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Community College holds historic graduation ceremony

Community College holds historic graduation ceremony

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For the first time in this country, the four divisions of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College held an amalgamated graduation ceremony which took place at the Victoria Park on June 22, 2010.{{more}}

With broad smiles, 637 graduates from the Divisions of Nursing Education, Teacher Education; Technical and Vocational Education and Arts, Sciences and General Studies proceeded from the Bishop’s College school and marched through the streets of Kingstown to the Victoria Park accompanied by the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force Band.

As the students piled into the already filled venue, parents, spouses, relatives and well-wishers waved, shouted and snapped photographs of their loved ones who were taking part in historical ceremony.

Despite the constant threat of grey skies and gusts of wind, the ceremony started on time, with no hiccups.

On hand to deliver brief remarks, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said the persons who were instrumental in bringing the four post-secondary institutions under one umbrella should be applauded greatly for their efforts.

An elated Gonsalves told the students that it is part of their duty to ensure that what they have learnt throughout their formal education, among their peers and in their communities, serves as guides for their lives.

Despite the economic downturn in the region and throughout the world, Gonsalves noted the government knew that the SVGCC is important, hence their decision not to cut back on any provisions for education.

This year’s budgetary allocation for the Community College is $1million, Gonsalves said.

Gonsalves commended the leadership of the college for its vision. Although great progress has been made in the education revolution over the past nine years, Gonsalves said there are still more advancements to be made.

In a riveting feature address, President of the Jamaica Theological Seminary, Reverend Garnett Roper, threw out a challenge to everyone gathered at the Park to over overcome self-doubt. “It is now time for the people of the Caribbean to show faith in themselves, country and region…we have to overcome the habit of exporting the majority of the brightest and best of our people,” Roper stated.

Roper noted that many persons believe they can’t make a worthwhile living in the Caribbean. He said despite the fact the Caribbean does not have all the resources, it is his belief that it will soon be the best place to work and raise our children.

“To overcome self-doubt, we must accept the duty to train the competencies, skills and expertise that are needed in the region,” Roper said.

Describing the groundbreaking ceremony as “a demonstration of the continued thrust for educational excellence,” Chairman of the Board of Governors, Audrey Gittens-Gilkes, noted that the amalgamation of the four divisions came into existence in 2005, but fully took off in July 2008. In her remarks, Gittens-Gilkes lauded all those who served before in helping to shape the way forward for the Community College.

Following the presentation of certificates and special awards, the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College Choir did a rendition of “I Hope you Dance” which saw other students at the Park joining in at the top of their voices.

Deputy Director of the College, Nigel Scott, delivered the closing remarks. Anglican Bishop Reverend C. Leopold Friday did the invocation and Darron Andrews provided entertainment on the Violin.

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