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45 graduate from University of West England

45 graduate from University of West England

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Praised for successfully completing two-year bachelor’s degrees in Leadership and Management in Primary Schools, forty-five teachers were conferred awards at a ceremony held on Friday, March 6th, at the Kingstown Methodist Church.{{more}}

The graduates, who had a zero drop-out rate, achieved their degrees via distance learning through the School of Education of the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol, and through funding provided by the European Commission (EC). One teacher successfully gained a Master’s degree in Education.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, in his feature address, lauded the graduates on their significant accomplishments, and for overcoming challenges that may have befallen them along the way. Moreover, Gonsalves praised the UWE, the Ministry of Education and all other involved parties for facilitating the implementation of the programme. “This is a collective effort. You (the graduates) are at the centre of it!”

Gonsalves assured his audience that his government is devoted to the upliftment of the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Through the Education Revolution, he has vowed to have at least one university graduate in every household in SVG by the year 2025. Despite the strides that have been made through said revolution, Gonsalves was adamant: “There is so much more to be done.”

In his remarks, Vice-Chancellor of the UWE Steve West welcomed the graduates to the university’s extended family, and highlighted the importance of such partnerships to secure our futures and those of upcoming generations.

West acknowledged that teaching “…is a challenging and often difficult occupation,” therefore the graduates must be commended for enduring the “rigours of academic study” whilst carrying out their duties.

Minister of Education Girlyn Miguel was hopeful that the graduates would use what they had learnt to effect positive changes with their schools. “This will… ensure that schools throughout the length and breadth of the country will be better managed…”

Miguel reiterated the Government’s commitment to the Education Revolution. “Our Government has been focusing on providing opportunities for higher education training for persons at all levels within the education system.”

According to Stephen Boyce, Education Specialist with the European Commission in Barbados, the EC has thus far contributed 35 million euros to the education sector in SVG. Furthermore, the EC has committed 12 million euros to a 4-year project designed to improve education through the use of information and communication technology.

Boyce conceded that, in modern society, education has to compete with more lucrative, short-term ways out of poverty such as entertainment, drugs and sex, but that people should be encouraged to opt for a sound education because of its longevity.

Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education Susan Dougan urged the graduates to continue to develop themselves. “Your journey has only just begun.”

This sentiment was echoed by teacher Selvanus Thomas in his response on behalf of the graduates. “Let us go forward today as agents of change! We all know that change may not be readily accepted but we have to make a difference in our classrooms, in our schools, in our communities, and, by extension, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

Also present were Governor-General Sir Frederick Ballantyne, Minister of Culture René Baptiste, Deputy Chief Education Officer Luis de Shong, Team Leader (UWE) John Lee, and Lennox Lewis, Deputy Team Leader in SVG. (JSV)

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