JIS News

Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Sheila Sealy Monteith has called on all sectors of society to find solutions for the under-achievement of male students.
Speaking recently at the Mico University College Alumni Association’s annual banquet and scholarship awards ceremony in Toronto, High Commissioner Sealy Monteith said statistics show that young men are under-performing at all levels of the school system.
“There is no one factor to which this well known fact is attributable but indeed, its occurrence is lamentable. A society cannot advance when an important component of its population is left behind,” she stated.
Stressing that the situation is untenable in today’s world, she said that “we must collectively and individually take responsibility for all young men under our influence, and devise programmes and relationships to teach, encourage and guide them.”
In saluting teachers, High Commissioner Sealy Monteith said they have affected lives in ways that no other occupational group does.
“Each of us has a story of how an individual teacher has impacted positively on our lives. That is multiplied across countries and continents. We are who we are because we came under the influence of someone, who taught us what we now know,” she noted.
The High Commissioner, who taught at Vere Technical and Glenmuir high schools in Clarendon before entering the diplomatic field, said that teachers are being asked to do even more now than in the past, because they are seen as the ones who can redeem the challenges and failures in many parts of society, serving as “moralists, spiritual advisors, and even parents.”
Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Seth George Ramocan noted that Mico is the oldest teacher-training institution in the Western Hemisphere and enjoys the distinction of being the sole survivor of over 300 schools established in the Caribbean during the post-emancipation era.
In his message, President of the Mico Alumni Association, Winston Powell, said Mico has been a pioneering institution in Jamaica’s development for the past 175 years, and continues to be at the forefront of educational development globally. He noted that in Canada, members of the alumni association have played vital roles in the development of education in Canada.
The group, he said, is committed to offering scholarships to students, who want to enter the teaching profession.
“The winners of the scholarships tonight are well on their way to becoming the mainstay of their communities and those attributes will enable them to positively influence the development of the young minds in their charge.”
Four teacher candidates were awarded scholarships at the event. Three attend York University – Aaron Smith-Chin, who is enrolled in the Urban Diversity Education Programme; Claudianna Sarjue, Concurrent Teacher Education Programme; and Andrew Gillette, Consecutive Teachers Programme. The fourth recipient is Janay Eccles, a fourth-year Concurrent Education Programme student at the University of Toronto.