Career & Education

Penwood High resumes Open Day, showcases students' work

BY FALON FOLKES
Career & Education writer
folkesf@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, May 20, 2018

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After over two decades of not staging the event, Penwood High School has revived its annual Open Day to showcase work done by talented students.

“We just want to resurrect anything that has died, and we want the students to be more actively involved in teaching and learning,” Alsean Rowe, home economics teacher, told Career & Education.

“This is our way to get them actively involved. This is our way to involve them so that they can be more pepped up and more motivated to attend classes, to do homework, and to get active in the vocation areas,” she added.

The Open Day was the signature event of Education Week, May 7-11.

Rowe, who coordinated the event, explained why the theme was 'Showcasing our strength, building a strong foundation'.

“We want to showcase the skills across all vocation areas. We want to highlight what the students have been doing, we want to show what they are made of, their abilities, their potential,” she said.

Penwood's auditorium saw booth displays showcasing students' work from the various vocation classes Penwood offers — food and nutrition, welding, carpentry, information technology, and electrical installation.

The event was also an opportunity for students to learn about new things, because Rowe invited representatives from Red Cross, Scotiabank, HEART Trust/NTA and Choices Business Solutions.

Curious minds gathered around the HEART Trust table to get information about non-traditional career options and unique career options in biology, agriculture, maritime and meteorology, health, information technology, and English literature.

“Our students are mostly knowledgeable about the traditional jobs like doctor, lawyer, carpenter. But we want them to know about other areas that are not so commonly spoken of. That is why we invited institutions like HEART Trust to come and inform them about the different skill areas that are CVQ- certified, NCTVET-certified.”

Fourth and fifth form students also got an opportunity to utilise the services of Choices Business Solutions to complete résumés and register for summer jobs.

Penwood High School is situated in the Olympic Gardens community of west central St Andrew and is dogged by the incidents of student-on-student violence, rank indiscipline, and poor academic performance. But acting Vice-Principal Omar Largie is determined to surmount the negative stigma and feels confident that the open day will help to stymie the negative perceptions and prove that the school is promising and produces positive outcomes.

“During Open Day we have to showcase that there is more than what is outside. We know that we have students with behavioural issues, but at the end of the day when we focus on them, then that is actually reduced,” he told Career & Education.

Largie looks forward to Open Day 2019 and forsees the event being bigger and better.

 

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