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HomeNewsArchivesFYI: Sen. Malone Focuses on Need for Vocational Education Plan

FYI: Sen. Malone Focuses on Need for Vocational Education Plan

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May 20. 2006 – Today, Chairman of the Committee on Education, Culture and Youth, Shawn-Michael Malone addressed concerns regarding the vocational education. Senator Malone has stressed the importance of vocational education training to further balance our children's education.
"As the Chairman of the Committee on Education and Youth, it is my intent to focus a great deal of my energy on improving the educational opportunities for our students within the Virgin Islands. It is imperative that we provide them with a competitive chance to succeed in today's society and vocational education is no exception. I have always had a particular interest in vocational studies and realize the importance of that field of study in our lives. For this reason, I am disappointed that a more detailed and extensive plan has not been established for vocational education. I acknowledge that a 5 year plan was in effect but that plan is now outdated and needs to be revised. Action must be taken to appropriate the funds necessary for the vocational education program to ensure that our children remain competitive in their academic pursuits towards technical studies," Senator Malone expressed.
It was revealed that Ralph O. Wheatley Skills Center is heavily under-funded and has seen a significant decrease in enrollment since 2002. There is no collaboration in the Public High School's to channel students from High School Vocational Education to the Ralph O. Wheatley Skills Center. As it relates to its cosmetology component, candidates for beauty licenses cannot be licensed on St. Thomas due to lack of workers and adequate facilities at the center. The Committee along with the Superintendent of Schools in the St. Thomas-St. John District, vowed to address the situation as soon as possible. The exam for residents to become licensed beauticians, barbers and manicurists can be administered. The Ralph O. Wheatley Skills Center is in need of $350,000 to meet its goals and objectives," Senator Malone concluded.

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