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Technical skills on show

Big winners St. Leonard’s Boys with Ministry officials.

Big winners St. Leonard’s Boys with Ministry officials.

Renewable energy and robotics will be a feature of the 25th staging of the Schools’ Craft and Industrial Technology Exhibition next year.

Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Senator Harry Husbands, made the disclosure this morning at the opening ceremony of the event.

“This will allow students not only to compete, but also to develop as innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs. We hope that this challenge will stimulate the creativity of our students and we look forward to seeing what they will present to us,” he told those gathered in the Queen’s Park Steel Shed.

He also encouraged students to see technical vocational education and craft as future sources of income.

The St. Leonard’s Boys’ School dominated the competition aspect of the exhibition this year, beating the other 21 secondary schools and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic to take away the lion’s share of the prizes. With a overall total of 169 points, the all-boys institution received first-place, as well as first, second and third in most of the sectional prizes, which were categorised into woodwork, toys and games, building construction, metalwork, Looking Back at Old Barbados, Decorative and Craft.

Second place went to the Princess Margaret Secondary School, which earned 49 points, while the Frederick G. Smith Secondary copped 46 points and third place.

Various schools also mounted exhibitions in textiles, ceramics, hairdressing, furniture and metalwork among others.

During his speech, Husbands acknowledged the challenges of providing adequate technical and vocational educational facilities, stating, “sustaining these subjects through the purchase of up-to- date equipment, tools and materials is an expensive undertaking. Students need to be trained to industry standards and therefore need to practice within that environment.”

The parliamentary secretary suggested that linkages between schools and companies involved in technical industries.

“Visits to schools by industry representatives to share technical skills and knowledge or provision of work attachment opportunities for students are some of the many ways industry can play a part in the preparation of our children for the world of work. Expensive equipment that cannot be provided in schools and access to new technologies could be facilitated through these partnerships,” Husbands said.

This year’s exhibition will run from March 8 to March 11. (LW)

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