FALMOUTH, Trelawny — ONE hundred and sixty eight students graduated from the Sam Sharpe Teachers College last Sunday, 90 per cent of whom attained credit and honours diploma.
Among those receiving special awards was LaDonna La Month, who was awarded the Sam Sharpe Teachers' College trophy for excellence.
She also copped the Winston Stewart trophy for advanced mathematics, as well as the JPSCo trophy for excellence in primary mathematics.
LaMonth who graduated with honours in primary education also received an award for her outstanding contribution to sports.
In reviewing the college's performance over the last three years, principal Dr Asburn Pinnock lauded the students for their academic accomplishments.
"I would like to single out the Guidance and Counselling, Primary Spanish and Advanced Placement for attaining a 100 per cent pass rate," Dr Pinnock told the large gathering.
"For Guidance 94 per cent attained honours and credit diplomas, Primary Spanish 90 per cent honours and credit, Advanced Placement 100 per cent gaining honours and credit. For all those who completed, 92 per cent achieved honors and credit diplomas," he said.
Dr Pinnock also announced that in keeping with the government's vision of having the Bachelor's degree as the minimum requirement for teachers entering its employ, the institution, will as of September 2011 be admitting students for the four-year Bachelors in Education on a
full time basis. "We will therefore be phasing out the three-year Diploma Programme," he noted.
Guest speaker, Rev Roy Notice, president of the Bethel Bible College challenged the graduates to become agents of change in the global environment.
"Anyone who enters the teaching profession without committing to discipline and integrity plays with the destiny of the nation. If you are seized by the vision for a better Jamaica, if you commit to narrowing the gap between what is and what ought to be, if you will seek to build discipline on a platform of high character and discipline, then you will become formidable agents of change," he said.
He argued that when a nation has quality teachers there is the greater likelihood that its roductive capacity will increase, its commitment to the highest morals will deepen and its prosperity will rise.
"Research shows that teacher quality is the single most important factor that influences learning outcomes even when student socio-economic status is taken into account," he added.