Thirty (30) teenage mothers graduated from the Carnegie School of Home Economics (CSHE) on Friday as part of the Teenage Mothers’ Reintegration Programme executed by the Ministry of Education (MoE) in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH).
The young women completed Elementary Cookery and Cake Decorating programmes; and according to Programme Coordinator Ms. Janel Sweatnam, the young ladies are now equipped with skills to provide for themselves and their children and to advance their skills in the respective fields by taking advantage of opportunities that will become available.
As stated in a release from the Education Ministry, “[Sweatnam] said that the collaborative effort between the two ministries began a number of years ago and it has been successful with today having the first batch of graduates from the five-week programme.]
Deputy Chief Medical Officer of the MoPH Dr. Karen Boyle highlighted that this collaboration is part of the Public Health Ministry’s community support programme for young mothers.
Boyle noted too that families of the graduates must be thanked for providing the support to the teenage mothers, so that they could have been able to attend classes every week.
Dr. Boyle reminded the graduates about late American Author and Political Activist, Helen Keller, who said: “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”
The late American was able to achieve a lot in an era when a woman’s presence was considered to be necessary only in the kitchen; and her story is remarkable since she was both blind and deaf, but was still able to defy the odds.
Cognisant of this, the public health official encouraged the women that regardless of their backgrounds and situations, they need to have a vision as to what they want to achieve in life and work towards that by not limiting themselves.
“It is an important message for us women today. It doesn’t matter what your circumstances started off as. It doesn’t matter what the curveball in life might throw at you, the important thing is that here and now, to have a vision for yourself”, Dr. Boyle advised.
Also speaking to the graduates was Principal of the Carnegie School of Home Economics, Myrna Lee, who told them that it was a great pleasure to share in the experience.
For her, the collaboration between the two ministries is an outstanding one and she congratulated the teachers and the students for beginning well and ending well.