Twenty-nine young men attached to the Youth Training Centre (YTC) have embraced “a second opportunity” to study mathematics as a formal subject as they graduated from the 2017 BPTT Young Adult Math Experience workshop at the facility at Arouca recently.
“I didn’t like mathematics in the past and never really put my mind to it when I was in school. But this workshop has been very interesting. Our tutor used practical examples to teach us the subject and made it really simple to understand. I hope to be an electrical engineer in the future and I know, for sure, that I have to pass math to achieve this goal,” said 16-year old Joel Rambally.
Cleavon Walcott, 17, wants to enter the fire service and he knows that math is one of the keys to realising his dream. “I am looking forward to getting into the service and to be a fireman. I know that passing mathematics will help me along that path. The techniques I learnt during the workshop were easy to follow and I am confident that I will do well when I sit the examinations next year. I am really happy that I decided to attend this course,” said Walcott.
The Annual BPTT Young Adult Math Experience offers young men and women a second chance to study mathematics, a taxing subject for many, in a relaxed and fun environment. Now in its seventh year, the initiative started off with students from the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) It covered training at five locations this year, Port of Spain, Diego Martin, Mayaro, YTC (Arouca) and Tobago. The workshops are facilitated by training agency, Cross and Associates, with tutor Nicole Lord overseeing the YTC session.
This year marks the second edition of the annual math experience at the YTC, with Acting Assistant Superintendant of Prisons, Avellina Augustine-Kanhai, lauding BPTT for giving the youths a second opportunity to revive their interest in the subject.
“It is always a pleasure to see learning taking place, especially among youths. Within the service, we have a programme of education and skills training and we ensure that everyone is afforded the opportunity to learn and improve themselves. We thank BPTT wholeheartedly for enhancing our learning activity and providing these young men with this chance to move forward in life. I also want to thank all the coordinators of the programme, parents and the facilitators, for partnering with us to make a real difference in the lives of these young men. Thank you all for your labour of love,” said Augustine-Kanhai. Joel Primus, Community Sustainability and Stakeholder relations Advisor, BPTT, told the graduates that while some people tend to have a negative view of YTC youths, their participation in the workshop demonstrated that something positive and heartening was taking place at the institution. “Your graduation this morning shows that you have already embarked on a new life for yourselves which will usher great hope for your future. Irrespective of what happened in your past, it is important to look ahead and plan for the future. Use this math experience as a building block for your new life,” Primus urged the young graduates.
He gave the assurance that BPTT would continue to support the math experience at the YTC “and will support this initiative in other ways to help in your development for life”.
Also addressing the graduates was Andrew Cross, Principal/Consultant, Cross and Associates, who told them that their graduation celebrated the end of a programme and heralded the celebration of a new beginning. “Mathematics is a vehicle for positive change in your life. Whenever you make mistakes, you need to correct them. That is the objective of math and this opportunity should serve to change your life for the better,” Cross advised the graduates.