Our Readers' Opinions
March 21, 2017
ACE dedicated facilitators should be rewarded

EDITOR: Adult and Continuing Education (ACE) plays an important role in the development of this country and its people. It also plays a pivotal role in the education revolution.

Many persons have been afforded a second chance at academics and vocational studies. From time, to time, we have heard the testimonies of persons who received help through this programme and persons who have gained a skill to be gainfully employed. While we give credit to the Government and the ACE department, the highest praise must go the facilitators and also the participants.

Over the years, many persons have given substantial time and effort as facilitators in this section of the education revolution. Most of the facilitators are doing a fantastic job and are dedicated to this area of service.

Very little is heard of the programmes that are done in the prisons. It would seem as if these programmes are of little importance to the Education Department. Very few persons in that department seem to know what programmes are carried on there and there is hardly any publicity by the media. At present, the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Education (CSEC) is in its fourth year at the Belle Isles Correctional Centre; but how many persons know about this? The answer to this question would be interesting. What is even more commendable is the high rate of passes by the inmates. Yet it goes unnoticed. There are also other programmes, such as music, tailoring and crafts, where imates are making things from grass and other materials. This is for another subject at another time.

However, how long will these programmes in the prison and elsewhere survive will ultimately dependent on funding.

It is hard to think that these facilitators would give so much of their time and dedicated service and yet cannot receive a promised stipend, as was done previously. This cannot continue. After all, the facilitators cannot and will not continue like this. And if this continues, I am sure, we will see an end to these worthwhile programmes.

The ball is therefore in the court of the Adult and Continuing Education Department and the Ministry of Finance, to ensure the survival of these programmes.

Kennard King