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Grange Hill High looks to the future

Published:Saturday | April 7, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Patricia Baxter (left) and Yolande Rhoden of the University of the West Indies address students of the Grange Hill High School in Westmoreland during the school's Career Day last Thursday.- photos by Adrian Frater
The Gleaner's Denique Mathis (right) clearly has Errol Stewart (centre), principal of Grange Hill High School, and his students captivated as she speaks about the various Gleaner products during the school's Career Day last Thursday.

Adrian Frater, News Editor

WESTERN BUREAU:If one were to look for a practical explanation of the saying 'A winning effort begins with preparation', one would not have to look past what is happening at the Grange Hill High School in Westmoreland.

Last Thursday, the school had its annual Career Day featuring professionals from various sectors of the society, including educational institutions, financial institutions, the media, the hospitality sector, the health-care fraternity, and the fire service department. And it ran smoothly!

"Formerly, we used to have a low-keyed Career Day, but this time around, we have expanded it to have the parents so that they can help their children in the selection of careers," said Karlene Coke, the guidance counsellor at the school. "We are absolutely pleased with the way how it worked out today."

Among the institutions present were the University of the West Indies, the University of Technology, HEART Trust/NTA, the Westmoreland Fire Department, The Ministry of Health, Sam Sharpe Teachers' College, Knockalva Agricultural School, the University College of the Caribbean, and several financial institutions.

"Our Career Day is not only for the Grade 11 students who will be leaving school, it is for all students," said the school's principal, Errol Stewart. "It is not only about selecting a profession, it also about making the students aware."

According to Stewart, if a grade-seven student decides on a career during his or her first year at school and is aware of the required qualifications, that student will be able to tailor subject choices in line with the career choice.

Providing guidance

"In many instances, students graduate from school with a lot of subjects and are left confused because they have not selected a career path," said the principal, whose two-shift school has a student population of 1,800. "We don't want that to happen to our students, so we are preparing from as early as grade seven."

With regard to the parents participating in the exercise, Stewart said it creates a platform for interaction with institutions so that they can better prepare themselves to take on the challenge of the further education of their children.

"We are particularly pleased that we have the financial institutions here so that the whole matter of financing their children's education can be discussed," said Coke. "We are doing everything to ensure that both students and parents can be aware of what is before them."

As part of the whole exercise to tie students to their various career choices, application forms were handed out by the educational and financial institutions. The fire department and the Knockalva Agricultural School mounted impressive displays, which had the students quite enthused.