Truancy Officer, Elmore Stoutt
One of the Territory´s education stalwarts, Mr. Elmore Stoutt, will be the new Principal of the BVI Technical and Vocational Institute in Baugher´s Bay as the government moves to reform the institution.
Stoutt previously served as Principal of the BVI High school before the institution was renamed the Elmore Stoutt High School in his honour.
"As part of our plans to reform and elevate the status of this institution we have called in a stalwart of our education system to assist us during this transition. I am pleased to announce that Mr. Elmore Stoutt has joined us in this effort and will be the new principal of the school, beginning this school year," Hon. Myron Walwyn, Minister for Education and Culture announced today, August 27.
The Minister restated his Ministry´s plans to make the institution into a proper secondary school for students wishing to pursue technical and other trade subjects.
He said some of those plans have already been put in place based on the recommendations by the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Committee headed by Dr. Charles Wheatley, along with acting principal of school Mr. Clifton Forbes and other staff members.
"I have been presented with very thorough and practical proposals so that our education system can offer students wishing to pursue careers in the technical fields a higher standard of secondary school education. The individual charged with the responsibility for implementation of those recommendations, former educator Ms. Germaine Scatliffe, has already been actively working on plans," the Minister stated.
Further, the Minister said the Ministry will be moving to have the students of the school receive advanced certification which will also be accepted outside the Territory.
"Students that are presently attending the BVI Technical and Vocational Institute will be given additional academic support in order to help them attain the necessary skills to successfully sit the CCSLC exams and later gain employment. After we have worked successfully with this present cohort the school will be transformed into a technical high school. I have asked that no new students be sent to the Baugher´s Bay School until we begin enrollment of students who are interested in a technical education through our redeveloped technical high school in the fall of 2013," he stated.
The Minister explained that at present students who graduate from the institution receive a certificate of completion, which is not a professional or academic certification to confirm their secondary school education.
"We realise that this is not enough to help our students gain employment or seek higher education. During the course of this year, current students will be tested so that their present abilities and learning challenges can be identified and initiatives can be put in place to bring them up to a level such that they can successfully obtain employment."
Meanwhile, in relation to the infrastructure of the school, the Minister said works continue on the school in Baugher´s Bay and for a short time, students of the school will be attending classes at the Sir Rupert Briercliffe Hall.
"We know that it is not going to be the most comfortable environment for both you and your students, but please work along with us as we strive to improve the campus and improve the environment and tools needed to advance technical and vocational education in the territory," he stated.
The Minister further revealed that government will be acquiring the building that is adjacent to the present school and the land between those properties in order to properly develop the campus.
The BVI Technical and Vocational Institute in Baugher’s Bay
Photo Credit: Clifton Skelton/BVI Platinum News
"The classrooms and the campus at the school are being modernised so that our students seeking an education in the vocational fields would have every opportunity to learn with the latest technologies and tools that are used in their fields," he stated.
Minister Walwyn lamented that for a very long time the community has perpetuated a negative impression of professionals in the technical and vocational trades and because of this many young people, particularly young men have missed out on lucrative opportunities in the construction, engineering and mechanical fields.
"As the Minister of Education and Culture, I will take responsibility for what was handed to me, but I will not continue to perpetuate the same. This is our time; this is our opportunity to correct this misnomer and truly serve the varying educational needs of our young residents," he stated.
The Education Minister expressed that he is confident that with the changes that will be made to technical and vocational education, they will now be better prepared to serve the educational needs of all of the students while they prepare them to be a new generation of entrepreneurs and highly skilled labourers.