During the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the new technical wing of the school, Minister of Education, the Honourable Jonel Powell, said that the occasion is another landmark event in the implementation stage of the TVET Enhancement Project.
Minister Powell stated that the TVET Enhancement Project is an initiative of the Federal Government of St. Kitts and Nevis. The project is funded jointly by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Nevis Island Administration to the tune of US $8 million.
The project resides within the Ministry of Education with the TVET Secretariat as its executing agency responsible for implementation.
The Minister of Education said that persons should no longer think of education in the traditional sense of being successful in CXC examinations.
“Education must also be seen as embracing and encompassing the technical vocational and training aspects of the growth and development of all of our citizens,” he said. “At this juncture in our national economic development, it must become second nature for all of our people to develop a skill or talent or an ability or the capacity that will make us capable of doing more than just sitting CXC examinations.”
Minister Powell said that the TVET Enhancement Project is another initiative that promotes the Team Unity Government’s agenda of putting people to work.
“Put another way, when you have a skill you not only become marketable, but you become self-employable,” he said.
The TVET Enhancement Project is designed to ensure that programmes in the nation’s schools and colleges are fit for the purposes for present and future generations of students, said the minister.
He added that the project is destined to foster capacity building among students, teachers, instructors, and leaders in various TVET fields.
The new structure will comprise two floors. The ground floor will measure 352 square meters, while the first floor measures 362 square meters inclusive of walkways and veranda.
The total building, excluding the stairways and ramps, is approximately 417 square feet. It houses a cosmetology centre, wood works shop, and classroom on the ground floor with an electrical laboratory, technical drawing and general class on the first floor.
The structure will provide the necessary space to meet the CVQ (Caribbean Vocational Qualification) and NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) facility standards. The building will give Nevis its first CVQ ready facility, which will then be audited by CXC and the SKN TVET Council for Centre approval and designation as a CVQ/NVQ Centre.
The estimated cost of the wing is $3.9 million.