Errald Miller conferred with City and Guilds fellowship
AFTER BEING conferred with the diploma of Fellowship of the City and Guilds of London Institute, Errald Miller, renowned businessman and husband of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, has urged the education sector to continue on its path in creating a balance between academics and vocational training.
Fellowship of the City and Guilds of London Institute, is the highest honour that can be conferred by the Council of City and Guilds. It denotes outstanding professional and personal achievement, demonstrated over a number of years in complex situations and at the highest levels of responsibility.
Speaking with The Gleaner following the ceremony and reception which was held at the residence of the British High Commissioner on Tuesday, Miller expressed gratitude for the recognition he received. He noted that application is an integral part of learning.
“We teach our students in such a way that the tools that they were taught are hardly used again. They rarely get a chance to apply it. When we look at activities such as doing surveys, questionnaires, among other things, some of us never do those things again. I do believe that we have to move away from the abstract way of doing things, and not just regurgitate notes for exam,” he said.
“Can you imagine if a young student after learning electrical at school, he then goes home under supervision and wires his parents house, do you know what this would do in terms of his learning and enhancing his skills? Education cannot be about swotting and passing exams, students must be able to apply it,” Miller said.
He also urged the private sector to do more in assisting tertiary students who experience financial constraints, adding that his own story should be an inspiration for persons to follow.
“I was head boy of the Rusea's High School (in Hanover) and also had my qualifications, but I just didn’t have the money so I had to get a job. In my days we didn’t have students' loan (bureau), but I still had to push through and that is highly possible. I would love to see businesses play a role in assisting students,” he said.
“When I was head of Cable and Wireless, what I did was employed tertiary students in specific departments, whether they were able to work five hours or 10 hours, we provided an opportunity where they were able to go to school, and at the same time, earn some money. I believe strongly in those kinds of programme,” Miller said.
Simpson Miller, in congratulating her husband noted that she admires his zeal for excellence, adding that councils such as City and Guilds are needed to enhance education.
“I know this gentleman you recognise this afternoon to be extremely methodical, a man who pays keen attention to detail and makes unyielding demands for excellence. That is matched with a strong social conscience, a love of people and a kind and generous heart. This of course is in addition to being an accomplished professional who has operated globally, at the highest level of the private sector,” she said
“The City and Guilds of London Institute is a fine example of an education organisation that has stood the test of time, and which is equipping and training people with technical and vocational skills of the highest quality. Your output represents the solid foundations on which many stable and strong nations, societies and economies are built,” she said.