Minister of Education, Rev. Hon. Ronald Thwaites, is appealing for the religious community to deepen their involvement in the education sector.
While noting that the contribution of churches to education is "indisputable," the Education Minister pointed to the need for the establishment of more church schools and for “more church members to be involved in education to add moral character, to affirm the historical tradition and to give strength and fibre to the enterprise of education."
The Education Minister was speaking at the official opening and blessing of the Archbishop Lawrence A. Burke, S.J. Building at St. George’s College on North Street, Kingston.
The new two-storey building consists of several classrooms, multipurpose rooms and two science laboratories. The facility was built with contributions from St George’s old boys and friends worldwide.
The Education Minister encouraged the students to take advantage of the education being offered to them at St. George’s.
"Make sure Georgians, that you master the understanding and the expression of the English Language. Many students are confused. They think that if they can just ‘buss a tune’ or figure out the lottery scam that somehow, they can avoid strengthening their literacy and numeracy and get through life. It cannot be so with you. You have a great advantage, you are fortunate, you are blessed, make use of it,” Rev. Thwaites said.
Barbara Burke, sister of the now deceased Archbishop for whom the building is named, noted that it was her brother’s dream to see the opening of the facility for the education of children.
She said the building was a fitting tribute to her brother. “He was a great example and inspiration to all of us and he lives on in this school and many other achievements. He definitely taught us well with his example of being a good person by giving back to his school, to the people who work with him and for him. We should continue to do the good work he started so that this becomes a tradition in our native land and it will benefit many generations to come,” Miss Burke said.
She also wished the students studying at St. George’s College all the best and urged them “to become very successful and well-rounded citizens so that you will be able to give back to the community in any way you can and make our country a better place to live in."
Archbishop Lawrence A. Burke was a past student and former principal of St. George's College.
He also taught Chemistry at his alma mater, and led the team that financed and constructed the industrial arts building at the school, making it the first of the traditional boys’ school to have this facility.