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  • He was addressing the school’s inaugural Distinguished Lecture Series 2013.
  • The Minister said he is particularly pleased with the school’s successes in CAPE.
  • Minister Thwaites told the students that they have a tremendous opportunity at Ardenne.

Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has lauded the Ardenne High School for its exemplary level of academic excellence, which he asserts, should be replicated in other high schools across Jamaica.

“Sometimes in Jamaican culture, we find reasons to decry excellence. We must never do that. Excellence must become infectious. Ardenne’s good example, all aspects of it, must become the standard for all of our high schools,” the Minister said.

He was addressing the school’s inaugural Distinguished Lecture Series 2013 held on Wednesday, November 6, at the school’s location in St. Andrew.

The Minister said he is particularly pleased with the school’s successes in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE), which saw the institution being named the top-performing regional school for this year. Ardenne High graduate, Dea Thomas, also emerged the top CAPE student in the regional exams.

She achieved grade ones in pure mathematics, applied mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, Caribbean studies, and communication studies.

Minister Thwaites told the students that they have a tremendous opportunity at Ardenne, to not only set and maintain a high standard of education, but to attain exceptional personal development, praising them for their decorum and deportment.

Turning to the lecture, he welcomed the event, noting that it will “raise the bar of conversation”. He added that the topic of discussion: ‘Science and Technology for Caribbean Development’ is critical, contending that if Jamaica is to prosper, “then we must culture a tradition of excellence in science and technology to match our excellence at the Olympics and in the field of music and the creative arts”.

State Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, who was also in attendance, said the focus of the lecture is timely given the challenges being faced in the economy.

“Science and technology with innovation are probably the most critical elements that will ensure that as a country, we are able to take that quantum leap from being a developing country to become a developed country,” he said.

Minister Robinson noted that his Ministry is collaborating with the Ministry of Education to ensure that all students are provided with access to the technology that should be used as a tool for innovation, and for developing solutions.

“I commit myself…to support the initiatives here to ensure that all students…have access to technology and have the capacity and are provided with the tools to build and develop our own solutions to the problems that we face,” he stated.

Principal of Ardenne, Nadine Malloy, said the school embarked on the lecture series to provide students with an opportunity to benefit from research and critical thinking in their pursuit of excellence.

“The idea is that we start the conversation here, now. It will influence your thinking. I will influence your conversations going forward, and ultimately, we will have graduates, who are going to contribute to the world and indeed to Jamaica’s development,” she told the students.

Hosted by Ardenne’s school board and organised by the principal with support from sponsors, the distinguished lecture series was conceptualised to promote the discussion of important issues in diverse fields.

To be staged twice per year, these free lectures seek to: expose students to knowledge and an awareness of issues that impact on their lives through discussion based on research; provide students, faculty, and the wider Ardenne community with access to information on contemporary issues and research; and to expand Ardenne’s network with other educational/academic institutions and business community and corporations and individuals.