Georgetown, Guyana - (November 7, 2019) President David Granger, this afternoon, presented President’s College with a 30-seater bus to assist with the transport of students, particularly those who have to pay high transportation costs to get to school.
The President handed over the vehicle, at the school’s 34th anniversary and 29th graduation ceremony, which was held at its Golden Grove, East Coast Demerara compound. 146 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) students graduated from the institution this afternoon.
During his address to the graduands, President Granger held the keys to the vehicle aloft and relayed that the relatives of students would spend as much as $5000 per week in transportation alone.
“The last time…a child, I don’t know if she is still here [but] I think she lives at Mahaica and she told me that her family was spending $5000 a week to get her to school here at Golden Grove. I couldn’t tolerate that so I walked with some keys today,” he said.
The Head of State also said that following the launch of the Decade of Development next year, emphasis will be placed on the ensuring that every child attends school and that those in the 14 to 16 age range complete their secondary education.
He reiterated that free education will be given priority during the 2020 – 2029 period and that free university education will be restored. “No Guyanese should have to pay for education after the Decade is launched,” he said.
President David Granger also told the Class of 2019 that they are graduating at a time when Guyana “is on the threshold of major changes, which will ensure that every citizen benefit from enhanced economic and educational opportunities and higher standards of living”.
He told the students that Guyana is about to become a ‘petroleum’ state, a ‘green’ state and a ‘digital’ state, which will make it a better place for everyone. The President explained that the petroleum state will introduce the oil and gas industry and boost national development.
This will result in the expansion of the economy; increase in revenues; the availability of more resources for public education and improvements in public infrastructure, public health, public telecommunications, public security, social protection and utilities such as electricity and water.
Additionally, emphasis will be placed on the protection of the environment, the preservation of biodiversity, the adoption of the use of renewable energy and practical measures to ensure climate adaptation, in keeping with his vision to transform Guyana into a ‘green’ state. President Granger said this initiative will preserve and protect the country’s rich natural resources for the present and future generations.
The ‘digital’ state, he explained will link every household, neighbourhood, community, region and government agency and will also connect every college and school in the country.
Reminding the graduands that “Guyana belongs to you” President Granger said the three emerging sectors he outlined will allow for the earning of decent emoluments and the enjoyment of a dignified existence.
“Guyana will need highly-skilled persons to populate these new economic sectors. It will need an ‘A-to-Z’ corps of scientists – from agronomists and cardiologists to zoologists, if we are to sustain transformational national development,” he said.
President Granger added, “It is for this reason that we are emphasizing Science and Technology education, which will allow us to acquire the skills needed to propel development and to make the country more competitive internationally.”
He recalled that when he attended President’s College’s 26th graduation ceremony on 3rd November 2016, he presented the school with a cheque for $1M to improve its Science laboratories. This small step, he said, was “intended to support the College’s Science programme. I applaud the College for maintaining standards of excellence in both Science and non-Science subjects,” he said.
President Granger said the school has held true to its character and charter since it opened its doors to classes in September 1985, having “earned a proud reputation and produced graduates educated in Science and Technology.”
Further, he said, the Government’s vision is to ensure that there is a school of excellence in every capital town in every Region.
“It is my vision that President’s College, unique as it is, should be replicated in those four [new] towns, so that people can see [what you all] have been up to and enjoy the good life,” he said, to resounding applause.
He charged the graduands to be proud of their alma mater and to be fully aware that exciting opportunities lie ahead.
“Guyana belongs to you. The future starts today for you, the 29th graduating class of President’s College. You are graduating at a time when we are on the threshold of momentous changes. Your generation has a unique opportunity to fulfil its dreams and to realise its fullest potential. I encourage you to make the most of the many opportunities which these changes will open. Guyana needs you…,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Mahendra Carpen, Head of Internal Medicine and Cardiology, Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), reflected on the time he spent at the school. He was among the first set of students who commenced classes in 1985 when the President’s College opened its doors.
He urged the graduands to have big dreams. “It must reflect on who you are and where you’ve been to school,” he said, adding that the late President Forbes Burnham dreamt of establishing the school and he ensured that it became a reality.
Dr. Carpen, in his charge, called on the students to pursue careers outside of Science if they so desire. “You don’t all have to be doctors or lawyers. We need poets, artists, musicians too. I have spent my life in Science, yet I envy those with the precious gifts and talents that bring our emotions alive,” he said.
Additionally, Principal (Ag) Ms. Samantha Success, detailed the school’s excellent performances at both examinations. She said that of the 31 subjects sat at the CSEC exams, most of the students recorded a 100% pass rate.
Minister of Education, Dr. Nicolette Henry; Chief Education Officer, Dr. Marcel Hutson; Demerara-Mahaica (Region Four) Chairperson, Ms. Genevieve Allen and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the school, Mr. Clement Corlette.