A $150,000 public-private partnership between government and Cyber Tech Career College is expected to enhance educational opportunities for inner city residents, as it will provide scholarship money for hundreds of students, according to one inner-city representative in Parliament.
Member of Parliament (MP) for Bain & Grants Town Travis Robinson, in a press conference held at his constituency headquarters Wednesday, revealed that the partnership has given birth to the Bain & Grants Town Centre for Academic Development and Enrichment.
The new program will provide 200 educational scholarships to residents in that constituency.
The scholarship program is a result of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the government and the technical college.
“Successful scholarship recipients will have access to a 10-week course with various subject offerings. Students will be able to select between courses in entrepreneurship and small business development, computer studies, e-commerce and internet marketing as well as customer service,” Robinson shared.
“We know the demographics of the people within this community and the challenges that they face, many of whom – as statistics would indicate – have not completed education beyond the ninth grade. So, residents will have an opportunity to look forward to another avenue of education.”
A census report conducted in 2010 for Bain & Grants Town revealed that 0.8 per cent of residents have three or more years of college education, five per cent has less than an Associate’s Degree and 11 per cent only have an elementary education.
Nearly 24 per cent of residents attended school up to the ninth grade and 55.6 per cent of the total community populace went beyond the ninth grade, according to that report.
There are currently close to 15, 000 residents in the Bain & Grants Town community; over 54 per cent of that number are unemployed.
Robinson said he believes that this is directly linked to a lack of education and training.
“This educational program and scholarship offering signals another ray of hope for many residents who were not successful in the structured educational program; here’s another opportunity to better yourself and have another chance at a successful life and future,” he said.
Scholarship applications are now available at the community’s constituency office and according to officials, classes will be tentatively held at the St. Agnes Classroom Hall on Blue Hill Road, beginning April 23.
“These courses that students will engage in are registered and approved by the Ministry of Education and the National Accreditation and Equivalency council of The Bahamas. So, students can rest assured that once they complete this program, there certificates are registered, approved and genuine,” shared President of Cyber Tech Career College Phillip Curry.
There will be a job fair held for those who successfully complete the program.