The Sophia Night School Programme is currently preparing 80 school drop-outs and persons who gained less than five (5) subjects at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) assessment, to write the upcoming exams.
The pilot programme, which started under the supervision of the office of Presidential Advisor on Youth Empowerment Unit (PAYEU) in 2016, is offered free of cost.
In an article published by the Department of Public Information (DPI), Programme Coordinator at the Sophia Community Association, Orin Nelson expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to effect change and positivity in the students’ lives.
“Since the beginning of the CSEC night school in 2016, we have had over 300 registered students from the ages of sixteen to age fifty,” he was quoted as saying in the DPI article.
The Coordinator alluded to one of his former top students, a grandmother at the age of 43, who wrote the examination after eight months and passed with a Grade One in English.
Stephen Adams, age 28, a student at the night school for three years, remarked that “the classes are awesome because they give the youth a second chance,” according to the article.
Stephen noted that he was at first anxious about attending the night programme at the centre because he was concerned about the learning environment and the eligibility of the teachers. However, after going, he soon realised the environment was conducive for learning, and the teachers are well qualified and prepared to work with the participants.
“It’s rare to find an entity like this, that will give youth a second chance to rewrite examinations free of cost,” he remarked.
Adams hopes to attend the University of Guyana to pursue a degree in Business Management after writing the CSEC exams through the centre.
Another student, 21, whose only name was given as Berkley, says that the programme offered her an opportunity to write business subjects that were not available in her former school. She also hopes to attend Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) to continue her path to becoming a teacher.
In addition to the night school programme, the Sophia Training Centre in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Protection and other agents, provide the students with workshops that help to prepare them for the world of work.
These workshops teach the students how to conduct themselves among other preparations for the working environment.
The programme was first launched in Sophia, North Ruimveldt and Soesdyke and is now being facilitated at the Sophia Training Centre, the Festival City Youth and Parent Community Centre and Soesdyke Secondary School.