There was jubilation in the air on Wednesday, September 7, in Hatfield, Manchester at the official unveiling of the Sister Susan Frazer, RSM Educational Complex at the St. John Bosco Vocational Training Centre (SJBVTC).
Our partnership with the Sisters of Mercy of Jamaica provided funding for this new phase in the school’s development to support infrastructural renovations and allow for the successful completion of the new Educational Complex. The work done included renovating and repurposing a two-story residential building into administrative offices, classrooms and trade training labs, a new entrance and driveway, outdoor meeting space and parking.
Prime Minister, The Most Hon. Andrew Holness was the keynote speaker, unveiling the official plaque and cutting the ribbon alongside Sister Susan Frazer, Digicel Foundation Chair Jean Lowrie-Chin and two students of the Training Centre.
Saying he was “simply amazed at the tucked-away secret of St. John Bosco” on his first visit there, Prime Minister Holness said, “I need more John Boscos” to mould and train Jamaica’s youth. While lauding Sister Frazer’s strong leadership and her love for the students, he pledged his full support for the Centre’s focus on technical and vocational training and teaching critical skills.
Moved by the testimony of two former students, Prime Minister also emphasized the importance of building character. “The boys and girls I am seeing here are being shaped… They will take away from here that your ambition will change your circumstances. Watch the human being who is going to come out of this process.”
St. John Bosco, operated by the Sisters of Mercy of Jamaica, has been providing vocational training and apprenticeship to rural youth in central Jamaica since 2007. This includes certifications in the culinary arts, butchering, animal husbandry and barbering.
Subsequent phases to the school’s development will see the construction of the Sr. Noreen Gray Hospitality Centre for culinary arts instruction, scheduled for January 2023; a Cosmetology Trade Building with service road; and finally, plans are in the works for the redevelopment of the existing football field and adjacent land space into a sports area, and for the renovation of a food preparation lab and other training areas.