While it is fairly well known that females today outnumber males in many colleges, this trend has been reversed at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology (SJPI).
Principal Hector Belle beamed with excitement as he presented the student statistics during last night’s graduation ceremony at the Wildey Institution.
“In this country, you always find that you have more females in training than males, but in this institute, the males have recognized how important it is in building up the country,” Belle said as he outlined that 334 females and 675 males are enrolled in the SJPI’s full-time programmes.
The principal also reported an improvement in the graduation rate.
“Last year when we spoke about graduation, I wasn’t a very happy principal at all, this year I can smile a bit because the graduation rate by divisions has improved,” he said.
The agriculture, automotive welding, building business, electrical engineering, human ecology and mechanical engineering divisions saw increases of 70, 58, 61, 71, 65 and 74 per cent respectively.
“These efforts have been achieved through the committed work of staff, enhanced methods of assessment, improved quality assurance and greater flexibility, coupled with the adaptation of blended learning,” Belle said.
He congratulated the grandaunts and encouraged them to continue to pursue their dreams.
“You should feel a sense of pride at your achievement. Having reached this stage in your career, you have demonstrated that you have the required skill and knowledge and deserve your certificate,” Belle said.
Giving brief remarks, SJPI Chairman, Desmond Browne said the recent name change at the institution was just an indication of how they have grown over the past ten years.
“We have not abandoned our original mandate to teach skills and trades to all Barbadians – males and females. We are still an open admissions institution, we are not turning away people because of qualifications. As a matter of fact, we are making specific efforts to deal with those who are less able. Our weakest students will be guided through the coursework,” he said.
The SJPI currently provides training to more 1598 students (978 full time, 442 open and flexible learning and 169 on day releases).