Sint-Eustatius celebrates the start of vocational education

During a festive gathering on the Gwendoline van Putten School (GvP school) grounds, a large group of people on Sint-Eustatius met last Thursday to dwell on what will be a historical moment in the education history of the island: the start of the first three trainings on secondary vocational (mbo) level at the GvP school. During the second half of the gathering, Mrs. Nasha Radjouki on behalf of Commissioner Schmidt of Education gave the official kick-off sign for the ‘Create your Future’ campaign on vocational education.

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Except for some incidental privately offered secondary vocational (mbo) trainings, until now it was not possible to follow a regular vocational training on Sint-Eustatius. In August this will change, with the start of the new secondary vocational (mbo) trainings: Secretarial administrative employee on level 2 (Secretarieel administratief medewerker niveau 2), Accounting employee on level 2 (Boekhoudkundig medewerker niveau 2) and Construction on level 1 (Bouw niveau 1).

The get-together was lead by the famous rapper Mega D, who also presented a rap act concerning vocational education, and the new trainings where presented in a creative manner by a number of teachers and pupils. In his speech Gwendoline van Putten School Director Leen de Jong had a clear advise for the Statian youth: learn a profession, earn your living; on Statia there is plenty to do, if you want and if you can". Mrs. Radjouki pointed out that vocational training is the driving force of the economy, within a well functioning society. Next the Commissioner launched the campaign on vocational education Create your Future by revealing some campaign posters.

The campaign on vocational education was developed by RCN/OCW in collaboration with Gwendoline van Putten School and Edu Partners and has the goal to show youngsters, their parents and family members the importance of being a professional. It also shows that vocational education offers a good future perspective. In the campaign pupils and professionals of the island show that they are proud of the training they are following and the profession they are executing. Sint-Eustatius is the third and last island where the campaign starts running, following Bonaire and Saba, where the campaign respectively was launched respectively in the beginning and mid March.

During the campaign, up till next June, all over the island posters can be seen showing local pupils who are following a vocational study and who explain why they chose for a particular study and what their future plans are. However, also some professionals will explain how they resulted in their profession. These pupils and professionals will also bring their message across in a series of newspaper advertisements. There will also be a radio spot in which alternately a pupil and a professional will explain about their study or profession. Furthermore the campaign is supported by the Facebook page "Createyourfuture.Statia" containing information concerning the campaign, including professional profiles which will be presented weekly to inform youngsters about the possible professions and the educational path leading to these professions. These profiles will be available at no cost in the form of flyers in public spaces. Lastly during the radio campaign the focus will be on vocational education and the importance of this type of education for Sint Eustatius. The campaign Create your Future emphasizes on the added value of professionals on the island and also shows the importance of well qualified workers, who have the right training. The youngsters, who will do the talking, all have chosen consciously for a vocational study and emit pleasure and pride in their study and work.