The El Dorado Girls Youth Camp has been refurbished and converted into an Academy solely dedicated to the training of nurses and allied health care workers.
The Academy of Nursing and Allied Health will help to address the great shortage of nurses and health care workers in Trinidad and Tobago.
The building that formerly housed the El Dorado Girls Youth Camp was constructed some 37 years ago.
The facility, once dedicated to teaching vocational subjects such as beauty culture, book binding and garment construction, had run into ruins.
Tertiary Education Minister Fazal Karim said he had the vision in 2011 to turn the facility into a state of the art Academy for nursing personnel.
“There were 200 beds in the building, I was told security forces used it at times for overnight sleeping. When I asked what kind of teaching goes on here, I was told there was one class of 10 persons pursuing music from the community.”
For Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the development of the Academy falls in line with Government’s thrust towards human capacity building and people=centred development.
She said graduates of the Academy will be guaranteed much-needed sustainable jobs in the public health sector.
“The vacancies are there, 2,000 nurses, I’m told about 1,200 persons are being trained at this facility, still not enough. With the intake, Ms. Cumberbatch advised me there will be in January another intake and in September. Those of you listening, our young people, listen, apply, you can go online, I’m told, onto the website, make an application, take the training.”
It cost the Government $42 million to completely refurbish and outfit the building to house the Academy of Nursing and Allied Health in El Dorado.
The Academy is the country’s first public facility dedicated exclusively to the education of nurses in Trinidad and Tobago. It is a joint project of COSTAATT, the UWI and the St. Augustine Education City.