June 30, 2015
Bartech giving new meaning to technical and vocational training

The Barrouallie Technical Institute (Bartech) is on a mission to change the meaning of technical and vocational training as society knows it.

In recent years, the institute has engaged their in-house trainees with more than the traditional academics and vocational training, but also in the performing arts, educational hikes and a wide range of training and certification opportunities.{{more}}

Yesterday, the community of Barrouallie was made privy to the fruits of these initiatives when 32 students were presented with certificates in an official graduation ceremony.

“Technical vocational training as we know it has taken on new meaning. At the end of one year, our level-one trainees are certified, following a rigorous process of assessments, internal verification and external verification,” said Pearlette Primus-Hannaway, in her principal’s report.

The principal noted that in September 2014, 55 trainees enrolled at the institute from surrounding areas. While these trainees had completed stints at various secondary schools across the country and even at the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College, only 32 were able to complete their training.

“Due to a number of reasons, chief of which is financial constraints, only 32 trainees made it to the end of training. Though this figure represents an improvement over previous years, we are not satisfied with the statistics,” she said, adding that this was an issue that the school wished to rectify in the coming school year.

The graduating class is currently awaiting results for CSEC English, as well as CCSLC English and Math. They also boast of being the first set of students to ever compete in the National Secondary Schools Drama Festival from a technical institute. This venture earned the school nominations in five areas, from which they won Best Original Clip.

“When you made the choice to pursue a course in technical and vocational training, you made the best decision,” Primus-Hannaway told graduands.

“As you prepare to leave us to embark on another journey, do not be naïve to think that all will be well all of the time. You will be tempted many a times to give up and forget all you have worked hard to achieve. You will be tempted to sit and cry and feel sorry for yourself. No matter what happens, never give up on the journey. You will not get to the top by sitting at the bottom. Your greatest weakness lies in giving up but the most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time.”

President and coordinator of Project Men and graduate teacher Conroy Huggins delivered the feature address.

According to Huggins, the 2015 graduating class was “loaded with untapped potential.”

While dissecting the theme, “Transforming lives through skill acquisition”, the teacher quizzed graduands on the kind of change they hoped to represent and how they intended to transform not only their lives, but the lives of others as well.

“In our society, there has always been the notion that if you are not a lawyer or a doctor, or maybe a teacher or a policeman, then you won’t amount to anything,” he said.

“Whatever path you take, my advice to you is to maximize the training you have received, as you move on, that you will not settle there, that you will not get settled there. That you aspire to add value to yourself by seeking greater knowledge in the area you have chosen.”

Huggins noted that if students did not take his advice, then they would remain stagnant. He stated that the world was changing rapidly and told graduands that they had a very significant contribution to make in the four disciplines that they were enrolled in at the institute.

Alicia Samuel was the top performer in the Data Operations field and was the valedictorian.

In her brief address, Samuel reflected on the graduands’ journey over the one-year period, which she said was filled with hard work that sometimes had them working through their lunch periods.

She took the opportunity to thank teachers and parents for their support throughout the journey and also promised to strive for the best.

Describing the ceremony as a door that welcomes the graduands to a new beginning, Samuel told her peers that “we cannot and must not fail.”

“We have been sufficiently trained to lead, but also to follow,” she said.

Top performer in Front Office was Tashica Samuel, while Morissa Cuffy was top student in Food and Beverages Service and Imran John topped his class in Electronic Installation.

Other speakers included Dwight Lewis, director of NQD and Beverly Neptune, deputy chief education officer.(BK)