Minister within the Ministry of Education, Nicolette Henry, said that having the right set of staff is the first step towards ensuring that the New Opportunity Corp (NOC) can fulfill its mandate.
In an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA), Henry said that staff should be properly trained to ensure that the psychological and social aspects of the students’ welfare are taken care of and not only the remedial aspect.
Minister within the Ministry of Education Nicolette Henry
“You want to ensure that these young people will be able to fully integrate back into society and if the transition from NOC back into society can be seamless we would have been able to achieve our mandate,” Henry said.
To achieve this objective, the Ministry of Education is collaborating with several stakeholders including UNICEF and the Skills and Knowledge for Youth Employment (SKYE) programme.
“This is not something we can do on our own and we are working towards really professionalising the NOC, so lots of work got to be put in place at that institution in terms of staffing, in terms of content, in terms of procedures, in terms of SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures), you name it. It’s a full overhaul of the New Opportunity Corp that we are looking towards executing,” Henry said.
A Juvenile Justice Officer from the United States of America is currently conducting an assessment of the NOC and will soon be making recommendations on the way forward. The NOC houses close to 150 students between the ages of 10 and 18.
The students are subject to full time schooling in a number of skills training areas. These include electrical installation, handicraft, joinery, Information Technology, tailoring and garment construction, welding and fabrication, carpentry and masonry and these are complemented by English and Mathematics.