New Challenges opens doors to St. Eustatius community

From left: Yinatra Pieter (Labour Office), Theola Schmidt (finance at NCF), Nadine de Graf (Labour Office), Francesca Dembrook (SKJ program), Francine Foe, Maxine Spanner (Labour Office), Cynthia Lopes (Counsellor at NCF) and Julian Hinckson (facilitator NCF).

ST. EUSTATIUS–New Challenges Foundation (NCF) opened its doors and classrooms to the community of St. Eustatius last week. The aim of the open house was to show the range of subjects on offer for adults at the centre on Rosemary Lane.

  Director Francine Foe said: “There are many good reasons for adult education. That is why we have created some exciting programmes and teaching methods to relight that yearning for learning.”

  “We have Dutch and Cambridge English for those who would like to improve their language skills. With the switch-over from Dutch to English as the language of instruction, teachers wanted to sharpen their mastery of English,” she added. 

  The Cambridge English course is now being followed by 34 teachers. This programme has already been running for six months, and has provided serious fun and learning for the teachers that are being taught.

  “And if adults want to learn about bookkeeping, we will hook them up with ACCA Fundamental accounting courses,” Foe adds.

  Young adults can choose from three flows of educational experience within the Youth Social Opportunity Programme (second chance education). It is for adults between the ages of 18 and 24, who have missed the school boat for whatever reason. NCF operates in conjunction with the Labour Department as the official recruiting agent for this target group.

  “Firstly, our vocational courses are geared towards outflow opportunities on the labour market. If you are looking for that very first job or even a better job, we can put a sparkle back into your confidence, skills and career,” Foe said.

  The second wave of brain training has been set up in conjunction with Gwendoline van Putten School, and is an MBO AKA course for Labour Market Qualified Assistant level. NCF’s third flow of training is perhaps the most challenging.

  Foe said the General Educational Development course GED is a group of four tests that assess an individual’s knowledge of academic subjects typically taught in high school. NCF is an official GED test centre also for the ACCA courses.

  “The courses are extremely interesting and really designed for people who want to improve their lives,” said Foe.

  NCF is using social networking and a new website to promote its educational courses. “We are absolutely thrilled with our new website – We really cannot thank Damien Schmidt of Dastru Computing enough. He has interpreted our brief beyond our expectations and has designed a site for which we are incredibly proud,” she said.

  “As far as information technology is concerned, we are practicing what we preach in some of our adult training sessions. Nelson Mandela once said, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” Foe said.

Source: The Daily Herald