May Pen Educational Centre giving dropouts a second chance
Howard Wilson had a dream to help persons who had not been able to achieve the maximise their educational persuits.
In 2008, he approached then mayor of May Pen Milton Brown, who gave him his blessings, and that September, the May Pen Education Centre became a reality.
Now Wilson is basking in the success of the Clarendon-based educational institution that provides an alternative to public schools.
Wilson said the institution is mainly for those who dropped out of school, those who finished school but did not matriculate, and those who need a skilled area.
“The aim is to eradicate illiteracy in the parish so our young people can be more employable,” he said.
Located on Fernleigh Avenue, the institution offers practical nursing courses, a day school for fifth- and sixth-form stuudents, evening and Saturday classes.
Wilson said the last two years have been the best in terms of Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) results.
For him, it’s a joy to see students transforming their lives and going on to higher heights.
“What we do is, we keep in contact with the parents. We set up a WhatsApp group for the students and we use weekly handouts, as well as do periodical marathons,” he said, outlining some of the strategies used to ensure that the students maximise their potential.
With the goals being to ensure they go the distance and exit the institution with subjects in order to matriculate to university, Wilson said half of the teachers go beyond the classroom hours and assist students, some even having Sunday sessions at their homes.
“That resulted is us having a 100 per cent pass in accounts last year,” he said. This year, Wilson is feeling particularly proud as the students who sat the CAPE all passed.
Looking ahead, he said his dream is to make a big dent in the illiteracy rate in the parish as he keeps the door open to a casual, more family-friendly education atmosphere.