Karen Sudu, Gleaner Writer
BOG WALK, St Catherine:THE AUTO-MECHANICS Department at the Bog Walk High School in St Catherine received a boost with the donation of four damaged motor cars.
Merrick Plummer, assistant vice-president in the Individual Line Sales and Distribution Department, Sagicor, made the presentation to Patrick Phillips, principal, and automechanics teacher Menioum Reid, recently.
"We have made many donations to different schools, but it is really the first of this kind in terms of donating cars," Plummer told The Gleaner.
He explained that the gifts were part of his company's corporate responsibility.
"We feel a part of the community and therefore, what we try to do is to meet some of the needs of our stakeholders, including our communities. We actually believe in working with students and our young people," he said.
An elated Reid, a graduate of the Jamaica-German Automotive School and the Vocational Training Development Institute, who has been serving the department as the automechanics teacher since 1996, said the donation was a dream come true.
"We've been wanting live cars to work on and with these, the boys will have the live experience. Everybody is taken up with cars and technology and, after being trained here, they should be more than just apprentices; and when they go to a garage or so, they should be able to contribute," she explained.
CARS TO ENHANCE THE DEPARTMENT
Moreover, Phillips said the vehicles would undoubtedly enhance the department, particularly the institution's driving programme to be launched in January next year.
"One of our major social problems is the high accident rate, so if we can socialise our young people, giving them the techniques in driving from school, when they leave school, they would have been grounded in good driving techniques, and so that should help in decreasing the accident rate on our roads," explained Phillips.
He said one of the vehicles was being repaired and would be used to teach the students driving lessons. There are 34 grade 10 and 36 grade 11 students in the auto-mechanics programme, which also caters to students in the Career Advancement Programme (CAP).
"They can get their learner's licence from 17. They would have learnt the techniques and so on by the time they reach 18, they would be able to go for their driver's licence, so they would be getting theory in road code, etc., while the CAP students are older than 18. Some of them in the programme would actually do the driving lessons," noted the principal.