50 youth get another chance at training
ST ANN'S BAY, St Ann:
Approximately 50 young people in St Ann, between 17 and 30 years old, who might have dropped out of school or are without academic qualification, recently got a chance to improve themselves.
The Marcus Garvey Youth Information Centre in St Ann's Bay, in partnership with HEART Trust/NTA, enrolled them in the National Unattached Youth Programme and exposed them to a pre-technology programme, which ended last week.
This programme, which was aimed at improving the livelihoods of youths across Jamaica, sought to increase students literacy and numeracy levels so that they would be able to pass the HEART Trust entry exam.
During the 20-week programme, participants were engaged in remedial mathematics and English, ICT, entrepreneurship, personal development, life skills training through creativity, music, sports, 4H, performing arts and visual arts.
In addition, the group went through extensive personal development interventions, which included conflict resolution, stress management, personal hygiene, career development, dress and deportment, interviewing skills, sexual and reproductive health and goal setting.
"They went through a series of mock interviews which provided feedback aimed at preparing them for the world of work and advancing in their career fields of choice," explained Anisa Wilson-Smith, senior youth empowerment officer and regional manager in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.
She added: "The group was also given the opportunity to participate in a number of outings geared towards their personal development."
The youths grabbed the opportunity and represented themselves well throughout the programme, showing remarkable improvement in English and mathematics.
At the start of the programme, the literacy level in mathematics was below the expected average to pass the HEART entrance exam, with only five per cent of the group showing they were capable.
At the end of the programme, it was estimated that 53 per cent of the group were ready to sit the entrance exam.
Regarding English, more than 40 per cent of the group showed literacy level for English below the expected average. However, this climbed to 80 per cent by the end of the programme.