JIS News

Minister of Education and Youth, Maxine Henry-Wilson, yesterday (June 4) urged graduates of the Gaynstead High School to prepare themselves for a new kind of world, which was fraught with opportunities, but also challenges and threats.
At the annual school-leaving exercise held at the Swallowfield Chapel in Kingston, Mrs. Henry-Wilson told the graduates that they lived at a time, where they had unlimited access to the best that the world had to offer, through the portals of the World Wide Web.
“You can stay right here in Jamaica and access almost any educational opportunity anywhere in the world because of distance education, coming from some of the best universities in the world. You can access them from your computer. You can access any kind of financial arrangement, you can become a stock broker…you can stay right here and access the best of opportunities,” she pointed out.
She noted however, that with open access to opportunities, they faced the challenge of global competition from other students, even in Jamaica, who were vying for the same university spaces and career opportunities.
In addition, she pointed to the threat of terrorism, as evidenced by 9/11 and recent incidents in the United Kingdom. The Education Minister also mentioned the invasion of foreign influences, which was posing a cultural threat to Jamaican youth as it “impacts on how we behave, how we treat with each other, how we interact, how we resolve conflict, what we see as right and wrong.”
“So you have the opportunity, you have the challenge and you have the threat. You have to prepare yourself for a new kind of world,” she stated.
She reminded the graduates that Gaynstead has given them not only a solid academic education, but “a firm foundation,” from which they can build.
“You have had the benefit which is not only solid academically, but which is also solid morally and in terms of values,” which she pointed out, were essential for the new workplace. She noted that prospective employers were now more concerned with what she called “the report of life” which has to do with good communication skills, ability to work with a team, interpersonal relationships, and problem solving skills.
The Education Minister challenged the 77 graduates to take advantage of the good times, but learn the lessons from the bad times. “That is what is going to be able to allow you to stand tall and to navigate those uncharted waters. You have everything in front of you. Let this be your spring of hope as you leave the walls of Gaynstead and go into the wider world,” she urged.

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