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Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce awarded UTECH Chancellor's medal

Sunday, February 02, 2014 | 10:11 PM    

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MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica - Olympic and World sprint champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, has been honoured by her alma mater, the University of Technology (UTech), which awarded her the Chancellor’s Medal for achievements in sport.

The medal was presented to the 2013 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Female Athlete of the Year by UTech Chancellor, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, during the Caribbean Regional Forum on Higher Education delegates’ banquet at the Hilton Rose Hall Hotel and Spa, Rose Hall, St. James on Friday last.

The Chancellor’s Medal is the highest non-academic award which UTech can bestow, and is comparative to an Honourary Doctorate.

In her response, Mrs Fraser-Pryce, who graduated from UTech in 2012, expressed gratitude for UTech’s recognition of her achievements, describing it as a “humbling” experience.

“I have gotten so many medals before. But this one ranks among the best, because I started my journey as a professional athlete with the University of Technology in 2006,” she stated.

In noting her early aspirations towards achieving all she has attained, to date, in sport and academics, Fraser-Pryce thanked all the persons supporting the realisation of her pursuits.

She also expressed the hope that her achievements will empower and inspire other young women to believe in themselves, “and to understand that we are not a product of our environment, nor our social economic status; we are a product of what we believe in and what we strive to achieve each day.

Education Minister, Rev Ronald Thwaites, who was the guest speaker, said advances which Jamaica will and must make, particularly in education, are, to a great extent, contingent on stakeholder partnerships forged both locally and internationally.

He said one of the activities which regional tertiary education institutions must undertake is a review of the primary and secondary school systems, to ensure that the appropriate and requisite research is being done to prepare graduates for higher education.

 “Because while more students are matriculating, very often, despite acceptable results, the competences necessary for university education are not assured,” he argued.

Rev Thwaites also underscored the need for regional tertiary institutions to focus on “service to the nation”, adding that they be positioned as the “thinking arm” within their respective territories.

“The task of the regional universities and, indeed, the national ones, is to make sure that there is a close tuning in with the needs of the nation… to ensure that national needs are being supplied by the research efforts and by the focused teaching of the tertiary sector,” he contended.

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