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Public Works staff an inspiration at CARE

Public Works staff taking basic skills classes at CARE Learning Centre have proven inspirational to their younger classmates.

“They do it for self-satisfaction, upward mobility in the workplace, and to assist their children with their school work,” said CARE director Neletha Butterfield.

“They advance for better positions on their jobs, open doors of opportunity, upward mobility, college, employment opportunities and for the respect that they deserve.”

A ten-week course for the General Educational Development certificate costs around $1,250 per student, she said.

Ms Butterfield said it was important for Government to invest in the basic training for staff.

“Would you want to work with someone who couldn’t read? What if there was a sign on the wall saying it was dangerous to smoke in that area and they lit a cigarette and blew the place up?”

Ten Public Works staff enrolled with CARE this academic year. Assessments showed that five needed to upgrade their skills in maths, English and writing, with some of them at a primary school level.

“Since their enrolment they have been progressing very well with one ready to go into the GED preparation class,” Ms Butterfield told

The Royal Gazette.“Two of the employees’ assessments indicated readiness for the GED test in June, but they need assistance in mathematics before taking the test, and have been enrolled since January of this year.

“Two did take the GED test but failed in one or two areas and will re-sit in June.”

Last year, two Public Works staff took the test, with one passing in all of the five subjects.

The other passed three subjects, and will re-sit the other two in June — paid for by herself, Ms Butterfield added.

According to a Public Works spokesman, 11 employees in total have obtained their GED diplomas through CARE.

The alternative learning centre, now approaching its 30th anniversary, has had to cut costs for classes “due to the economic climate”, the director said.

“If things continue we have to make some decisions, just like other business suffering during these trying times, to meet the challenges ahead of us.”

Ms Butterfield estimated CARE was owed more than $50,000 in outstanding school fees.

“Care Learning Centre takes about $350,000 a year to operate and we depend on the funds we receive from individuals, past students and organisations, as well as Government departments,” she said.

“We lost our grant two years ago from the Ministry of Education and we’ve been struggling ever since. Government also gets money back from us for the rent that we pay on this facility.”

Public Works staff who sign up for classes do so at the recommendation of superintendents.

“It’s commendable to have them here because they inspire the younger men and women,” Ms Butterfield said, adding: “One of them was valedictorian last year.”

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Published April 16, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 16, 2013 at 1:04 am)

Public Works staff an inspiration at CARE

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