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Mysterious fire sets institute back

While a recent fire has not disrupted classes at Telfa’s Technical Institute, it has delayed preparations for the school’s certification to offer International Vocational Qualification (IVQ).

The May 29 fire, which occurred between 2:30 – 3am, destroyed several laboratories, an office and store room.

“That fire set us right back, we are in the process of rebuilding. We just had the clean-up and [are]

awaiting the report from the police,” said owner and main facilitator Telfa Charles, adding that

personnel from the Grenada Electricity Services (Grenlec) also did an investigation.

He said up to the time of the fire, the institute was preparing for the graduation of about 30 trainees engaged in final classes and projects until the term end in the next two months. By that time, Charles, who has been an electrician for 50 years, is still hopeful that a graduation can be held.

He is in possession of a plan for a temporary structure to house the various areas; general teaching, refrigeration, electronics, repair, single phase distribution, three phase distribution, industrial distribution and store room. This, he hopes, will come to fruition in a of couple months.

The eight-year-old institute located in Frequente, Saint George has been offering eight-month duration technical training in electrical, refrigeration and appliances, offering Level 2 CVQ certification by the National Training Agency (NTA).

In addition, Charles, whose experience in teaching spans over 30 years including private and at the TAMCC, said the institute has upgraded its offering to soon offer international certification, noting that it is a costly venture to meet the requirements.

He boasted that the reports are that graduates perform exceptional when they take up jobs overseas and the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) certification is accepted in United Kingdom.

According to Charles, a neighbor saw a spark next to the electrical meter and his son was alerted but by the time his son got to the area the structure was ablaze. He said “the smoke woke me up and I saw the blaze around the area too,” adding that they were unable to save anything. 

The main class room and a section of the kitchen area in a nearby building were partially affected.

The institute owner said the government provided personnel to immediately clean up the area following the fire and has promised to assist in the rebuilding process.

As it relates to preparation to be certified to offer IVQ, Charles said we have to wait to ensure that everything is in place. He is yet to set a time line for erecting the permanent building.

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