Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites is urging students to work towards higher levels of achievement in the critical subjects of English and Mathematics.
"English Language is the language of professionalism. It is the language of world trade and therefore, proficiency both in written and expressive English cannot be left to chance. There is no alternative… we have to change this in our time if we are going to step up to the plate of development in this land,” he said, noting that Mathematics is the gateway to science and development.
The Education Minister was delivering the main address at the Cornwall College Valedictory Service, which was held on July 8 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St. James.
Approximately 248 students graduated from the all-boys school, many of them achieving excellence in their final examinations.
Minister Thwaites, in commending the graduating class, which was among the largest in the school’s history, reminded the students that they are noble beneficiaries of an investment the country has made in education.
He stated that the economic prosperity of the country rested in the hands of its sons and daughters and not in some "boops" (benefactor) from somewhere else.
"It is time to recognize that there is no boops that is going to fund our development. The goals of prosperity that we seek for all our people are going to come from our own efforts and our own responsibility," he stated.
Noting the large number of graduation ceremonies being held at various levels of the education system across the island, Minister Thwaites appealed to parents and guardians to save their money for back-to-school expenses rather than using it for elaborate functions.
"Save your money to feed your children properly during their educational growth and development. It is inappropriate to have our girls wearing wedding gowns and funeral shawls at their graduation ceremonies," the Minister said.
By Glenis Rose, JIS Reporter