President David Granger on Thursday urged graduates of the Berbice High School (BHS) class 2016 to aim for higher education, particularly in disciplines of agriculture, environmental science and information technology, to ensure that they are well-positioned to make meaningful contributions to the development of a ‘green’ Guyana.
The Head of State was at the time delivering remarks at the school’s annual graduation and prize-giving ceremony, where over 100 students who wrote the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), received their certificates. President Granger lauded the head teacher and staff of the school, which is the top secondary institution in East Berbice-Corentyne (Region Six) and, which moved up to the position of fifth in the country this year from seventh in 2015. Speaking of the school’s motto “Carpe Diem,” the President reminded the graduates that completing secondary school should not be the end of the road and urged them to seize every available opportunity for higher learning.
“I want to congratulate you on the step that you have taken. A new chapter is about to unfold in your lives; new opportunities are about to be opened, new pathways lie ahead and your education here at Berbice High School has prepared you for all of those opportunities,” he said. He explained that Guyana is blessed with an abundance of natural resources and rich biodiversity, which must be properly managed and protected at all costs. “We are part of the lungs of the earth. We are a global resource and I look to you the graduates to help to protect our wildlife, our coastal zone, our rivers and the atmosphere, so that generations to come will enjoy these resources,” the President said.
Meanwhile, Regional Chairman Mr. David Armogan, who delivered the charge, reminded that the world is rapidly changing as a result of technology and urged the graduates to ensure that they are not left behind. “Today we have just turned an important corner, but you are far from the end of the road… You are free to dream big, but unless you chase those dreams, they will never become a reality,” he said.
Mr. Armogan encouraged the young graduates to set short, medium and long-term goals for themselves and work towards achieving them. He said that while the country owes each of them a living, they have a corresponding responsibility to contribute to its development. He also urged them to adhere to the tenets of social justice, democratic values, fundamental human rights and the rule of law. Guest Speaker at the event, veteran educator Ms. Shafiran Bhagan, commended the Government of Guyana for its commitment to improving the education sector. She made specific mention of the One Laptop Per Teacher and the Boats, Buses, Bicycles + Breakfast and Books (‘Five Bs’) programmes, which, she said, are transforming access to and delivery of education.
This year, a total of 138 BHS students wrote the CSEC examinations in 25 subject areas, of which 124 passed five or more subjects with Grades One to Three, a success rate of 89.85 percent. Head Teacher, Ms. Tracey Helligar, in her report, disclosed that despite challenges in certain areas, a total of 247 Grade Ones were obtained compared with 207 in 2015.
This year’s top CSEC student is Jose Cummings, who gained 13 Grade Ones, three Grade Twos and two Grade Threes, while Ronichia Schwiers is the school’s top CAPE student with four Grade Twos and two Grade Threes. (Ministry of the Presidency)