Sat | Dec 10, 2016

Alpha Boys' School now 'Institute'

Published:Friday | September 19, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Young members of the Alpha Boys' Band going through their routine.
Alpha students at work in the woodcraft shop.
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Keisha Hill, Gleaner Writer

The Alpha Boys' School under its new name, Alpha Institute, has restructured its business and expanded its capacity from 80 students in a residential facility to 150 students in an innovative music and vocational two year-skills training programme for boys 15-18 years old.

With the adoption of the Career Advancement Programme (CAP), Alpha is now registered with the Ministry of Education and offers skills training in the areas of music, woodwork, screen-printing technology, landscaping and horticulture, business and social entrepreneurship, printing and bookbinding technology.

"Each boy is given an opportunity to learn a new skill," said Charles Arumaiselvam, public relations officer at Alpha Institute.

"When they have completed their training, they can be self-employed. They will be able to make tables, ornamental woodwork, including pens made from wood. They will also learn screen-printing and be able to print on T-shirts, caps, table cloths and anything on fabric," Arumaiselvam added.

Music, with which the school is synonymous, will be an integral part of the new programme. In the past, boys who attended Alpha learnt to play musical instruments and were well trained in band music. Many great music personalities got their start at Alpha and spread their wings all over the world. Don Drummond, Lester Sterling, Johnny 'Dizzy' Moore and Tommy McCook are among these legendary musicians.

Band music

Today, the Alpha Institute will remain committed to band music, but also to the training of Jamaican male youth in the business of music, voice training, dance and drama skills. Alpha is committed to making Jamaica proud by branding what is Jamaican.

"Alpha Institute, in tandem with the values of the Sisters of Mercy, Jamaica, is also committed to honouring the human dignity of every boy that walks through its doors. We see in each boy the potential for greatness, regardless of socio-economic or cultural background," Arumaiselvam said.

On Friday, September 5, there was an 'Open House' at the 26 South Camp Road institution. It launched the 2014-2015 school year for the new Alpha Institute.

Boys, including high-school graduates interested in the Alpha Institute's skills-training programmes can call or visit for registration and admission. Application forms for registration are available at the Alpha Institute, 928-1345 or email: alphaboys1.school@yahoo.com.

keisha.hill@gleanerjm.com