President David Granger Thursday evening presented GYD$1 million dollars to President’s College at its 26th Graduation exercise, to boost the school’s science and technology facilities, even as he noted that education, which has been founded in the sciences, can lead to the development of the country.
The Ministry of the Presidency said Granger told the graduands, parents, teachers and officials that President’s College has already acquired a proud reputation and history with lofty traditions. Part of that tradition, he said, is the College’s special character, as one of distinction, which is spelt out in its Act. The Act speaks to the promotion of the sciences and the arts and it is for this reason that he has decided to make the donation, he said.
“The College was conceived in 1983 as a ‘school of excellence’. It opened its doors for classes in September 1985. The aims of the College are to “provide a place of education, learning and research of a standard required and expected of a secondary school of the highest standard and to promote the advancement of knowledge and the diffusion and extension of art, science and technology” … President’s College, is true to its charter, and has produced citizens of exceptional ability. The traditional benchmark for academic excellence has always been the rate of matriculation, which qualifies students to enter university. Students of this College must continue to aim at that,” the President said.
Noting that a college graduation is an event of mixed emotions, President Granger told the students that the College is now their alma mater and they must now be perpetually proud of that privilege.
“Each of you has become, in the twinkling of an eye, an alumnus – literally, ‘one who has been nurtured’ and, hopefully, an alumnus gratus, a grateful foster child. Be proud of your College, be proud of it…College education must enlighten the minds of children and equip them with the skills and values to become responsible citizens in society. Secondary education must help to shape the character and provide the skills to assist them to find their vocation in life,” he said.
The Head of State also advised the students that as they embark on different journeys now that they have completed the first step of a secondary education, they will take with them five ‘core skills’, which will greatly help in their pursuits. “There are five core skills that are key to learning and working in today’s world: communication skills are needed in all personal, social, learning, and working activity; numeracy: you need numeracy in everyday life, including work and study; information and communication technology skills are needed to process information in ways which will be useful in work and in the home; problem solving skills are needed to solve problems in personal, social, vocational and occupational contexts; and working with others develops the skills needed to co-operate with others in learning and working situations to identify and achieve shared goals,” he said.
More importantly however, he cautioned the students to adhere to the values that they would have cultivated, the five most important of which are duty, discipline, identity, integrity and loyalty. These traits, he said, must go with them as they them embark on their adventures and at no time, must they be thrown aside for the world.
“Students, whatever difficulties they face, must display the dedication needed to fulfil their obligation to the College. They must enter the world of adulthood prepared to assume responsibility for themselves and for others. Students of this College have been taught to obey the College rules and to obey their teachers’ instructions. They must display trust in what they are taught. Students of this College owe much to their alma mater. You must give back to your parents, to society and to the College. Students have been encouraged to be honest and truthful. This will contribute to mutual trust and instil confidence in the people with whom they will have to work and if you are going to succeed, you have to be loyal to each other, to your institution. That is how institutions survive. Students are not going to succeed in life, unless they are loyal to one another and to the institutions in which they serve,” he charged.
Meanwhile, Ms. Latoya Roberts, who recently graduated from the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago as the Best Graduating Guyanese Student, in her charge to the graduates urged them to become ambassadors of change for their country and the wider world.
“I dare you to be a change. I dare you to love. I dare you to love, to laugh, to understand. I dare you to extend the same principles and the same teachings and care and values that you expect to be the recipient of, to everyone that you come into contact with. I dare you to be humble. You must determine to be more than your professions, more than the services that you will offer in the future, rather, you must become instruments of change…there is currently a trend in the world that the only responsibility they have is to themselves. That premise is completely false for no man is an island and we do not live unto ourselves. The state of those around us will forever have an effect on the quality of life we try to enjoy. Therefore, it behoves us to do everything that we can do to make our world, our country, our society and dare I say, our school, a better place,” she said.
In addition, the 2016 valedictorian, Mr. Camroul Hookumchand urged his classmates not to let this stop be the end of the road, but to aim higher and to keeping reaching for greater heights in the pursuit of a better life. “Albert Einstein once said that ‘life is like a bicycle; you must keep moving.’ This quote is very applicable to all of us here. We cannot stop moving as we might lose our balance and as young high school graduates, we should not see this as the end of our accomplishments, but the first of many more to come. In today’s society, university education is of utmost importance. Let us further our studies to the highest levels; we want doctorates,” he said.
At the close of his speech, President Granger presented Mr. Hookumchand with several gifts; a laptop, $20,000, a shield and the President’s Certificate of Excellence.