Minister of Education, the Honourable Jonel Powel, left, and Junior Minister of Education in the Nevis Island Administration, Honourable Troy Liburd take a shovel of dirt to kick-off the project.

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — As part of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Enhancement Project, the Gingerland Secondary School in Nevis will soon be outfitted with a new technical wing in order to facilitate the teaching and learning of TVET subjects.

During the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the new technical wing of the school, Minister of Education, the Honourable Jonel Powell, said the occasion is another landmark event in the implementation stage of the TVET Enhancement Project.

Minister Powell commented that the TVET Enhancement Project is an initiative of the Federal Government of St. Kitts and Nevis. The US $8 million project is funded jointly by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Nevis Island Administration.

The project resides within the Ministry of Education with the TVET Secretariat as its executing agency responsible for implementation.

The Minister of Education said that persons should no longer think of education in the traditional sense of being successful in CXC examinations.

“Education must also be seen as embracing and encompassing the technical vocational and training aspects of the growth and development of all of our citizens,” he said. “At this juncture in our national economic development, it must become second nature for all of our people to develop a skill, talent, ability, or capacity that will make us capable of doing more than just sitting CXC examinations.”

Minister Powell said that the TVET Enhancement Project is another initiative that promotes the Team Unity Government’s agenda of putting people to work.

“Put another way, when you have a skill you not only become marketable, but you become self-employable,” said Powell.

The TVET Enhancement Project is designed to ensure that programmes in the nation’s schools and colleges are fit for the purposes for present and future generations of students, said the minister.

He added that the project is destined to foster capacity building among students, teachers, instructors, and leaders in various TVET fields.

The new structure will comprise two floors. The ground floor will measure 352-square-meters, while the first floor measures 362-square-meters including walkways and veranda.

The total building, excluding the stairways and ramps, is approximately 417-square feet. It houses a cosmetology centre, wood works shop, and classroom on the ground floor with an electrical laboratory, technical drawing, and general class on the first floor.

The structure will provide the necessary space to meet the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) and National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) facility standards. The building will give Nevis its first CVQ-ready facility, which will then be audited by CXC and the SKN TVET Council for Centre approval and designation as a CVQ/NVQ Centre.

The estimated cost of the wing is $3.9 million.