Professionalising the programme at the New Opportunity Corps (NOC) is the direction the government is taking to ensure that young people leave the institution as better individuals. The intention is to ensure that the NOC serves its mandate of being a corrective and rehabilitative institution.
Minister within the Ministry of Education, Nicolette Henry in an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA) said that for the young people to be rehabilitated, capacity building for staff at the institution is required.
“That speaks to the issue of HR, human resource, it might involve recruiting people, right fitting people and that type of normal procedure that goes with human resource development,” the Minister stated.
Minister within the Ministry of Education, Department of Culture, Youth and Sport, Nicolette Henry
Additionally, Minister Henry said, for the NOC’s mandate to be realised, there will be extensive collaboration with government agencies including with the Ministries of Social Protection and Public Security, and the Guyana Police Force.
“They all have a role to play in ensuring the functions and operations of the New Opportunity Corps are in keeping with the objectives and mandate of that institution,” Minister Henry explained.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) among other agencies is assisting in the development of a work plan geared towards professionalising the NOC, Minister Henry added.
A significant amount of time, the Minister said, will be spent in 2017 on creating a better cadre of staff at the NOC.
Currently, youths at the institution at Onderneeming, Essequibo, are receiving support through the Probation Department’s ‘Aftercare Programme’ so they can be re-integrated into society. The Aftercare Programme seeks to ensure that the youths, while in the institution are going through a process of rehabilitation.
The youths are provided with technical skills training in the areas of electrical installation, mechanic, tailoring, information technology, agriculture and academics.
When youths are released from the NOC, there are follow-up checks over a six-month period to ensure behaviour adjustments.