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The campus of the Division of Technical and Vocational Education of the Community College, at Arnos Vale.
The campus of the Division of Technical and Vocational Education of the Community College, at Arnos Vale.
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By College Student 

I came across an article on published Sunday on iWitness News about the Division of Technical and Vocational Education (DTVE ) and how strict they are about their uniforms. 

I believe, in all honesty, that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and everyone has their own point of view as to what the uniform should be like. 

The DTVE is a college of standards. Standards that must be kept and upheld regardless of how one feels about the uniform and sees it. If you can’t deal with it, then you resign from the school and seek to educate yourself elsewhere. 

I hasten to remind you of the fact that within our division, we face problems, problems that are not my concern as a student and problems that come from the very top, right down,  more so than that of what the other divisions are faced with. 

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I am a tourism year 2 student who paid EC$910 on enrolment at the school. 

My tuition covered some equipment for my courses and I am yet to see them. A chef jacket is needed for my course and was just ordered this semester — year 2 — when I should’ve had it since I started school. 

The internet connection at my school, from an entire college, comes from that of the primary school which is located very close by. Not only is this an inconvenience, I paid for something that I am yet to see.  The student council is about to be voted in and their goal is to work on the internet connection situation, but on a realistic level, how much can a student council really do?

Often times, when the college is spoken about, we hear from the director and everyone else about how it is one college and one body. Evidently, it is only so when it is good for business and headlines and this is something I have always seen. I have never seen the director of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College on my campus and I am in second year. The college carries one bank account and since it’s one college, there should be multiple people overseeing the spending of these funds because from what I understand, in the event DTVE wants something accomplished, we have no choice but to do a fund raiser. 

While the director sits in his big office with his AC, almost every class at the Division of Arts, Science and General Studies (DASGS) possess an AC. Our institution only has an AC unit in maybe just three rooms. 

We recently encountered an issue where, it was realised when we were breaking down our tuition, that we did not do a course we were to do in semester 1. I understand that the recent head of department left and the problems stayed. This world evolves, you change with the time, if you’re getting too comfortable in your position then something must be wrong. I understand that there are duties to be fulfilled but the college runs off of my tuition, and without me, there is no college.

The way I am educated and what I am taught should be priority. It is a known fact that people get too comfortable where they are and I am yet to understand how this is over soon. Within my division, there are issues that are questionable, however, maybe the ministry of education needs to pay more mind to what goes on within the colleges since we are so much into the education revolution and we care so much about the youth and keeping them off the street. We shouldn’t only talk about programmes when a youth is convicted of killing someone, rather so, we start where we can, in institutions. 

It is unfair that since this semester has started, the students of the DTVE have to suffer because of the laziness and unprofessionalism of the administration of the entire college. I should not have to wait this long for something I paid for since I started my tertiary education life — something I paid for in full, might I add. 

At this point, I’ve lost hope in our system and how it operates. Maybe it is time to put each division in charge of their own funds and how they distribute such funds because to know how we cook soup in our kitchen, you must be there to see.

I understand that the average Vincentian mentality is if it is out of sight, it is out of mind, but just because the average student doesn’t have the money to take the college on through a lawsuit, doesn’t mean it should be over looked or unexpected. There is too much bias within each division and their administrators for this college to function properly. 

At three weeks after, we are still calling students to enter our college, maybe it is because we need the money, but the college is too big and since its “one college”, this should not be the case. We did not ask for AC units in every room nor did we ask you to move the sun, we only asked for you to care about how we go about day to day.

It might be brought to our attention that what we pay is nothing compared to the other Caribbean countries but this is St. Vincent; it is not Barbados, Jamaica or anywhere else. Since we live here, we know here and that’s how it is. Our college possesses a hotel at the Diamond estate that costs millions but only has one security guard? How does that work? We became aware of an issue last semester with cows being too much on the compound because the grass is too long and nothing was done. You cannot run four divisions if you do not care about these divisions and if you can’t handle it, please resign because the mother who has to wake up at 5 a.m. and go to the street to sell to send their child to school to gain knowledge is suffering from this. We are not a financially or economically strong country and this is the reality of it. Just because your pocket is secured, doesn’t mean that everyone else is. We accept too much that is looked over too often. 

My college fee will come up to a total of about $1,300. If I paid for something, I should get it. 

I will finish with this: often times we make the assumption that that just because something isn’t complained about, it is not there and it’s a mentality that needs to change. If the college is one college, it should be one college behind closed doors, not just when it is good for business and the front page.

The opinions presented in this content belong to the author and may not necessarily reflect the perspectives or editorial stance of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

3 replies on “Uniform — the least of complaints at Technical College”

  1. This is profound. The poor always suffer while those so- called CEO and or Directors reap the benefits, and abuse the system.

    Fight for the Right. Fight for what is Legally yours.


  2. Frances Clarke says:

    This is a sad piece. It points to several deeper issues. These issues include
    1) decentralisation of the management of the divisions of the whole community college
    2) the priority paid to the students who are interested in technical hands-on education.
    We need to stop sweeping these issues under the carpet so that a massive hurricane wind does not come and blow all the mess from under the carpet.
    Please let us put our house in order.

  3. Correction… At DASGS not ALMOST every class has AC… Almost EVERY class DO NOT have AC. But I get it. Let your voice be heard.

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