March 26, 2010
Seaman Navigation Course for Youths in North Leeward

The Adult and Continuing Education Unit in collaboration with the St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) Coast Guard is facilitating one week of Basic Seaman and Navigation training for youths in North Leeward.{{more}} The training was formally opened with a ceremony at the North Leeward Learning Resource Centre at Fitz Hughes on Monday, March 22, 2010.

Hayden Ferdinand, Adult and Continuing Education Zonal Co-ordinator, said that they were expecting 20 participants to take the training. He said that he hopes that the best would come out and that the youths will learn new things.

John Zan George, Senior Education Officer, Adult and Continuing Education Unit, said that he was happy to collaborate with the SVG Coastguard in this venture. He said that the Unit has worked with the Coast Guard in Owia on a similar programme and that the officers are very professional.

George said that participants will benefit from the training and hopes that they will continue throughout the week, and invite their friends. He added that the Adult and Continuing Education Unit is community oriented and the Basic Seamanship training very important for North Leeward because it will add personal and social capital. Also, George said that the community will benefit directly from this training since fishing is an income earner.

One main challenge that George cited is to getting young males to join classes such as these. According to him, a recent National Literacy survey indicated that females are ahead in literacy in SVG.

Chief Petty Officer Franklyn John gave an outline of the week’s training. Some of the areas that the participants will be taught are basic engineering, first aid and navigation. According to John, at the end of the week participants will receive a certificate. He told the gathering that the Coast Guard does not only ‘run drugs’, and that they are also involved in nation building.

He told those who are interested in becoming a member of the Coast Guard now have information that they can build on, also at liberty to pass on the information and hope to get full participation.