HEART NSTA Trust 2022

“We are Developing Humans for a Better Society.” - Professor the Hon. Alvin Wint, OJ, CD Chairman, HEART/NSTA Board The Chairman of the Board of the HEART/NSTA Trust, Professor the Hon. Alvin Wint has laid out a compelling agenda to spur on the Agency to do more and go further to create lasting human value for the society. Professor Wint takes a holistic, outcomes-based view in pipointing HEART/NSTA’s mission as developing a more effective ecosystem that transcends all levels of the education system from the early childhood foundations to the tertiary levels. “It is about helping people to improve their lives by providing the services that they need at a particular point in time, not to get caught up into the notion that some services are more important than others”, cautioned the HEART/NSTA Chairman. “We have seen some societies getting so caught up in the symbols of what they think are the prestigious professions, that they miss the boat, and students miss the boat. And societies, in some cases end up educating more lawyers than are needed, and insufficient plumbers!”, he added. In addressing the perennial stereotyping of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) as inferior, the UWI Emeritus Professor explained that the dichotomy between TVET and academic education is not only overblown but does not exist. “There really is no dichotomy. What we do is get into shorthand perspectives, trying to explain phenomena. But, if you start from the very terms in question, you begin to see immediately that there is really no meaningful distinction”, he maintained. “Some of the most celebrated careers are by definition, vocational! Medicine is vocational! It relates to specifically to an occupation or employment as a medical doctor. Law is vocational! Engineering is technical and vocational! Business is vocational! These are all vocational subjects, there’s no real meaningful distinction between academic and vocational, we’re using shortcuts”, he concluded. Professor Wint believes HEART/ NSTA is well positioned to change the narrative by combining the many elements of its mandate to build the standing of TVET and to improve the quality of services, especially for at-risk youth. He cited the HEART/NSTA’s current partnership with the Amber Group to train thousands of young people to write software code at the Amber HEART Coding Academy at Stony Hill. Students commencedan intensive year-long residency training at the Stony Hill HEART/NSTA campus in January 2022, where they will also work in internship arrangements seasoned developers to work on software development solutions. Successful graduates are guaranteed jobs within the Amber Group. “HEART has an incredible opportunity to leverage its national training infrastructure to increase access to learning and to operate at the cutting edge of the digital revolution. The generation we are targeting is steeped in a digital orientation. We have to be there, otherwise we’re going to lose them”, said the HEART/NSTA Board Chairman. “We have to do a much better job of reaching at-risk youth, who are in many cases reducing the welfare level of others in the Jamaican society, we have to help them to understand there is a reasonable option for them that is a much lower risk of them losing their lives”, he added. Professor Wint addressing the Amber/ HEART Graduation Ceremony in January 2022. 20