Hanover Educational Institute opens state-of-the-art polytechnic facility
The Hanover Educational Institute (HEI) has made another giant step in its bid to become a full-fledged state-of-the art polytechnic institution with the official commissioning of a J$9-million hospitality training facility at its Cousins Cove location.
The construction was funded by the Embassy of Japan.
The building was officially handed over by Counsellor Shotoku Habukawa, deputy head of mission of the Japanese Embassy, and comes 17 years after executive director and principal of the institution, Angela Haye, established the school.
The HEI was initially set up to provide remedial classes to secondary-school dropouts and to facilitate students who were performing below the required academic standards in high schools, and were considered by others to be irredeemable.
First housed at a plaza on Watson Taylor Drive, the institute was later relocated to an abandoned community centre at Watson Taylor Park, and then to a facility in neighbouring Bulls Bay, before establishing its permanent base at Cousins Cove several years ago.
In her address at the handover ceremony, Hayle said she is anticipating training 100 students each year in dining-room service, bartending and cooking skills, who will thereafter be NCTVET-certified.
“We are preparing ourselves to be able to take up whatever opportunities exist to help train and empower at-risk youth to make them employable,” she explained.
“As you may be aware, western Hanover is poised for development, including a 2,000-room hotel coming to the Green Island area. We see ourselves playing a vital role in the training and placement of potential workers. Additionally, there is a push by the Ministry of Tourism to invest heavily in training at all levels of the hotel sector as a deliberate effort to produce high-quality workers for the market,” she said.
The executive director noted that in addition to training potential workers, the building will offer dining and event-services to the public.
“This project is a community development project, so we are open to hosting you for meetings, gatherings, as we seek to raise much-needed revenue to sustain our programmes. The servers will be students; the bartenders will be students; the cooks will be students. The trainees will have the opportunity to get the practical hands-on training that will prepare them for the world of work,” she stated.
Haye said the next order of business will be to seek corporate assistance to acquire resources to furnish and fully equip the facility, set up a solar electricity system to help reduce dependency on the traditional power source, as well as implement a water-harvesting system and construct a perimeter fence. She said thereafter, the school’s management will tackle the other goals, which include venturing into other areas of vocational, agricultural, entrepreneurial and academic training.
In his presentation, Habukawa said the opening of the facility was a significant achievement, but pointed out that it also heralds what he described as the real work by the HEI to provide value-added education and skills training opportunities for its trainees.
“I do hope this new environment will enable all student trainees to excel in their areas of training, and that the community will be able to feel a sense of purpose knowing that the needs of the people will be met.”
The funds to construct the building were granted under the Japanese Embassy’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots and Human Security Projects, which supports projects, education, health and agricultural missions proposed by community-based organisations, local authorities and non-governmental organisations.