Ardenne student leaders react to former PM Golding's lecture

Monday, November 12, 2018

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ARDENNE High School Sixth Form students were urged to consider careers in science and technology, the field former Prime Minister Bruce Golding argues is in line with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Golding, who was speaking at the school's Distinguished 6th Form Lecture last Wednesday, also said that during his tenure as head of Government an arrangement was to be put in place with the Government-run Students' Loan Bureau to push funding into the sciences and technology as the world moves toward the 'Fourth Industrial Revolution'. Here is how Ardenne's student leaders reacted to Golding's speech.

Lori-Ann Reid, deputy head girl: I am studying sociology, biology and chemistry. I want to pursue a career in psychology. Three things stood out to me during Mr Golding’s speech. The first is the idea of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and how it will impact us; critical thinking theory, meaning how important it is for us to develop and think critically; and a quote he has repeated by Alvin Toffer to say, ‘The illiterate of the 21st Century is not the one who doesn’t know how to read or write but the one who does not know how to learn, unlearn and relearn.

Joelle Sylvera, student council president: The career path I want to go on is actually marine piloting. I learnt from Mr Golding that it is important to be flexible with your career and it’s important to be rounded because with the industrial revolution and everything happening you never know when your career could become obsolete. I learnt that it is important to have a back-up plan. I think his idea about the student loans is a good one because it could be a way to encourage people to take on jobs that are actually needed and that are in demand now instead of sticking to traditional jobs because there is usually a surplus.

Sarrah-Ann Allen, head girl: I am currently studying biology, chemistry, economics, and Caribbean studies. I try to keep a balance in terms of the direction in which the world is going and that’s exactly what Bruce Golding was talking about. So he gave us a quote that said, ‘Don’t prepare for a career for life, prepare for a life of careers’. I found that particularly motivating because I was there thinking that I want to become a neurosurgeon but I wasn’t thinking how can I use the skills that I will acquire to create new jobs, to create new ways of studying the brain, conducting research to improve my society. He also encouraged me to elasticise my potential so that I can blaze a trail to follow. I think it was a very influential speech and other students would have benefited if they had heard. I agree with him about the student loan and reducing interest rates for people studying in areas of science and technology. That plan is something I want to help him with.

Nathaniel Robinson, deputy head boy: I am currently studying mechanical engineering. What I took from Mr Golding’s message was the importance of evolving, that science and technology is drastically changing and that in my field things are changing every day. Therefore I need to make the necessary arrangements and the necessary changes in order to be fully prepared for future changes in my field.

Kryssonia Wedderburn, student council second vice-president/prefect: I am currently studying law, management of business, sociology and Caribbean studies. Mr Golding’s speech resonated with me because he was speaking about issues young people are facing today. We’re faced with the decision of what we are going to do, the next step we’ll take in life and we are worried about the types of jobs we are going to get because some of our fields are overcrowded. I remember his quote where he said, ‘The persons that will face problems in the 21st Century won’t be the ones that can’t read or write... it will be those who can’t learn, unlearn and relearn’. He was emphasising about how we needed to be flexible and versatile and that was something I faced when I was trying to choose my subjects because I’m not really a science student; I’m more of a business and law student, humanities and that’s kind of a sticky field to be in right now. However, Mr Golding showed me that I can be versatile and that I shouldn’t focus on one specific thing but try to broaden my horizon and I really appreciated that in his speech.

Danielle Johnson, first vice-president student council: I am majoring in the arts and literature. What I took from Mr Golding’s presentation was that there is need for human resource development, not only in Jamaica but in the Caribbean. In our generation there are a lot of students who intend to study abroad and he mentioned that the Government could provide incentives for the students to study in Jamaica where for evey year that you work after you graduate, six months are taken off your student loan debt. I think that’s very important for students to get people to work in Jamaica. He also focused on innovation and he said that no machine can think creatively as the human mind and that’s very important because even though machines are becoming more and more advanced they’ll still not be able to do what we can do as humans and develop as we can.

Fabrizio Darby, head boy: I want to be a neurologist with emphasis on research. I want to do surgery as well but to mostly concentrate on research. I think it ties in a lot with what Mr Golding said because he’s imploring innovation and I think that the country lacks innovation. We want doctors, we want lawyers, but we don’t want the people who are behind them or actually pushing them, giving them the information that they need to be successful. So I believe that it’s fundamental for us to grow towards innovation, and what I took from Mr Golding’s speech is that it is even more imperative that this generation not only go with the flow but actually go two steps ahead of the flow if we want Jamaica to get where we want it to be.

(Photos: Garfield Robinson)


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