House: high school pupils get head start
A total of 45 public high school pupils are enrolled in a college programme designed to give them a head start in the job market, the minister of education said today.
Diallo Rabain told Parliament that the Applied Technology Certificate Programme, introduced last year, prepares senior students to graduate with “key hands-on skills necessary to enter the job market”.
He explained that the two-year programme, facilitated by the Department of Education and Bermuda College, is for students in S3 and S4 who are between 16 and 18 years old.
It includes introductory courses to technical careers such as carpentry, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, automotive mechanics and information technology.
Students must also take courses including physics, applied mathematics, English language arts, and a college success course that teaches study skills and prepares students for college course work.
Mr Rabain added: “At graduation, students would have also completed a work experience or internship with an industry partner during the final semester of their programme studies.”
He explained that students attend classes at Bermuda College every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9am until 4.30pm. On Mondays and Fridays they attend regular school classes.
He added: “Our public school students are developing lifelong skills of how to adapt to changing learning environments.”
“When they are at the Bermuda College, they are viewed as college freshman or sophomore students, versus when they return back to their respective high schools, they revert to school uniforms and being in a more restrictive learning environment.
“Nonetheless, our students are doing extremely well in that 88 per cent or 18 of the first cohort of 21 students who enrolled in the programme in September 2016, are still attending classes.
“They are on track to graduate in May 2018, from the Bermuda College with their Applied Technology Certificate and then graduate weeks later in June 2018, from their senior school with the Bermuda School Diploma.”
Mr Rabain said the first cohort included 11 male students from CedarBridge Academy and ten male pupils from the Berkeley Institute.
The second included eight male students from CedarBridge as well as thirteen male and three female students from the Berkeley Institute.
Mr Rabain, who was a guest lecturer for the first year, commended the “excellent” work of the instructors.
He also encouraged his colleagues to attend the Walk-In Wednesday sessions which feature presentations from the students.
Mr Rabain said: “I attended a Walk-in Wednesday session on October 18 and I was absolutely impressed.
“It was amazing how our public senior students had put theory into practice to build such solutions.”
Mr Rabain said the next session will be held on November 29 from 9am to 10.30am.
He added: “To attend a Walk-in-Wednesday, one can call Dr Trescott Wilson, the Dean of Technical Education, Business and Hospitality and/or Mr Delroy Musson, chairman of Technical Education, at the Bermuda College.”
• For Mr Rabain's full statement, see the PDF under “Related Media”.