Nicolás Christian School Receives License for Vocational Training Courses

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Nicolás Chrisitian School Carpentry class. Photo was taken prior to the pandemic. © Becci Merritt, April 2020

Nicolás Fund for Education has a strategic plan to offer vocational technical training as an extracurricular activity! Nicolás Christian School just received approval to begin offering those courses through a Guatemalan Ministry of Education program called CEMUCAF. The program provides and certifies technical occupational training to create a “semi-skilled workforce.” This program benefits local small and medium-sized employers by training graduates in alignment with local labor market needs. CEMUCAF works closely with municipal mayors and coordinates strategic alliances and partnerships with national and international organizations offering employment programs and projects. After finishing the program, the student receives a certificate documenting they acquired knowledge, abilities, and skills in that field. 

Nicolás Christian School will add programs slowly. NCS will likely offer carpentry as a course. Potential additional course offerings could include agriculture, dressmaking, crafts, pastry making, cooking, computing, beautician, embroidery, crafts, art and painting, electrician, bakery, blacksmith, piñata-making, and community health. We plan to have dedicated space for onsite vocational training on our new school campus. The Nicolás Fund for Education Capital Campaign is ongoing. A generous donor has agreed to match your donation up to $112,000 toward the full campus buildout.  

The reality is that some Nicolás Christian School graduates need to work immediately after high school graduation to help their families. Their families have already financially sacrificed the help of their son or daughter to allow them to study at Nicolás Christian School. Surveys of the few students who had to drop out of Nicolás Christian School state the number one reason for dropping out was financial. 

Even though Nicolás Christian School is free, these students need to earn money to help their families. Some students are not interested in going to university, some are not academic candidates for university, and some need to work to raise funds to attend university if they don’t have a scholarship. Nicolás Fund for Education recognized this need to develop education programs that are relevant and accessible and prepare students to earn money right away when they graduate, whether that is through employment or entrepreneurship/self-employment.

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