cosmetology lab.

As a result of his generosity, a classroom at the Trents, St. James school has been transformed into a professional grade beauty salon/barber shop, which will help launch students into careers in cosmetology and barbering.

Twenty students – 10 males and 10 females – will be the first to use the new lab, as they pursue their Level 1 CVQ certification.

Speaking at the official opening of the lab yesterday, Mr. Jaouni said he had no intention of stopping, after his latest contribution to the Frederick Smith Secondary School.

“This is our third school project.  It is not going to be the end; we are going to do other projects to assist the young boys and girls [with] skills.  It is not going to stop here; we will keep providing more materials and supplies to the schools.

“I am really happy to see this project see the light. It touches my heart when I see kids struggling to learn.  Some families, they call and thank me. But first, thanks go to God.  We are here to help each other,” he said, adding that he would continue to work with the Ministry to address the needs of students.

Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Santia Bradshaw, lauded Mr. Jaouni for his contributions, stating that the private sector continues to respond positively to the call from the Ministry for additional resources.

Cosmetology student, Jada Lamontagne, practising her skills on mum Sandrine Lamontagne in the new lab. (S.Pilé/BGIS)

“This morning’s event to mark the official opening of the cosmetology lab at the Frederick Smith Secondary School is testimony to the benefit of partnerships between the world of business and education in shaping the future of our nation.

“Mr. Jaouni, I want to express my sincere thanks for your quiet and also generous contribution to our efforts to provide a quality and relevant education to our students. Not only has your support been of a financial nature, but you have also provided internship and job attachment opportunities for students and teachers pursuing the vocational teachers’ training programme at the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College,” Minister Bradshaw stated.

To date, there are eight schools pursuing cosmetology and barbering – Springer Memorial, Grantley Adams Memorial, Princess Margaret Secondary, St. Leonard’s Boys’, Parkinson Memorial, Graydon Sealy Secondary, St. George Secondary, and Frederick Smith Secondary.  

Of the eight schools, five labs were established through the support of private partners. And of those five supported by private partnerships, Frederick Smith Secondary and St. George Secondary were fully outfitted by Mr.Jaouni.

All eight schools have benefited from private sector donations of beauty supplies to support student practice and assessments.

Ms. Bradshaw explained that before it was implemented students at Frederick Smith had called for the CVQ programme in Cosmetology and Barbering to be part of the school’s curriculum.  She lauded the principal and staff for heeding those calls.

The new professional grade beauty salon/barber shop at the Frederick Smith Secondary School, where students will pursue their Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQs) in Cosmetology and Barbering. (S.Pilé/BGIS)

She said the new lab was not just a nicely decorated space, but it met the “rigorous requirements of the CVQ programme, which now demands that training and assessment take place in an environment which mirrors the workplace”.

The Education Minister also disclosed that the labs at FSSS and the other schools were audited to ensure compliance to industry standards, since non-compliance meant students could not get certified.  She further added that the audit lasts for five years.

Between 2017 and 2019, 42 students have been certified, and assessments are expected to continue during the summer.

Seven students from Frederick Smith are being assessed, even though they have only recently begun the Cosmetology and Barbering programme.

The programme at Frederick Smith is not just about cosmetology, but has a business component to it, to help students become well-rounded entrepreneurs. 

It consists of other subjects, including Human and Social Biology, Principles of Business, Social Studies, English and Mathematics.

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