“Options facing today’s graduates in a challenging global, regional and domestic environment.”
This was the theme chosen to address the over 700 students who graduated during the 2015 annual T.A Marryshow Community College (TAMCC) at a ceremony held last week Thursday at the National Stadium and are now looking to get into the world of work.
A total of 798 students received certificates at the graduation which featured 82 honoured students from forty programmes – five of those programmes were related to Police Studies with Education, Heating, Ventilation, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Technology, Accounting Level 3 and Carpentry Level 2 which received graduates for the first time.
The 2015 Valedictorian was Sydney Robertson who urged her fellow graduates to continue to give back as someone must benefit from what they have learnt.
“As we “don our caps and gowns” and tie up all loose ends with TAMCC here today and move on, some of us out of Grenada, I challenge you to not cut your ties to TAMCC, and to Grenada as a whole. Far too often, we receive valuable resources and never look back at the source. I believe however that we should give as much as we take and even more.
Give until it hurts. Even though some of us may not return to Grenada, find some way to help,” said Robertson.
She told those who will not return that they should continue to aim for the best in Education.
“There’s often talk about avenues not available for unconventional fields of study and even if the avenue is available or can be created, one will be severely underpaid. I am not denying the truth in these statements. It is just the sad reality of our island. So although brain drain is a serious problem here and throughout the Caribbean, I’m not going to stand here and encourage you to come back because I know that is not going to happen”, she said.
“… Instead, I encourage you to go out there and get your Bachelor’s, your Masters and your PhD even. Take as much courses as you can, find a new hobby, learn a new language. And for those of you planning to seek immediate employment in Grenada, take courses online, attend training workshops where possible and expand your knowledge,” she added.
The feature address was delivered by Dr Sylvan Lashley, Dean at the School for Continuing Education Division at the University of the Southern Caribbean.
Dr. Lashley posed two questions to give light to the fact, that a University graduate can be of great use in a Third World country in entrepreneurship, especially now in this modern age.
“What is the role and purpose of a University graduate in a small nation state in the 21st Century? Is there any relationship between a University graduate and the needs of a country,” Dr Lashley asked as he gave insights into his belief on how a Third World country can be developed through this.
He said it is both a challenge and an opportunity to follow the “Blue Ocean strategy” which is creating wealth in unsuspecting places and making the competition irrelevant.
“Blue Ocean Strategies look for new spaces and places, make competition irrelevant and create new demands for new products that are both unique and affordable, while breaking the value cost trade off. In this way Grenada competes against itself and in some ways Indonesia,” he said.
“Nutmeg cakes, jams jellies, preserves, nutmeg bam to rub with, and Nutmeg cologne – I would make many things out of nutmeg as possible.
Review traditional exports, go into services industry, target Grenadians in the United States, Emphasise training for the educational mecca, ,” he added.
Dr. Lashley suggested that there should be a review of traditional exports and to look instead of using them in the services industry.
“Target Grenadians in the United States, emphasise training for the educational mecca, train Grenadian Students collaboratively in the area of Business Tourism and services and in edu-tourism,” he said.
Dr. Lashley urged graduates to contribute to the economic welfare of the country.
He said all graduates should be able to do basic work in entrepreneurship for which the University of the Southern Caribbean is willing to embrace those needs and provide the requisite training.
“Let us turn the Spice into the Spice mecca of the Caribbean, strengthened by edu-tourism. I look forward today to that opportunity – Blue Ocean Strategies look for new spaces and places, make competition irrelevant and create new demands for new products that are both unique and affordable, while breaking the value cost trade-off. Why can we not turn Grenada into a Blue Horizon think tank?
“…We don’t have to compete with Barbados or Trinidad or anybody. We can compete with ourselves. Let us employ that Grenadian ingenuity to add uncontested value to what we do. As each of you graduates sits before me, try to think of creating a job, growing an idea to maturity to build greater Grenada for the future, rather than only working for someone.
TAMCC is the only state-owned tertiary institution on the island.