The YESS: USC Mentorship programme originated in 2018 as an initiative of the History and Social Studies Department. The first instalments of the programme promoted a holistic approach to assisting secondary school history teachers and students preparing for the CSEC History exams. Predicated on the principles of youth development, YESS: USC worked with students to enhance their knowledge, increase their skill base in areas such as SBA writing, essay writing and self, stress and exam management and to develop successful attitudes and characteristics such as confidence and self-discipline. In 2019 the Mentorship programme expanded to Tobago and encompassed English Language, in addition to History. Between 2018 and 2020 the YESS: USC Mentorship programme reached 23 schools and over 1000 students across East, West, North and South Trinidad and Tobago. In preparation for CSEC 2021, virtual workshops were offered in English Language and Music workshop to students and teachers.
The Covid 19 pandemic temporarily limited the offerings of the YESS: USC Mentorship programme, however, on Sunday 24th October 2021 the School of Education and Humanities held it virtual launch of the YESS: USC, Youth Empowerment for a Stronger Society, Mentorship Programme. The programme has expanded to offer workshops covering four subject areas: History, Music, English Language and English Literature. At the virtual launch secondary school teachers and students were addressed by the University’s President, Dr. Colwick Wilson, University Provost Dr. Wanda Chesney, Dean of the School of Education and Humanities Dr. Loverne Jacobs-Browne and the Coordinator of the YESS: USC programme, Dr. Fiona Rajkumar. The Honourable Minister, Lisa Morris Julian, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, gave the feature address via recording which encouraged students to grasp the opportunities to learn and grow during the pandemic embodied in programmes such as YESS: USC. After her address a token was presented to the Minister by the VP for Student Development Pastor Onesi La Fleur. After the official launch, the Music Department held its first workshop for the academic year which saw approximately 85 students in attendance.
On October 27, 2021, the School of Education and Humanities resuscitated its Research Forum
which was initially launched in November 2016. The forum was conceptualised to serve as an
opportunity for faculty to share their research interests with the wider university, through individual
and collaborative projects. The forum also intends to provide student researchers a space to
showcase their work.
The inaugural virtual iteration of the Research Forum was delivered by Dr. Terencia Joseph whose
presentation was titled A Vulgar and Corrupt Dialect: Official Approaches to Eliminating Kwéyòl
among Primary School-aged Children, St. Lucia, 1890-1920. It examined the attitudes of French
Creole-speakers and colonial officials towards French Creole language/patois usage, strategies
applied by the state to stamp out the use of the language, and the impact of those strategies over a
short thirty-year period. The research relied primarily on archival records. This forum was timely as
October is designated International Creole Day by the United Nations Educational Scientific and
Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
The School of Education and Humanities envisions a robust and regular schedule in the upcoming
semester, with forums slated for January and April 2022. The EdHum Forum is facilitated by Dr.
Terencia Joseph, Ms. Meredith Montrichard and Dr. Fiona Rajkumar.