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By Carlena Knight

Residents of the St John’s Rural South Constituency will soon be able to take advantage of a number of courses including customer service, office administration and basic computer training.

The Education for Employment and Entrepreneurship project – spearheaded by the area’s MP Daryll Matthew, in conjunction with the UWI Open Campus – will be offering academic, vocational and non-academic programmes at the newly opened Rural South Community Development Centre on Tindall Road.

Matthew revealed that discussions with the UWI Open Campus are also underway to offer a nail technician programme.

Members of the Hispanic community, which comprises a large demographic in St John’s Rural South, will also benefit from an English class, while young and upcoming entrepreneurs will be able to take advantage of ‘Entrepreneurship for Beginners’ classes.  

The majority of the courses will run for six to eight weeks, beginning January 2021, and will be limited to 20 persons per session.

The schedule and other specifics, Matthew said, will be finalised in short order.

The project is expected to increase the opportunities for education and employment development within the community. Speaking on the project yesterday, Matthew explained what it will mean for the residents of Rural South.

“I believe a lot of persons look to public spaces to be used as community centres but we don’t have a lot of those spaces that exist within our communities and Rural South is no different, and so I took the initiative and I undertook the investment, a very costly one, to construct this facility that will be used for this very purpose where persons can have access to educational opportunities and activities within walking distance, and once we are able to provide the facility, we believe the opportunities will come,” Matthew explained.

He is also appealing to members of the public to not make this into a political matter, but celebrate and accept the importance of education as “education is not colour-coded but is colour blind”.

The centre will be available to adults and children who may not otherwise have access to certain educational resources. Work on the centre started five weeks ago with much of the labour and materials donated by local residents. It is a retrofitted 40-foot container, with free internet and Wi-Fi, which users can access for study or other purposes.

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