TORONTO – Principal of Jamaica College (JC), Ruel Reid, has said that the transformation at the institution is not only a model for leadership and change in the education system, but also as a recipe for national development.
Speaking to patrons attending the 23rd annual fundraising dinner and dance of the JC Old Boys’ Association of Canada (JCOBACA), Mr. Reid, who has been head of the institution for the past six years, said the achievements by students, “in sports, winning five championships, in other co-curricular activities, in the Schools Challenge Quiz and in academic improvements,” have been remarkable.
Sharing some results from the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) unit one, he said that 70 per cent of students achieved a pass mark in Economics; 83 per cent in Biology; 88 per cent in Chemistry; 90 per cent in Law and Sociology;
91 per cent in Physics; 94 per cent in Computer Science; and 100 per cent passes in Accounts, Caribbean Studies and History.
For unit two, all the students achieved passes in Accounts, Biology, Caribbean Studies, Communication Studies, Computer Science, Economics, History and Management of Business.
Mr. Reid assured the past students that the rate of return on their investment in the current students is much better than any “Ponzi scheme” and one of the reasons he took the top job at the school was because he was convinced that Jamaica College had such a rich history and an impact on Jamaica, that if he contributed to its transformation he would be contributing to the development of Jamaica.
“Part of my passion is to build a new cadre of leadership for Jamaica to take us through the next 50 years after we celebrate 50 years of Independence next year,” he said.
Highlighting some of the strategies used to bring about discipline and order at the school, Principal Reid said it included “some tough love and instituting greater accountability at all levels.”
“As a transformational leader, unfortunately, I had to change over 80 per cent of our staff, for the greater good. We had to improve the quality and reach of our student services; develop a more caring and nurturing environment for our students; and improving our school facilities which now include a new auditorium, entrance gate and cafeteria,” he said.
Mr. Reid lauded JCOBACA for their consistency of support to their alma mater, noting that the Canadian group is the best of the school’s alumni groups.
“You are indeed a true model of commitment to a cause of restoration, transformation and excellence,” he said.
President of the JCOBACA, Charles Francis, thanked the patrons for their consistent support of the organisation, which, over the years, has provided the school with “computers, printers, thousands of books, overhead projectors, microscopes, educational software and other equipment.”
In attendance were former students, their families and supporters, including Chancellor of Ryerson University, Dr. Ray Chang and Mrs. Donette Chang; and Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Seth George Ramocan and Dr. Lola Ramocan.
The Consul General lauded the JCOBACA for consistently demonstrating its commitment to upholding and advancing the ideals of its alma mater. He noted that the school has produced a number of distinguished men, including one premier, two prime ministers and a host of other national leaders.
Jamaica College is one of the oldest schools in Jamaica, having been founded in 1789. JCOBACA was founded in 1986.
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