The National Secondary Students Council (NSSC) met for their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on January 30, 2023 at the Spanish Court Hotel under the theme “NSSC recharged and ready to move.” The meeting was attended by school and division council executives. NSSC welcomed in the new executive board and was sponsored by One Academy an arm of One on One Educational Service (OOO), UNICEF, the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and U-Report.
The NSSC is a student body organisation that advocates on behalf of Jamaican secondary school students. They represent 175 schools and over 300,000 students. Over 350 students, representing approximately 40 schools across 7 divisions, attended the NSSC AGM both face-to-face and online.
The AGM started with a mix-and-mingle coffee break during registration. The day progressed with presentations and speeches from the new executives and each division. Mr. Nicholas Williams, Head Boy of St. Andrew Technical High, gave a roaring motivational speech that kept the audience buzzing for the remainder of the day. Dr. Kasan Troupe, Chief Education Officer (Acting), also motivated and excited attendees with her speech on leadership and the importance of the student council’s role in the school system.
Mr. Jason Brown, One on One’s Careers Unlocked Project Manager, gave an inspirational presentation encouraging students to grab the opportunities that await them. He motivated students to find themselves while following their dreams and highlighted the benefits of being prepared for the world of work.
One of the ways he suggested students can increase their preparation was by positioning themselves for success through completing the Careers Unlocked program. This program includes a skills gap test and certification in accounting, information technology, industrial technology, and business. Microsoft, Jamaica Public Service (JPS), HEART Trust NTA, and PricewaterhouseCoopers are the organisations offering these certificates. All students who participate in the programme must complete the Enhanced Job Readiness Course which is designed to help youth develop employable skills.
A few students who attended the AGM were already enrolled in Careers Unlocked. They expressed that the program made them feel good, and provided a way for them to be prepared to enter the work world. A few were excited at the prospect of the boost it would give them into university with the possibility of a scholarship.
One on One gave 10 lucky students at the AGM the opportunity to win JMD$1,000 Blinksky gift cards. All they had to do was register and activate their Careers Unlocked profiles. There were also additional opportunities for students to win cash prizes for their regions in a week long competition for NSSC members — the National Youth Skills Competition.
The NSSC National Youth Skills Competition, sponsored by One on One, gave all seven divisions of the NSSC a chance to receive a share of JM$130,000. After registering and activating their profiles on location, division heads were asked to share the details of Careers Unlocked with their students. The aim was for each division to register and activate as many accounts possible within the competition week. Another aim of the competition was to motivate students to support each other and elevate themselves.
The NSSC National Youth Skills Competition ended on February 6, 2023. Three regions won their share of $130,000:
1st Place: Region 1
2nd Place: Region 5
3rd Place: Region 6
Their cash prize winnings will be used to fund various student development activities within each region throughout the rest of the year.