Georgetown, Guyana – (November 15, 2017) President David Granger, today, charged the St. Rose’s High School graduating Class of 2017 to put service at the forefront of all that they do as they embark on the next phase of their lives.
“You must serve with respect – respect, first, for yourself, for each other, for your teachers and elders, for property and for time…You must serve with responsibility as you go on to higher education or seek employment…I urge you to be faithful to the School’s traditions and standards, I charge you to become exemplars of the motto, ‘Serviam’ [service], I encourage you to identify yourself as a graduate of St. Rose’s by the quality of the service which you will now render to others in society,” the Head of State told the graduands at the school’s annual prize-giving ceremony, which was held at the National Cultural Centre.
He reminded the students that they have been moulded at an institution that is steeped in strong principles and traditions, which were passed on by its founders, the Ursuline Sisters and by the teachers who upheld same over the years.
“You have what it takes to succeed. You, after all, are a product of St. Rose’s. I encourage all of you who are graduating today to be faithful to those traditions and to be upholders of the standards…Those of you who are leaving St. Rose’s High School do so not only with academic qualifications but also with traditions, which have been shaped and distilled for over 170 years. Not many high schools can boast such a distinguished record, such a deep culture and such an excellent record of performance,” the President said.
Speaking of the role of education in fostering social cohesion, President Granger explained that in Guyana, schools are the best examples of socially cohesive institutions as they do not represent any form of discrimination and they serve as equalisers for students of all backgrounds. St. Rose’s High, he said, is one such school, which caters for students of all religious faiths, having been established as a Catholic secondary school by a Christian religious order.
“Education must unite us, not divide us. It must foster a culture in which the many benefit and not just a few. Education must be the basis of providing opportunities for all. The social functions of education are to equip students with the skills and standards necessary for success in society. Education can achieve these ends only if it embraces certain standards which are taught at home, reinforced at school and practised in society. St Rose’s has been an embodiment of standards that break down class, social and ethnic barriers in education,” the President said.
A total of 123 students sat the examinations in June of which 118 graduated today with five or more subjects with Grades One to Three passes. Principal of the school, Ms. Paula Hamilton in her annual report informed that the school attained 100 percent passes in most of the subject areas at both the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).
Moreover, the school recorded significant improvement in the matriculation rate from 83 in 2016 to 92 in 2017. As a result, the Ministry of Education has adjudged St. Rose’s High School as the most improved senior secondary school in the country.
The Principal also urged the students not to become complacent but to keep setting new goals and to develop high personal standards and conduct.
Similar sentiments were expressed by guest speaker, Rev. Dr. Raphael Massiah who encouraged the graduands to change the way that they see themselves and the way that they see the country as a whole. He also emphasised the importance of self-governance, which he said is the highest form of government.
“Self-governance is characterised by self-discipline, personal restraint and self-control…Discover your talents, your gifts and your abilities,” he said.
The school’s top CSEC and CAPE students also received Presidential Awards. They are Shanomae Milling, Premraj Persaud and Shawn Shewram.
St. Rose’s High School first opened its doors on August 31, 1847 with a modest intake of just four students. However, in 1869, a three-story edifice had to be built to accommodate the growing demands for secondary education in Georgetown.