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Our College students, their options and choices

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This is undoubtedly an exciting time for 900 of our nation’s brightest.

Over the next few days, with letters of acceptance firmly in hand, 900 of our secondary school leavers will be busy completing registration, buying books and uniforms to proudly take up their places as newly minted students of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC).{{more}}

They will join another 1,100 or so other students at the five divisions of the College, taking courses that hopefully will take them one step closer to achieving their career aspirations.

Hopefully, because anyone who has interacted with secondary school graduates who are making the transition to post-secondary education would realize that many of them are moving forward blindly, without any real or realistic goal in mind. Too many of them at this point seem intoxicated with the idea of being a ‘College student,’ rather than soberly considering the task ahead and their reason for attending College. Far too many of them also do not make use of counselling services available at their secondary schools or the advice of adults who might be able to assist them with choosing programmes at the SVGCC best suited to their interests, abilities and aspirations.

It is only now that many of our students realize that the combination of subjects they took at secondary school make them ineligible for matriculation into certain programmes at the SVGCC. And why are some schools, against Ministry of Education policy, not insisting that every student attempts mathematics at CSEC? The SVGCC needs to engage, or re-engage our secondary schools to ensure that students entering the fourth form take subject combinations which position them to gain entry into a range of programmes at the College. Increasingly, schools are shying away from traditional academic subjects like English Literature, History, Geography, the single sciences and foreign languages in favour of vocational subjects, which have limited reach as a qualifying subject for higher education.

The ultimate decision, though, should rest with the student, as there is nothing worse than getting up every morning to go to a job one hates. Their choice should lead them to a career in which they are genuinely interested, have the aptitude for and for which there are good prospects for employment or to become self-employed.

The students entering the College will make up a significant part of the core of our nation’s workforce for the next 30 to 40 years. They are our nurses, teachers, hospitality workers, politicians, stylists, architects, technicians, farmers, economists, physicians, accountants, lawyers, engineers, designers, journalists, graphic artists and information technology specialists to name a few of the professions they will enter. They will form the bedrock on which our future will be built. We congratulate them on their achievements thus far and wish them all the best as they move forward.

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