BarTech – ‘Training Hands and Minds, Maximizing Potential’
June 28, 2013

BarTech – ‘Training Hands and Minds, Maximizing Potential’

Located in the fishing village of Barrouallie, the Barrouallie Technical Institute (BarTech) is geared at training their students for entry into the workplace.{{more}}

Unlike other schools whose focus is strictly academic, the technical institute offers two types of programmes: one for resident students and another for fifth form students from the Buccament Bay Secondary School and Central Leeward Secondary School.

BarTech was the last of the four technical institutes to be established and offers Home Economics, Food and Nutrition, Electrical Electronics, Building Construction and Technical Drawing to its visiting students.

Meanwhile, resident students are a part of a one-year programme, and have the option to take courses in Front Office Operations, Housekeeping, Food and Beverage, Food Preparations, Electrical Installation, Furniture Making, Technical Drawing and Data Operations.

Principal of BarTech Cleve Hadaway noted that there are four levels in vocational training, Level One being the level administered at the institute.

“Ideally, what we should be doing is training the students at level one and two and then from us, they can go to the Technical College and continue to levels three and four,” Hadaway said.

Despite some difficulty in getting the community service aspect of their operations underway, Hadaway told SEARCHLIGHT that the students intend to do community service in the near future.

Rather than the usual community service activities, BarTech students plan to use the skills that they have acquired at the school to help others.

“What we had planned is that the boys will select people in the community who are needy; they would go and clean the yard, fix a fence, fix a window…if they had any switches to repair, they will do that,” Hadaway explained.

“Those who are doing Home Ec…they can go and clean up the place…cook a meal”.

Woodwork teacher Booti Samuel noted that his class is not only about making furniture, but also about getting to know and take care of the tools that they will need to work with.

“They learn about all the different tools, hand tools, parts and functions, use of tools in general and also the electrical tools and general maintenance and workshop rules and regulations…”he said.

Samuel explained that presently, his students are involved in making small projects and pointed to an unfinished, but smoothly sanded bathroom cabinet.

Describing having a skill as a lucrative business, the animated teacher opined that the students at the technical institute are on the same level as, if not higher than, the more academically inclined students.

“You have to be intelligent…once you are involved here, you have to do mathematics, have to do science, have to work out formulas and so on,” Samuel stressed.

Showing off his neatly made towel rack, resident student Kevin Dickson expressed his love for woodwork and its effect on his everyday life.

“It helps me a lot,” the Barrouallie resident admitted shyly.

Holding out his school project for SEARCHLIGHT to see, Dickson stated that it took him a while to finish his towel rack, approximately three weeks.

Stopping by the kitchen, SEARCHLIGHT also got a first hand experience of visiting Home Economics students in action, as they wrapped up their first practical exercise.

The class of both boys and girls proudly showcased their beautifully garnished small doughnuts, tossed salad, soup and fish. The beginnings of a continental breakfast were also laid out – sweet muffins, porridge, an omelet and tea.

As part of their training, the resident students are sent on attachments to gain industry experience.

A teacher in the Hospitality faculty, Perlette Primus-Hannaway stated that there have been many outstanding students who have gone on attachment and were later employed because of their professionalism.

Hannaway also noted that students get the opportunity to go aboard cruise ships to observe what it is like working in a particular field.

Although the BarTech is not fully equipped with the ideal items for subjects offered, Hadaway mentioned that “they are not on the map as yet” and that they are making what they have work, to achieve some semblance of their motto: “Training Hands and Minds, Maximizing Potential”.

Currently, 12 teachers are employed at the institute and there is a small contingent of auxiliary staff.

The school facilitates 100 students from the secondary schools and approximately 45 registered students in the Level One programme.