Careers & Education

'Mind your children's social, spiritual health'

BY DENISE DENNIS Career & Education staff reporter dennisd@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, September 23, 2012    

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EDUCATION Minister Ronald Thwaites has encouraged parents and teachers to be mindful of children's spiritual and social health, which, he said, will have implications for their and the island's development over the long term.

"Recognise that if we raise a bunch of selfish, hedonistic people, with plenty of CSEC (Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate) and CAPE (Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination) subjects, Jamaica won't prosper and we won't be proud," he said.

Thwaites, himself a deacon in the Roman Catholic Church, was speaking at the Burger King 2012 Scholarship awards ceremony, held recently at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.

"We want you to have manners; we want you to have discipline and order. We want you to have enjoyment and love in sharing that which you have been given. We are talking about culturing a new generosity of spirit in this land," he said, addressing the awardees.

The 39 scholarship and grant awardees altogether received $3.3 million to pursue their high school and university education.

They included St Andrew High graduate Collette Campbell, who was awarded the Lois Sherwood scholarship, valued at $900,000, to study journalism at the University of the West Indies (UWI).

The Rodwell Lake scholarship, also valued at $900,000, was awarded to St George's College graduate Sheldon Edwards, who is pursuing a bachelor's degree in biochemistry.

Four secondary-level scholarships -- valued at $200 000 each and payable over five years -- were also awarded. In addition, 12 students received book grants valued at $15,000.

Carlton Jarrett and Demar Grant, both of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, received special education grants valued at $100,000, while Aneka Brissette, of Eltham High, received a $120,000 sports scholarship.

Thwaites commended Burger King on its 11th year of offering the scholarships and grants.

"The state can't bear all of it and therefore we need a partnership between business and between families and communities," he said.

Meanwhile, the minister said he is hoping that there will be a national examination to test students during their tenure at secondary school.

"Not only at the fifth-form level when you take the Caribbean exams, but [also] at grade nine and maybe at grade ten too so that we can watch you progress. [This is] to encourage you, not to cow you down, but to ensure that everyone's talents and everyone's needs are taken care of," Thwaites said.

He encouraged the students present to aim to excel in literacy and numeracy, as well as athletics and arts.

"I hope that one day soon we can win at the mathematics Olympics, at the literacy Olympics, at the software-invention Olympics and at the science Olympics, because what that can do is broaden the base of excellence and of worldwide performance that will carry us from generation to generation," Thwaites said.

Burger King cap:

Restaurants Associates Limited chairman, Lois Sherwood (left), and vice-chairman Richard Lake congratulate scholarship awardees Collette Campbell and Sheldon Edwards. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

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