Boys Training School to be rebranded in 2018

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The Boys Training School will be the beneficiary of a U.S. $300,000 upgrade in the New Year.
The renovation forms part of a holistic push to re-brand the institution which aims to reform, educate and train boys from 10 to 18 years of age.
The funding has been sourced by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
Both organisations will be working closely with the Family and Social Services Division within the Ministry of Social Transformation to transform the facility at Comfort Hall in Willikies.
Alethea Byers, director of the family and social division, made the disclosure yesterday during an interview with OBSERVER media. Byers made the disclosure yesterday during the school’s annual Christmas programme.
“The funds will be used to retrofit and renovate the Boys Training School. This will happen around the first quarter of 2018,” Byers said.
The facilities at the school have remained in a deplorable state for quite some time.
Byers also revealed that within another few months, the social transformation ministry will take responsibility for the institution which currently falls under the Ministry of Education.
A concept paper is also being developed to change the name of the institution and revamp the services to better meet the needs of the boys.
“We want to change it to a more suitable name that does not reflect punitive behaviour, but more towards rehabilitation of the boys,”
“We are looking at changing the entire structure of the organisation to also place individuals with the necessary skill sets to help the boys who come to this institution, that it is all part of the agenda going forward in 2018,” Byers said.
Counselling services are provided for the school-aged boys, including those who are no longer within the regular school system.
The boys are also exposed to technical and vocational training from the Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Centre (GARD), and the Antigua and Barbuda Institute of Continuing Education (ABICE).
The boys training school is home to 10 boys, two of whom will be leaving in a few months because they are now 18 years old.
Some of the boys are there for care and protection while others were placed there by the courts for various infractions.

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