Philanthropist gets Mico honorary degree
The Mico University College has conferred an honorary doctoral degree on one of the island’s leading philanthropists and co-founder of the Phillip and Christine Gore Family Foundation, Christine Gore. She was invested with the 2021 Doctor of Education in Leadership ( honoris causa) degree on Wednesday at the institution’s virtual graduation exercise for the Class of 2021.
In accepting the honorary doctorate, Gore paid tribute to her husband Phillip whose vision and advice have been immeasurable, as well as the hard work of team members who have contributed to the success of the foundation’s interventions.
Over the past eight years, the Phillip and Christine Gore Family Foundation has worked in collaboration with the Early Childhood Commission to upgrade both the physical spaces and the education delivery process at 10 basic schools which the foundation supports. In addition, the foundation has assisted budding student-athletes, high-school students and at-risk youth, in addition to supporting Jamaica College and providing scholarships to 100 students at UTech, Mico and UWI.
“My husband and I have waited impatiently for the developmental journey of our beloved Jamaica to reach its final destination. Why can’t Jamaica become a developed nation with all the benefits that our people would enjoy? So, instead of shouting in the wind, we decided to take action and do our part. We closed my law practice and, since then, I have devoted my full-time attention to our philanthropic projects. Our primary focus has always been education and we saw early childhood education as being the most significant area for investment,” Gore told her audience.
In congratulating the graduates in education studies, she told them the real work lay ahead. “The truth is, your chosen field of expertise is a challenging one. For, though everyone acknowledges the importance of education, very few are willing to invest what is required – much less what is deserved”, Gore declared in her acceptance speech.
In expressing disappointment at the lack of new approaches to the administration of education in this country, she noted that “... everyone pays lip service to progress but nobody wants to change. So, as you (graduates) embark on your careers and try to implement new and improved ways of doing things, remember that you are going to be greeted by resistance. Prepare for it; accept it; deal with it. In that way, you will not be disappointed.”
“We were horrified by the data concerning the unpreparedness of children entering Grade 1 in schools across our beloved Jamaica. This information was the catalyst for our commitment to early childhood education. The information was provided by the Ministry of Education, so it is not a secret, although very few speak of it. Even more troubling is that no one has produced a remedial education programme for those students who enter Grade 1 unprepared. They are just processed through the system and no one tries to address the problem.”
“Each year that passes, another significant group of children enters Grade 1 unprepared and then moves to Grade 2 just as unprepared … and the cycle continues. Surely, addressing this issue must warrant attention if we are to educate our people. We await a national remedial plan,” said Gore.