From left: Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UWI Open Campus, Dr. Luz Longsworth posed with successful students of the recently concluded ‘Back On-Track’ Programme, Shanice Hinds, Sabrina Trotman and Philip Holder.

‘Back On-Track’ awardees elated

Beaming with pride over their academic achievement, three outstanding “Back On-Track” awardees are part of a small group of Barbadians who were given a second chance – and they are now one step closer to achieving their dreams.

The awardees, Philip Holder, Sabrina Trotman and Shanice Hinds participated in the recently concluded Back On-Track programme which was coordinated by UWI Open Campus.

These participants were invited to the UWI Open Campus office at Cave Hill on Monday where they shared their experiences during the programme with Principal of UWI Open Campus, Dr. Luz Longsworth, Open Campus Head, Ryan
Byer, Campus Officer of Alumni Relations, Open Campus, Sandra Griffith-Carrington and other key participants and financial supporters.

The three awardees had performed well in the CSEC English course, with the first two, Holder and Trotman receiving Grade 1s while Hinds was awarded a Grade 2 in the subject. All participants expressed their appreciation to UWI Open campus staff and the principal for giving them the chance to develop themselves academically.

Speaking to The Barbados Advocate, Trotman who is a student at Open Campus said that she was introduced to Back On-Track through ISEE Bridge (Identification, Stabilisation, Enablement and Empowerment Bridge programme) an endeavour coordinated by the Ministry of Social Care, Constituency, Empowerment, Urban and Rural Development. While Holder said his son Joshua Holder signed him up and he expressed his interest of furthering his studies. Lastly, Holder who was hesitant and faced a few challenges throughout the programme expressed her appreciation to Campus Officer, Griffith-Carrington for her encouragement and staff of Open Campus. Although, she was awarded a Grade 2, Hinds said she was glad that she was given the opportunity to be part of Back on-Track as she did not have that opportunity before.

“It pays off for me. Today I have a Grade 2 and in this economy, it is mostly jobs (which require) English and Maths and I have a start,” said Hinds.

According to Head of UWI Open Campus, Ryan Byer, the Back On-Track programme was conceptualised as part of the institution’s outreach Social Responsibility contribution to development. In 2016, Barbados was celebrating its 50th anniversary, and The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill and Open Campus offered 50 On Track Awards available to Barbadians of any age who left school without certificates. Partly funded by the donations of the UWI Open Campus staff and the private sector. Forty-seven Barbadians were selected from two hundred applications to sit either CSEC Mathematics or English examinations. Byer explained that starting in September 2016, the programme attracted mostly females; close to thirty females and the remainder of them were males. He added along with the academic pursuits, the campus also tried to “create a rounded individual”.

“They were also exposed to what we call our enrichment workshops, and over that period they were exposed to areas, we called personal branding in terms of self image and how you project yourself. At the time, also the issues of cyber bullying and harassment were topical, so we had a presentation on that and then we also had another presentation on planning for the future, and planning for future goals,” said Byer.

The Head of UWI Open Campus also spoke about another component of the programme which included monitoring and providing support to students. Byer highlighted that each student received a report at the end of the semester which outlined their performance and he took this opportunity to commend the work of the tutors, particularly that of English tutor, Susan Durant.

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