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Minister of Water and Housing, Dr. Horace Chang has urged University students and other young Jamaicans to develop a passion for what they do and to accept the challenge of living with change.
“There needs to be a passion among leaders. The continuing challenge of every generation and every single educated person is the challenge to live with change,” he said.
The Minister was speaking at the annual handing over ceremony of the officers of the University Guild of Students, at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, recently.
He urged Jamaicans and other Caribbean people to desist from disrespecting their own. “One of the things we often do is beat upon ourselves, to disrespect the success of our own people,” he said.
This was noted against the background that the UWI continues to produce the majority of leaders in government, medicine, engineering, the private sector, academia, and all other sectors of our societies. “There is much that this University can be proud of,” he told the gathering of students and members of staff.
Dr. Chang, a former Guild President and resident of Taylor Hall at the UWI, told his audience that as the rate of change in modern society gathers momentum, “we are now faced with knowledge gaps.”
“Not only do we have the haves and the have-nots, but we are also being dogged by problems of having those in society who ‘know’ and those who ‘don’t know’. The gap between those who are informed and those who are not is widening on an hourly basis. This is the sort of problem you must contend with as young leaders,” he said.
The Minister congratulated the University for preparing the students for life in the Caribbean, and for providing some of the most accomplished persons who are in leadership positions all over the world, while lamenting the reduced number of men who are attending the University.
“What we need here is not a reduced number of women but an increase in the number of men who attend the institution,” Dr. Chang said.
The annual handing over ceremony is a function at which the outgoing Officers or Councillors of the Guild hand over positions to the incoming administration. This event includes a ceremonial handing over of the red gowns worn by the executives on official occasions.
The incoming President of the Guild is Roger Bent, who replaces Andrew Badaloo, while Angelica O’Donogue replaces Kerry-Anna Christie as Secretary. The executives also include chairpersons and deputies of the halls of residence, faculty representatives, a post graduate representative, and one from the United Theological College of the West Indies.