The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is currently in Barbados to conduct an administrative mission, over the next two weeks, with the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (METI) to review the implementation progress of the Skills For The Future Program.

As part of the agenda, officials from the Bank will, this week, visit a number of sites related to several activities under the loan.

The team will visit schools which have received funding under the School Improvement Grant and some of the sites where students are being facilitated with job attachments via the A Ganar pilot programme.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, July 1, the officials will visit the Barbados Vocational Training Board at St. Luke???s, Brighton, St. George, at 10:30 a.m.; St. George Secondary School, Constant, St. George, at 11:00 a.m.; and Benskin???s Hospitality School, Prospect, St. James, at 11:30 a.m.

The following day, Wednesday, July 2, they will journey to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, Sky Mall, Haggatt Hall, St. Michael, where they will observe students in the A Ganar pilot programme undertaking training in digital media. This tour will start at 1:30 p.m.

The team will be led by IDB???s Education Lead Specialist, Dr. Sabine Rieble-Aubourg, and Programme Director of the Programme Coordinating Unit of the Ministry, Paul Murphy. Representatives of A Ganar, as well as from the Ministries of Education, Labour and Social Security and Human Resource Development, will be in attendance.

The Skills For the Future Program is being executed by the METI, with financing to the tune of US$20 million from the IDB and counterpart funding from the Government of Barbados. It comprises four components, namely: support for an employer-driven training system, improvement of quality and relevance of secondary and post-secondary education, institutional strengthening and capacity building, and a comprehensive communication???s campaign.

A Ganar, a sub-component under the Program, started in January 2013 with a pre-pilot phase that targeted two secondary schools and two training institutions. These are St. Leonard’s Boys??? and Parkinson Memorial Secondary Schools, and the Barbados Vocational Training Board and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic.

The School Improvement Grant would have issued the first tranche to three schools in March of this year. They are St. George Secondary, St. Leonard???s Boys??? and Fredrick Smith Secondary, which all received $60,000.

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