George Henry, Gleaner Writer
MALVERN, St Elizabeth:Around 189 students graduated from western Jamaica's oldest tertiary institution, the Bethlehem Moravian College in Malvern, St Elizabeth, last Saturday.
The graduates, who have received training in primary and secondary education, business studies, and hospitality and tourism management, were told not to lose hope if they fail to secure jobs immediately, but should instead offer to volunteer and use the training they received to help others.
This advice was given by guest speaker at the graduation ceremony, Yvette Jackson, pro-vice chancellor for graduate studies at the School for Graduate Studies and Research at the University of the West Indies, Mona.
Imploring the graduates to use their training wisely, Jackson asked them to get with the programme in terms of meeting the challenges of a changing world. She also called on them to keep abreast with technology.
"You have a responsibility to your community, your parish, your country and alma mater … . Continue to retool because we are living in a changing society," the educator said. "Continue to excel in further studies and listen to the guidance of people you trust."
Delivering her principal's report, Yvonne Clarke said she was confident that the Class of 2012 fully appreciated the opportunities that education at Bethlehem Moravian College has afforded them. She asked them to be aware of the responsibilities attached to their role as they seek to become effective leaders and builders of society.
"It is now up to you to build on the solid foundation that has been formed for you at this highly respected institution," Clarke said. "Hold yourself to the highest standards that have come through sacrifice, perseverance, dedicated study and the ability to take feedback on your work and use it to help you improve."
Clarke further called on the graduates to start preparing themselves to become creative and critical thinkers, who are socially responsive, innovative, entrepreneurial and competent.
Lowell Morgan, chairman of the college's board of management, told the graduates that there is no secret to the fact that a large percentage of qualified persons have not been able to find employment in Jamaica, drawing reference to the fact that overseas employment is being advanced as an option.
Tammique Bremnor, who graduated with honours in primary education, walked away with the Graduate of the Year Award, while Lance Hemans, also a primary-education teacher, was named Student of the Year.