Last update: 06-Dec-2013 8:12 am
Friday, December 06, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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YTC students see Jacob as ‘teacher, mother, friend’
Ashton Blandin, 24, a former member of the Youth Training Centre (YTC) population, has lauded the efforts of T&T Guardian columnist Debbie Jacob for the positives she has brought and continues to bring to the lives of the lads. Three years ago, Jacob started teaching CXC English classes at YTC, which are now being sponsored by the National Gas Company.
Today, she is being credited for being more than just the teacher improving their command of English, but also for helping them to develop their people skills with the ultimate goal of moulding them into better citizens. “They need a lot more of Ms Debbie Jacob in the T&T education system.
A lot of people get involved in the education system because of money, and while money motivates, I believe passion pushes, and because of the love Ms Jacob has in her heart, she stuck with us and has been there for the past three years. And I hope you would be there for the next three years and the next three years after that. This is someone I don’t ever want to leave YTC,” said Blandain.
He added, “She takes her role as an educator beyond the walls of the classroom. If you interact with the young people on a daily basis on their level you would understand that the education system in a mess. Imperical evidence show that the reason so many young people are in jail is because of lack of knowledge. That’s why I pay full respect to Ms Debbie Jacob.” Blandin was the feature speaker at the launch of Jacob’s book, Wishing for Wings, held at the Normandie Hotel in St Ann’s on Thursday.
The book is based on Jacob’s columns in the Guardian about her venture into teaching at YTC. Guardian Media Ltd was a sponsor of the launch, at which Blandin spoke of lessons he learnt at YTC and the impact of Jacob, whom he described as his mother, sister and friend. He said he was more talkative than any occasion would require, but admitted to being emotional and as a consequence was at a loss for words at the launch of Wishing for Wings.
He remembered the first time he set eyes on Jacob at YTC , when his first thought was: “What this white woman doing here?” “She opened up her life to us. I was reading in the book where she said she learnt a lot from us. I don’t think Ms Jacob understands fully how much she did at YTC,” said Blandin. Judy Raymond, editor-in-chief of the T&T Guardian, said even though Jacob had changed professions twice since leaving full-time journalism, the ink was still in her blood, as witnessed by her regular columns.
An emotional Jacob was full of praise for family, colleagues and friends, saying their support was unwavering, and hinted that the “lads” at YTC, who already write the CXC examinations, can now look forward to writing the CAPE exams.
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