Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 08, 2015 (SKNIS): Minister of Education, Honourable Shawn Richards, has once again placed the support of his government firmly behind the advancement of the youth of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“I am of the firm view that the success of our country depends on our youth,” Minister Richards said at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) 2015 Commencement Ceremony. “The vision of our country lies in the hands of our youth. Therefore, as Minister of Education and Youth, I give my commitment to do all that I can to advance the youth development agenda in the Federation.”
The pledge to continue the National Scholarship Programme, the Education Foundation and other initiatives was given, while the private sector and Non-Governmental Organisations were encouraged to “come on board” in support of the Federation’s youth.
Minister Richards further elaborated that the young people of St. Kitts and Nevis have what it takes to succeed.
“I see the potential of a Federation on the move: aspiring engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and maybe, the next Minister of Education, Youth, Sport and Culture,” he said. “Ladies and gentlemen, I see young people with the ability to transform our land of beauty. You, graduands, have the task of leading those who will come behind, in the right direction.”
Taking the analogy further, CFBC President Dr. Kelvin Daly encouraged young people in general to acquire qualification that is more likely to provide employment.
“But whether education is financed by the individual, the state, a combination of both, or through the strategic benevolence of friendly countries, we must be ever mindful that our national developmental objectives must figure prominently,” Dr. Daly said. “I won’t be so bold as to say become a plumber rather than a philosopher, as one US Senator recently advocated, but at the minimum, please try to earn a degree that improves your chances of getting a job, thereby contributing to our nation’s progress.”
The CFBC President also advocated that “education is a moral responsibility” and one to which all should be committed. In no uncertain terms, he stated that the challenges of today are very unlike those of the past, in part, due to the prevalence of the internet.
“The challenges that you face today are more catastrophic than daunting, more final than transient, and more lethal than anything my generation faced,” Dr. Daly said, noting that the internet enables access to opportunities that can also “frame much of what you think, how you act and how you see others.” “In one generation, this cyber connectivity has shrunk global spaces, once so safely isolating, buffering one group from the next into a melting pot of ethnicities, cultures, values and ideas. The result is a hypersonic, “in your face” experience with people who will challenge and compete with you at every turn for what you once found familiar, predictable, comfortable and safe.”
Dr. Daly further noted that the national borders are less obstructive.
“And as our national borders are made increasingly irrelevant through regional and international mechanisms that facilitate free trade, the free movement of people, and a cadre of investor citizens, it is for you as graduands to extract from these challenges every drop of opportunity for the benefit of the peoples of SKN,” he said. “One only has to take a look at the demographics in today’s work environment to see the changes taking hold.”
The Ceremony featured 284 graduands of which Christian Bryden was awarded the Best Arts Science and General Studies Performance and the 2015 Valedictorian; Carolynda Welcome was the National Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) Scholar; Ushina Jeffers was the runner up National TVET Scholar; Kayla Matthews was the most outstanding student in the Division of Health Science; Meguel Thomas was the most outstanding student in the Division of Teacher Education, while Azuree Liburd was awarded the CFBC Award for Excellence in academic performance, extra-curricular activities and exemplary conduct.