A new direction of teaching has been taken up by the T.A. Marryshow Community College (TAMCC) as it pushes its students towards accepting leadership roles rather than shy away from it.
For approximately seven years, the college has been offering to interested students a 10 week leadership seminar that is aimed at creating and realising leaders in students who decide to take the course.
The seminar began January 17th at no cost to students with an opening ceremony at the Teacher Education at the college.
Acting Registrar at the college, Marva Bowen-Neptune explained that the seminar is intended to show students that it is more than just academics when venturing into society.
“Naturally as a tertiary institution we always observe our students and for us it is not only about what you learn in a book or the academics. At the college we are trying to ensure that students are well balanced and they have leadership skills”, she said.
“No doubt, you would understand that these students would be our future leaders, our future politicians, our future teachers, lawyers, doctors and in these capacities, you will have to have some leadership skills. So, the college decided to make sure that we expose the students to what leadership is all about – how it evolves, whether leaders are born, whether it’s something that you can learn; either way, we want to let them know that there are other aspects of the course in development and it’s not about…a whole set of degrees but how you develop as you proceed in your career as a leader,” she added.
Bowen-Neptune noted that students have the tendency to avoid roles and situations that would put them in the spotlight, something she blamed on how they are raised.
She said: “I think it’s a culture thing the way we in the Caribbean, moreso Grenada, the way we culture our students. I studied abroad, so, I am exposed to that culture as well. Sometimes we are a bit timid in terms of taking up responsibility and leadership and sometimes we as adults intimidate the students as well and our children because we feel that it’s not their place; they shouldn’t have a voice, they are young.
“Because of that, we want to make sure that these students know that they have a voice, they can speak up on issues, some of them, they are able to vote, they understand their role in society and they are young adults. It’s about time for these students to rise up and know that they have a voice in society,” she added.
One of the topics discussed at the first session of the seminar was “Understanding today’s leadership expectations/indentifying leadership requirements for the 21st Century and Deputy Commissioner of Police, Franklyn Redhead was invited on to give some advise to the students.
“I think the world is going through a critical change of transformation if you will and there is this mantra among young people of get rich quick or die trying and I think we need to manage more effectively youthful energies, both negative and positive, in terms of how do we contend with these energies and when the energies are coupled with charismatic leadership and understand the implication it has for crime and a range of other factors. My focus will be on the positive side of that in terms of how do you channel those energies in a positive way and get people to realise their full potential as young individuals”, Redhead told the students.
A student from nearly every department at the institution was in attendance at the first session.
One student from the Natural Science Department, Joshua Francis told reporters that the seminar will help him understand his role in a modern society.
He said, “I believe the leadership seminar will be an incredible opportunity to learn new skills, new talents, new traits to be informed about things. I probably did not know and reaffirm what I want to know. Sometimes, I believe as human beings and as individuals we need to recalibrate ourselves and remind ourselves why we are doing what we’re doing and how we can improve ourselves, how we can improve others, our community.
“I believe a leadership seminar would be a perfect opportunity for me to understand my role in a modern society, how I can better my society through the actions and opportunities I’m presented with”, he added.
Jerome Gordon of the Culinary Department felt that the seminar will help him to be a blessing to another person especially his fellow students.
“…When I look at people in my classroom, friends and other colleagues, I see them struggling with other financial issues or their self esteem or their self worth, just understanding why they do the things they do, like why they becoming a chef or why they (are) in this industry and me learning how to be a better leader helps me to better understand who I am and why I do the things I do and then give them an opportunity to find their why as well,” he stated.
Another student, Daria Mc Meo said this will help in her aspirations to become a lawyer.
“I think that this seminar will help me because I intend to do great things. I have a vision to be the Attorney General an aspiring occupation in the legal fraternity and I think attending this session it will help me to bolster my leadership qualities,” she said.