Georgetown, Guyana – (November 1, 2017) First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, last evening, encouraged the students of the Harmony Secondary School in Wismar, Linden, Upper Demerara-Berbice (Region Ten) to persevere through challenges, focus on learning and take bold risks as they plan for their futures.

Delivering the feature address at the school’s eighth Graduation and Prize-giving Ceremony, the First Lady said that education is a lifelong process and urged the students to keep abreast of technological advances in particular, to ensure that they have the necessary skills to remain competitive in the job market. “Our country needs the best that you can offer so that we can develop our beautiful Guyana in a sustainable, equitable way,” she said.

Further, she said, some students will face financial and other challenges as they embark on their futures and they must press on in order to overcome them. Quoting from author Roy Bennett’s The Light in Heart, Mrs. Granger said, “Associate yourself with people who think positively. You cannot surround yourself with negative people and expect positive outcomes… When things do not go your way, remember that every challenge, every adversity contains within it the seeds of opportunity and growth”.

Thirteen students graduated with passes from the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exam, six from the Secondary Competency Certificate Programme (SCCP) and 25 transitioned from the six-year Primary Tops programme into secondary school. Head Teacher Ms. Vernell Razack-Giles said the school, which started out as Primary Tops merging Wismar Hill and St. Aidan’s Primary Tops, has made some remarkable achievements from September 2016 to July 2017. It has obtained 100 percent passes from Grades One to Three in seven subject areas, from a total of fourteen subjects taught at the CSEC level.

Ms. Vanessa deFreitas was named the Best Graduating CSEC Student and Ms. Nikeya Walcott, Second Best Graduating CSEC student this year. Meanwhile, Primary Tops student Master Toshawn McBean obtained a Guyana Technical Education Certificate, which will now enable him to pursue studies at the secondary level. Mr. Ronald Grogan bestowed a special award on Ms. deFreitas for her accomplishments while Ms. Carleen Haynes won the Lana Moseley Award for her CSEC achievements and Ms. Keisha Cornette won the Beverley Kendall Award for Home Economics.

In an invited comment, Ms. De Freitas and Ms. Walcott both said that they were grateful for the support of their teachers and parents throughout their respective programmes. Further, Ms. Walcott said that the First Lady has inspired her to continue pursuing her education. “I’m very much grateful for [the First Lady’s] presence here. I want to say thanks a lot. It meant a lot to Harmony Secondary and it meant a lot to me …and I’m sure that it will motivate us in the future,” she said.

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