Over eight hundred young persons from 45 different academic programmes are now looking to enter the world of work after moving on from the T.A. Marryshow Community College (TAMCC).
The college’s 2017 annual graduation ceremony was held at the National Stadium last Thursday under the theme: “Reorienting the College Curriculum to Cultivate Authentic Learning Outcomes for Employment and Social Fortitude.”
In delivering the welcome remarks to the graduants, Chair of Social Sciences in the School of Arts, Science and Professional Studies (ASPS), Claude Douglas told the gathering that graduation was a time to celebrate.
“Class of 2017, today is your day; laugh, cry, sing, jump, dance, kiss, hug, and love. Graduation is also a time for deep reflection. It is a time to reflect upon yesterday; appreciate today and anticipate tomorrow”, was his charge to the students.
“As you graduate today remember that you are an outstanding class, a distinguished class, a formidable class, a class burning not only with knowledge but with compassion and ambition; a class that will be a voice for culture and change. A class that will be committed to leaving legacies of grounded achievements and big picture deliverables,” Douglas said.
For the second time in 15 years, Sir Royston Hopkin, owner of the Spice Island Beach Resort, delivered the featured address at the ceremony.
The hotelier highlighted the importance of meeting the demands of the work force, as he singled out
Tourism and Hospitality as a way of keeping current and remaining relevant as the theme suggested.
“Tourism represents as I speak at least 25-30% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in our country. Does that mean that we are going to turn out students with an Associate’s Degree in two years in TAMCC, they leave, they go into the Hotel Industry as entry level employees…but we have to address what is relevant and where we have to go”, Sir Royston told the graduates.
“…I am saying that unless we have our students upgraded from the established or the present Associate Degree and going and having an opportunity to do a bachelor’s in Hospitality and Culinary Management, we are not getting anywhere,” he remarked.
However, Minister of Education, Anthony Boatswain in delivering the charge to the graduants, shared a different sentiment to that of Sir Royston.
He said, “As we seek to address the issue of “unemployability”, it is prudent that we take a competency based approach to education and training. It is well known that technical skills and in particular ICT will be the major drivers of economic activity in the 21st Century. In fact, it is being projected that all jobs in the near future will be primarily skilled based and technology driven.
“…I therefore urge you to prepare yourself for these emerging job opportunities or risk becoming another unemployment statistic.”
Graduating with a Grade Point Average (GPA) 3.88, Khalil Buckmire delivered the Valedictorian address and urged his fellow students to remember the trail along the way to their success.
He said: “All of us today have faced the adversities of College, the late nights, the seemingly impossible deadlines and assignments, the distractions and of course…procrastination but as we sit here all clad in our black and white, I believe it is fair to say that we have faced and overcame…
“…Our success was no walk in the park. It was hard work and dedication and navigating through high …. roads to get where we are today.
Buckmire recalled that: “…In the summer of 2015…we did not know what to expect but we came with the mindset to win and overcome all…we had all set our long-term goal as graduation and also realised that we had to overcome smaller challenges to succeed and so we started ok and our opponents were relentless in their pursuit to keep us back…we made in through and we had some really good experiences along the way…”.
He attributed the success of each graduate to their dedicated teachers and parents, to whom he said thanks.