Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Drainage, Daphne Kellman poses with (l-r) Head of SJPP’s Electrical and Engineering Division, Edwin Gibson; Jerrad Roach; Rachad Goring; Deputy Permanent Secretary, Nicole Taylor and Ryan Felicien. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Three students from the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP) are this year’s recipients of the National Ozone Depleting Substance (ODS) Phase Out Support Scholarship.

They are Jerrad Roach; Rachad Goring and Ryan Felicien, second-year students in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (RAC) diploma programme.

The students were awarded in a brief ceremony today at the Ministry of Environment and Drainage, where National Ozone Officer in the Ministry, Shontelle Wellington, said the event was being hosted as part of the celebratory activities in recognition of International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, September 16.

This year, Ozone Day is being observed under the theme Caring for all life under the sun.  It is in celebration of the significant role that the Montreal Protocol has played in protecting human health and the environment from over exposure to ultraviolet radiation over the past 30 years.

Ms. Wellington said: “Successful phase out of ODS at the national level requires a multidimensional and holistic approach that is dependent upon the support and cooperation of all stakeholders. In this regard, the National Ozone Unit has worked over the years to strengthen its relationship with the SJPP which serves as the nursery/training ground for RAC technicians of the future.

“Technicians play a vital role in shaping the country’s transition away from the use of ozone depleting substances towards the use of non-ozone depleting, climate-friendly and energy efficient alternatives. They can also help to protect the ozone layer by utilising good Refrigeration and Air conditioning practices such as recovery, recycling and reclamation while they work.”

The National Ozone Depleting Substances Phase out Support Scholarship was established in 2014 and to date has been awarded to 10 students. According to Ms. Wellington, the award is intended to complement Barbados’ actions that are directed at achieving hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) phase out targets defined in the National HCFC Phase out Management Plan.

As such, the scholarship is expected to increase the exposure of RAC student at the SJPP to Barbados’ obligations under the Montreal Protocol; and assist with raising the profile of the Diploma in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning programme at that institution.

It will further promote the utilisation of good environmentally sensitive service practices among students at the SJPP and in the wider RAC community; and over the long term, contribute to the further development of the RAC Association of Barbados.

Head of SJPP’s Electrical and Engineering Division, Edwin Gibson, speaking on behalf of the students, said the project was “fantastic” not only for the institution, but for the country as a whole, helping to instill more pride and importance in technical training.

“It is a project that we at the polytechnic are grateful for; we have received a lot of equipment and support over the years and I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the management of the polytechnic to say thank you to the Ministry of Environment and the National Ozone Unit,” he stressed.

He assured Ministry officials, including Permanent Secretary, Daphne Kellman and Deputy Permanent Secretary, Nicole Taylor, that the students understood the importance of the scholarship.

The refrigeration instructor and technician urged his charges to grasp the opportunities provided by the scholarship and live up to its expectations.

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