PRIME Minister Moses Nagamootoo has charged the 418 graduands of the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) to reach for the sky, as he delivered the main address of the college’s 84th graduation ceremony on Thursday.
“You are graduating at a very exciting time when Guyana is transitioning into a higher society, so the opportunities for you will be greater. The horizon is unlimited for you, Cyril Potter was just the beginning,” Nagamootoo informed the teachers.
He said a number of businesses are looking to come to Guyana to set up industries in part because of the looming oil and gas industry and in part because of the country’ high literacy rate.
“Guyana has 96.7 per cent literacy rate and that is what is attracting the world. This is where Guyana has poised itself into the future. You make a difference if you can produce a nation that is knowledge driven, everyone will come here to have outsourced institutions,” the prime minister said.
Education Minister Nicolette Henry was unable to attend the ceremony; however, her speech was delivered on her behalf by National Centre for Educational Resources Development (NCERD) Director, Jennifer Cumberbatch. In the speech, Henry welcomed the graduates to the teaching profession.
“It is heart-warming to witness the strengthening of the pillar of education and to welcome the new cohorts of teachers graduating from the Cyril Potter College of Education,” the speech read.
With the government committed to changing the educational landscape of Guyana, Henry reminded that CPCE plays a fundamental part in that change.
As such, over the past year, several measures have been put in place to improve the lives of the students at CPCE. It was at last year’s graduation ceremony that it was revealed that resident and non-resident students of the institution received a 66 per cent and 52 per cent increase, respectively, in their stipend.
Other meaningful improvements included increased supply of water to dormitories and the provision of meals to non-resident students. There was also the CPCE’s Student Development Centre’s implementation of the Pastoral Care Initiative as well as modernisation of the dormitories at the Turkeyen Campus.
Additionally, there was the resuscitation of the Teachers’ Upgrading Programme in Region Eight, which commenced in February this year. Trainee teachers for the upgrading programme were drawn from 18 villages in Region Eight, Sub-Region One.
This year’s best graduating student and recipient of the Presidential Award of Excellence, along with the Prime Minister’s Award was Annamarie Samaroo. She was presented with a plaque, a laptop, a certificate and a voucher.
Though this year’s batch of graduates represented an 11 per cent decrease from the number that graduated last year, there was a six per cent increase in the number of male graduates. Of the graduates, 82 per cent were female and 18 per cent were male.
Thirteen students graduated with distinction, 403 graduated with credit and three graduated with pass. This year, for the first time, five students will be graduating with an Associate Degree in information technology.
This was disclosed by Principal Viola Rowe in her annual report.
In this year’s batch, there was at least one student from each administrative region across the country. With 29 per cent, Region Four accounted for the highest number of graduates from a single region. However, outside of Region Four, 19 per cent of the trainees came from Region Six, 14 per cent came from Region Two, 12 per cent from Region Three and 13 per cent from Region Five.