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Stop choosing the easy way out - Seaga

Published:Thursday | November 12, 2015 | 12:00 AM
George Antuan Young (foreground) poses with fellow awardees and custodes, as well as Governor General Sir Patrick Allen (first row, third left) and Lady Allen (first row, centre), during the Governor General’s Achievement Awards pinning ceremony held yesterday at King’s House in St Andrew.

Edward Seaga, former prime minister of Jamaica and chancellor of the University of Technology (UTech), is urging students to desist from choosing tertiary courses primarily to gain good grades, but instead think carefully about the job market.

Addressing graduates at the university's graduation ceremony, which was held at the National Arena in St Andrew yesterday, Seaga bemoaned the fact that many students continue to be guided by tradition.

"A university education plays a very important role and through education, many important goals in life can be achieved. A university experience sets a platform through which an individual can learn and earn. All of this, however, is dependent on how hard you work at the university, but most importantly, a lot will depend on what career you pursue, which means selecting the right area of study," he declared.

"Unfortunately, this path discourages some students who, as a result, only choose courses that will improve their grades and, while that will work for a time, it doesn't necessarily mean that you will land the right job or do something on your own."




Seaga said it was better to invest the time and effort now to ensure a good future, "than waste time by taking the easier route and continue to suffer".

He added: "It's up to you which route you take; only you can prevent yourself from succeeding."

In the meantime, Lascelles Chin, founder and executive chairman of the LASCO Affiliated Companies, who was conferred with an honorary doctor of laws degree, encouraged students to be fearless.

"Failure is not in my vocabulary, despite the circumstances and the risks. Graduands, you only fail when you don't learn valuable life lessons from an experience. Seek out the opportunities and the wisdom rooted in all your experiences," he encouraged.

"I urge you to be bold and never settle for the ordinary, and you are not ordinary. Be extraordinary and make use of every opportunity. The market is looking for bold graduates," he charged.

Sir Godfrey Palmer, professor emeritus in the School of Life Sciences at the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, also received an honorary degree.

More than 2,000 students received degrees.