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Trench Town Polytechnic seeking to attract more students

Thursday, October 19, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The two-year-old Trench Town Polytechnic College in St Andrew is looking to boost enrolment as it carries out its mandate to equip people with skills to meet the demands of the labour market.

The institution, which started classes in October 2015 offering programmes with a focus on aligning training with industry needs, has already attracted hundreds of students from communities within its vicinity and areas as far away as Portmore, Harbour View and Papine, in day and evening classes.

Principal of the institution, Dr Dosseth Edwards-Watson,said that all the programmes are undersubscribed and the administration will be striving to reach more people.

She said that the courses offered are market-driven, matching skills with labour industry needs. “We rely on industry to tell us what is in demand… . At the Polytechnic, we are big on inculcating employable skills,” she said.

She noted that “every programme has entrepreneurship built into it”, so not only are students prepared for a job but to also create their own employment.

Dr Edwards-Watson said that a major focus of administrators and staff is to ensure that the school environment represents all the attributes of care, so that human capital can be developed for national and global impact.

“We strive to maintain a compassionate environment and demonstrate a culture of care,” she pointed out.

Located at Eight Street at the location of the former Trench Town High School, the multidisciplinary community college provides a holistic curriculum that is designed to give students a competitive edge.

Through collaboration with HEART Trust/NTA, Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) and the Jamaican-German Automotive School (JAGAS), the college offers programmes in areas such as data operation, auto body repair, customer service, maritime studies, port operations, and logistics.

There are also courses in mathematics, English language, career and personal development, entrepreneurship, computer repairs and electronics, social work, renewable energy, culinary arts, theatre arts and production, and scores of other disciplines.

Having received the Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica (CCCJ) stamp of approval, the institution is now empowered to award 10 associate, 12 applied associate, four bachelor's, and three applied bachelor's degrees.

Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Ruel Reid, said the institution is providing opportunities for continuous education, filling a gap for students between grades 11 and 13. “This is the model that we are going to replicate right across the country,” he said.

For President of the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), Donna Drummonds, having a “model school” in the community known for producing some of the world's greatest reggae artistes, “is the way to go”.

She is urging young people, in particular, to take advantage of the opportunity to transform their lives.

Board member of the institution, Pastor Winston Clarke, noted that in its short existence, the college has already made a mark as a “key community asset”.

He said that residents now have an opportunity to improve their academic standards and job-readiness skills.

“We envision deeper partnerships with other community institutions in offering new and exciting courses,” he said.

The college can be contacted at info@trenchtownpolytechnic.edu.jm, or 501-1264, 501-1253.

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