Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 07, 2017 (SKNIS): William V. Hodge, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, has endorsed the partnership between the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Education as it relates to the implementation of the Tourism Education and Awareness Programme that is being taught in four schools in St. Kitts, with the possibility of extending it to all schools shortly.
The permanent secretary was at the time delivering brief remarks at an Etiquette Banquet that formed part of a week of activities to conclude the first phase of the programme at the Dr. William Connor Primary School that saw a total of 55 students receiving participation certificates.
“Now having seen the end product, I can go back to the Ministry of Education and boast about the achievements of the partnership between education and tourism. So when we are asked to identify the schools that would take part in the ensuing year, I would be able to say it is going to be a project that you are going to be extremely proud about,” said Mr. Hodge, while commending the students for taking the course and for exerting much effort and ensuring that they gave of their best. “You young people, you fifth graders are very lucky and very fortunate to be exposed to this kind of opportunity and it is something for you to grow with. You should know how to use your knives and forks and this is something you might be able to teach us the adults.”
Mr. Hodge reminded the students of the four A’s of tourism, namely, attraction, accommodation, accessibility and amenities, noting that they are of paramount importance to the tourism sector.
“These are four very key components of the course. For those of you who would grow up to become employees in the service industry these are words that you will have to remember because these are what the customers are going to be looking for in most cases,” he said.
He commended the teachers for their hard work and dedication and encouraged them to continue along that path. He reiterated the ministry’s commitment to partner with the Ministry of Tourism, as it aims to continue to educate the nation’s children.
The programme was launched in December 2016, and was piloted in three other schools, namely the Sandy Point Primary School, the Basseterre High School, and the Advanced Vocational Education Centre (AVEC). It is designed to highlight the importance of tourism to national development and to expose students to possible careers in the tourism industry.
A tourism club was formed to complement the Tourism Education and Awareness Programme. It was initiated at the Dr. William Connor Primary School, and students were taught lessons within the classroom, and were exposed to hands on experience in the St. Kitts Tourism Industry. This afforded tourism officers the opportunity to allow the students to tour various areas, both historical and cultural, hotels and other areas, associated with tourism based on the topics that were taught from the tourism workbook.