Fourteen students complete maritime assistant training

POSTED: 09/14/12 2:34 PM

St. Maarten – Fourteen young men will be certified as maritime assistants after successfully completing level one of the advanced secondary professional technical education (SBO) maritime assistant course for the academic year 2011-2012.

The new maritime assistants are Joey Brooks, Andre Caines, Gregory Carty, Frantz Colimon, Jerome Gumbs, Arony Jimenez, Justin Linzey, O’Brien Matilda, Paul Samul, Alexander Philips, Terry Rombley, Ervin Rosario, Claudio Mejia and Kirk Thompson. Their graduation will take place on September 26 at the Milton Peters College.

The program focused on math, English, painting, basic mechanics, social skills, kayaking, health, sailing, swimming, first aid and the certificate program for maritime introduction competency.

SBO was established by the government to provide the island with vocational education possibilities. The SBO service center is the main office for coordination of the programs. An eight million guilder school funded by Usona is currently under construction behind the Raoul Illidge Sports Complex in Cay Hill to centralize all SBO vocational training classes. It is expected to be finished by the end of the year but in the meantime classes are conducted out of several locations including the Milton Peters College , St. Maarten Academy, Sundial School and SIFMA.

SBO type education consists of four different levels. Every SBO course follows a working-learning pathway, which means that students spend more than 50% of their time in job training at companies and the rest in school. When a student completes SBO level 4, the diploma (s) received will then be considered parallel to an associate’s level, clearing the way for them to proceed to a bachelor’s degree, if they wish.

It specifically targets youths with a VSBO/PSVE diploma, high school drop outs and persons who have jobs but do not possess the necessary educational certificates.

For its maritime course, the SBO partnered with local businesses such as Bobby’s Marina, Simpson Bay Diesel Services N.V, Aquamania Adventures, Global Marine and Island Waterworld.
“Until now, young graduates often had to go off island to further their education. SBO now provides the vocational education that employers seek,” the organization said.

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