|The strong survive|
Guardian Lifestyles Editor
Published: Jun 06, 2012
Nassau Christian Academy graduating senior Shawn Rolle has no problem paying for a college degree if he intends to matriculate at The College of The Bahamas (COB). The graduating senior received a four-year scholarship tenable at the institution from BTC, by virtue of being named the 2012 Top Cadet of the Year during the recent Technical Cadet Corps Programme graduation.
Rolle also earned the most outstanding student award in the pre-engineering category. He had the top grade point average in the class for the three-year program.
The Technical Cadet Corps Programme exposes students to various disciplines: Engineering, science, mechanical technology, electronics, engineering drawing, broadcast engineering and water management.
Students who are accepted into the three-year program must have a grade point average of 2.5 and pass a proficiency test that determines their suitability for a career in the respective technical fields.
Rolle’s grade point average surpassed the 3.00 grade point mark, as did all of the other students honored.
Bahamas Academy graduating senior Earl Roberts, who was named the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity’s 2012 Most Outstanding Male Student in The Bahamas, also received a four-year scholarship to attend COB by BTC.
St. Augustines College senior Calvin Pratt received the Water and Sewerage four-year scholarship to COB.
C.V. Bethel’s Avardo Brown and Faith Temple Christian Academy’s Daramfon Morgan received four-year BEC scholarships.
Eugenique Williams and Angel Knowles, also from C.V. Bethel, were awarded with Ministry of Education scholarships to attend BTVI for the duration of their respective program.
Minister of Education, Science and Technology Jerome Fitzgerald told the students that made it through to the end of the program that their success would make it easier for him to expand the role of technical and vocational education in the curriculum over the next five years, and to also showcase its success because they are tangible evidence.
“We therefore have to take swift steps to include a larger pool of students in the national picture for technical and vocational training, or applied academics which encapsulates such areas as photography, basic construction, computer repair and networking, cabinetry, architecture, air conditioning installation, tile and carpet laying, heavy equipment operation, automotive repair and diesel engine repair and similar fields,” said Fitzgerald. “We must develop the mindset that the more students we empower to make their career choice while they are in school, the greater the service we are doing for our country.”
The education minister also said he would like to see more collaboration among the various career and technical vocational programs within the educational system.
He also said that all of the skills training programs within the educational system must be uniformed in their mission to develop students, and that students should leave high school with certification and qualifications.
“We have to become realistic and firm about making changes that will take into consideration not only our students' learning abilities and their learning styles, but also their interests and strengths which may not be purely academic, but nevertheless are careers which are essential and vital to the sustained development of our beautiful nation,” he said.
When the next group of students enroll in the program, he said he would like to aim for 150 as opposed to just 100 and that in a few years, graduating 100 would become a regular occurrence.
He told the graduates to be proud of themselves and that getting there showed the sacrifice they made to fulfill the requirements asked of them. He said that their graduation showed they were focused and committed individuals who can set a goal, pursue it and achieve it. Fitzgerald also told them to look forward to the next corps of young men that will graduate in 2015 who are prepared for a career choice best suited to their interests and strengths which will allow them to be self-sufficient, contributing nation builders.
The education minister also commended the various corporations who had strengthened the program through direct and indirect financial contributions and by making their facilities available for the students to do their internships and receive hands-on training, along with a stipend.
The program is a Ministry partnership with the BTC, the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas, Water and Sewerage Corporation and Bahamas Electricity Corporation. The agencies provide students with internships, hands-on training and stipends during their time in the program.
He also said a debt of gratitude is also owed to the instructors, some who have been with this program for many years. He acknowledged that it was a commitment on their part to teach a full week then devote several afternoons to facilitate this program.
The Technical Cadet Corps Programme was initiated by Dr. Bernard Nottage 22 years ago. The program caters to students with a grade point average of 2.5 or above Students engaging in this programme must pass a proficiency test to determine their suitability.