Charlestown-Nevis-There was much pomp and ceremony and it was obvious that the organizers wanted to make the point vividly clear that the graduates and what they had achieved, were significant.
It was the graduation ceremony for fifty-two beaming individuals, who had successfully completed a ten week Supervisory/management course. The individuals represented two cohorts-one from the Education Department, comprising mainly of teachers and the other from the Ministry of Social Development.
The ceremony was held at the Nevis Performing Arts Center (NEPAC), on Saturday 18th June and was ably chaired by Education Officer responsible for Literacy, Mrs. Terres Dore, who ensured that the program flowed smoothly.
The invocation was delivered by graduate, Garfield Virgo and the national anthem was beautifully rendered on pan by Mr. Ranciato Jeffers.
Welcome remarks were delivered by Mrs. Palsy Wilkin, the Principal Education Officer (PEO) who noted that some years ago, she was introduced to the program and after successfully completing it, saw the need for more teachers to be exposed to such high quality information.
She then ensured that quite a number of teachers were encouraged to sign up for the course.
Miss Isabel Byron, Coordinator of the UWI open campus, on Nevis, gave brief remarks, during which she congratulated the graduates for completing the significant course of study and praised the facilitator, Mr. Perlievan Wilkin for his continued dedication to duty, which he has committed to for the past thirty years.
She also gave an indication as to a number of new subject areas that will be available for interested persons, who are in search of further education in such fields. These include: Business writing and Communication; Information Technology; Entrepreneurship and small business management; Facilities Management; IT Law; Managing people effectively; Occupational health and safety; Creative writing and Procurement management.
Facilitator, Mr. Perlievan Wilkin then gave a comprehensive overview of the course, during which he stated that from 2009 to present, some 143 persons have successfully completed the basic level supervisory/management program. He expressed concern that there is a wide disparity in the ratio of women to men completing course. The number of women far outnumber the men.
All government workers were sponsored by the Nevis Island Administration.
He also made mention of the top performers from each of the two cohorts who ranged between the high 80’s and 92%, as follows:
Education group:-Latoya Jeffers-most outstanding student-92%
2nd-Shenelle Pemberton; 3rd-Linet Williams; 4th-Barbara Hendrickson and 5th Danielle Wallace.
Younger persons who showed real potential: Lesa Lee and Monecia Clarke
Social Development group: Kim Singh-most outstanding student-91%
2nd-Malva Rawlins; 3rd Anesta Maynard; 4th Leostone Morrison; 5th Garcia Hendrickson
Person with great leadership potential-Malva Rawlins.
He wished the graduating classes all the best in their future endeavours.
Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams, who was instrumental in ensuring that quite a number of her senior staff members, within the Ministry of Social Development, were exposed to the course, in her remarks, noted that some were ‘coerced and others were forced’ to be a part of the course but opined that everybody would be happy, now that they had completed it successfully.
She also noted that that Miss Byron had not mentioned too many courses specifically geared to her employees in Social work and urged her to arrange to make the necessary additions to facilitate her staff members.
The graduates, all donned in magnificent white apparel, were not to be outdone. After all, it was their night and their representatives delivered two stunning items, in style.
Miss Shenelle Pemberton gave an outstanding rendition of the song “Keep the dream alive,” much to the delight of the receptive audience and then the versatile combination of Barbara Hendrickson and Janice Richards evoked some humour with their superlative presentation of a poem written by another graduate, Curtis Morton, entitled ‘Sir Don.’
The poem was a tribute to the great work and dedication of Facilitator, Mr. Perlievan DON Wilkin.
Miss Kim Singh, the top student from the Ministry of Social Development’s group, then represented her class in terms of a response and pointed out that the graduation ceremony was the beginning of something fresh, exciting and engaging and not the end of completing something.
The prevailing question was: “Where do we go from here?’ The immediate response was that the graduates should not now sit on their laurels and bask in their glory, but move on to putting into effect their newly acquired skills for the betterment of humanity.
Miss Latoya Jeffers gave the class response on behalf of the educators and made a unique presentation, referring to the course of study as a NARRATIVE, with the graduates as the MAIN CHARACTERS; The AUTHOR-Miss Palsy Wilkin for initiating the idea; the NARRATOR –Mr. Perlievan Wilkin
She also asked the pertinent question: ‘Where do we go from here?’ Her answer was simple: “Forward!’ ‘We now must become AUTHORS and write our own books, she advised.
Premier of Nevis and Minister of Education, Hon. Vance Amory, in his remarks, also lauded the efforts of the graduates for completing the course of study and also had high praise for their talents as exhibited in song and poetry.
He noted that in planning for the course, as he sat in meeting with PEO Mrs. Wilkin, emphasis was placed on the necessity for such high level training, knowing fully well that supervisory/management standards would only be elevated in the process and the civil service on a whole will benefit and improve in the delivery of quality service to the general public. He pointed out that the persons targeted for the course were persons who would have made a marked impression already and stated that he expected them to now even improve in the delivery of their service.
A critical part of the evening’s program came when the graduates all had their personal moment in the spotlight and cameras, as they posed gracefully for photos, as they proudly received their certificates.
The graduates, Officials and family members then enjoyed the remainder of the evening, enjoying a deliciously prepared meal, drinks and wonderful entertainment, compliments of the accomplished Leroy Parris Jr on pan and the talented soca diva, Ladonna, in the vocal spotlight.