Total Educational Center (TEC) celebrates Careers through Technical Education Awareness Week with a slate of activities, which began Monday, May 14 with a Special Assembly and Prefect Installation Ceremony and will conclude on Friday, May 18.
Ten TEC students were installed as prefects and listened attentively to veteran educator Cecil Thompson, who served as the guest speaker at the ceremony, encouraging each one to take their oath seriously, capitalize on all the opportunities they’re afforded by participating in the program and respecting the proud history which the center continues to grow, develop and thrive upon.
Excitedly announcing the line-up of activities scheduled for Technical Education Awareness Week, Fred Delancy, TEC President thanked Thompson for his contribution and revealed, “Indeed, we are elated to begin the week with the installation of TEC’s Student Government and congratulate those chosen to serve, as undoubtedly they will help to motivate and inspire their peers to continue striving for excellence in their technical education pursuits.
“A cadre of special activities are slated to occur in celebration of Technical Education Awareness Week and on Wednesday May 16 students and young adults throughout the Grand Bahama community have been invited to participate in TEC’s Roundtable Discussion on Careers in the Technical/ Industrial Industry.
“Various local corporations and industry representatives from throughout the community which TEC has developed a partnership will all be on-hand addressing the concerns of attendees as it regards services, products, jobs and careers available as well as an exhibition will be put forth by these companies.
“On Thursday, May 17 Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance K. Peter Turnquest will address a cross section of the Grand Bahama community as it pertains to the role of the Bahamas Government, industry and community in the development of our youth, their education and preparing them for the future.
“Of course, this Technical Education Awareness Week marks the beginning of our technical education revolution in which we declare that all young Bahamians should have free and easy access to good, top quality technical education and experience.”
Keenly aware of the fact that for quite an extensive period, persons have been engaged in “talks” about jobs and job availability, Delancy applauded Minister of Labour Senator Dion Foulkes for his efforts in spearheading the Labour on the Blocks Initiative, which he believes has proven to be quite beneficial for those prepared to embrace the opportunities available therein.
Offering his perspective on another dynamic of labour relations in the country, Delancy noted that the Labour on the Blocks Initiative must be supplemented with another program that provides numerous training possibilities for young Bahamians placing the onus on both the Government and corporate/industrial community to pay/invest in the education of students, who once they would have completed their studies could take over positions available at the various organizations/business entities.
“We know that jobs are not available as they should be for our Bahamian youth but based on the industrial nature of Grand Bahama, which suggests that employment should indeed by available, I understand that our young people have not been properly and appropriately prepared to grasp a hold of those opportunities which should be accessible to them.
“In my view, we have done a very poor job as a country in the past 25 years of ensuring that our young Bahamians are ready for the future, therefore, it is incumbent upon us, the Bahamas Government, tertiary institutions, the industrial, corporate, civic and religious community to come together supporting our young people making sure opportunities are available for them in the future.
“The technical education revolution in this regard requires three things to happen the first of which we are engaged in at TEC is the establishment of a Tech Prep Programme on Saturdays, which is free of charge to junior and senior high school students.
“As a matter of fact, for the past five Saturdays beginning 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., junior and senior high school students from throughout the Grand Bahama community have attended the Tech Prep Programme and are actively engaged in technical prep classes, technical workshops, field trips, community service programs along with sports and recreation.
“DPM Turnquest has bought into the Tech Prep Programme and has sponsored youth from East Grand Bahama whom he has ensured attend the classes every Saturday,” Delancy revealed, who noted that the second component to the technical education revolution involves students, who are naturally, technically inclined to attend TEC.
Noting that facts were misconstrued as to what TEC was designed to do and that initially persons thought it was a school that assisted at-risk youths, Delancy said now more than ever parents and guardians elect to enroll their children at the institution as they witness firsthand the benefits the school provides for their child inclusive of earning a high school diploma, receiving proper technical and industrial training and once they graduate are basically guaranteed a job at one of the various industrial companies that partners with TEC.
According to Delancy, TEC students are also engaged in personal development programs that help them to be properly socialized in the community.
The final component is the Technical Certificate Industry Training Programme that prepares persons directly for the workplace enabling them to gain entry level employment.