BTVI’s Head of Department for Maths, Ron Clarke, assisting an L. W. Young student as he completes paperwork for entrance into the dual enrolment program.
Eleven boys from L. W. Young Jr. School have been chosen to participate in a dual enrollment program at The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) as a special initiative to expose them to the art of painting, while providing the opportunity to channel their practical skills.
The ninth graders will participate in the 10-week program while simultaneously completing junior school. The three classes include Introduction to Painting along with Maths and English on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 am to 3 pm. According to BTVI’s Dean of Construction Trades, Alexander Darville, there is a misconception that people do not need formal education for painting; however there are many components including estimation and preparation of surfaces.
The initiative is the brainchild of L. W. Young’s vice-principal, Stephen McPhee, who noted that the initiative is a source of motivation for the students and an extra push for them to excel.
“My principal, Janet Nixon and the entire administrative team are very supportive of this initiative, recognizing that these students are social leaders, but not academically motivated. However, they are practical learners. We want to show them that learning can be fun for them and we need to create the environment for these students to bloom,” said Mr. McPhee.
“We believe a sense of self-worth would affect their academic and social behaviour,” he added.
Furthermore, Kenyetta Hepburn, mother of a 14-year-old participant, is optimistic about the program. “I believe this will help these boys with their grades a lot. My son is already talented with his hands and it will give him an opportunity to see what his career choices are,” said Ms. Hepburn.
Another parent, Stacey Outten expressed her gratitude that her son has been given this chance; the mother of four feels it will help him to become more responsible. Meanwhile, her 13-year-old son said, “I like painting. My future looks brighter. I’m excited to have been chosen,” he stated.
BTVI’s Painting and Decorating instructor, David Barry, taking a few moments to encourage one of the11 students from L. W. Young, who has enrolled into BTVI.
Painting and Decorating instructor, David Barry met with the youngsters prior to their official day of instruction and has already seen the difference a change of setting can produce. Although the boys will only be introduced to the painting program, Mr. Barry hopes it ignites an interest to return to BTVI later.
“They’re excited to be in this environment. I hope they will stay in the painting program; the point is to finish the program. BTVI’s painting program is about preservation as well, so it’s much more than painting on a surface. We do furnishing finishing and wall covering too, as the interior part of painting,” said Mr. Barry.
Additionally, Mr. Darville is convinced the program will result in an improvement in the young men. “We believe it will assist with their attempt at The Bahamas Junior Certificate (BJC) exams. This is a gateway into the institution and the long-term goal is that they would eventually do Introduction to Interior Painting. This is how we change lives,” stated Mr. Darville.
Academic Dean, Pleshette McPhee echoed his sentiments, adding that the benefits of the initiative will be monumental. “Sometimes the schools may not be keeping them engaged and they may sometimes become a number. They should be channeled into the direction of their talents. We must harness the skills of our young children. This program is into saving lives,” she stressed.
By Hadassah Hall
Public Relations Officer
The Bahamas Technical & Vocational Institute (BTVI)
Direct line: (242) 502-6376
Switchboard: (242) 502-6300
BTVI's mission: To provide learning opportunities that enable individuals to be globally competitive and economically independent.