Georgetown, Guyana – (October 31, 2019) Minister of State, Mrs. Dawn Hastings- Williams, this morning, urged Harmony Secondary School graduands to pursue tertiary education and skills training, particularly in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields in order to ensure that they are well-positioned to make meaningful contributions to the development of Guyana.

The Minister made these statements in her feature address at the school’s 10th Annual Graduation and Prize-giving Ceremony for Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination students.

“Graduands, inside of you, there is the potential to excel and achieve your dreams. Continue to further your studies and build upon achieving your dreams… Seek studies in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics… I am more than confident that I am standing in front of a generation of young Guyanese that will achieve greatness that would make Guyana proud,” Minister Hastings-Williams said.

The Minister noted that the theme for the ceremony, “Moving upward as we persevere with much determination to achieve greater success” is a timely encouragement to the graduands. She emphasized that in order for them to be successful in life, perseverance and determination are needed.

The State Minister also pointed out that education and obtaining marketable skills are crucial to Guyana’s development, even as the Government continues to create opportunities and invest in programmes that will lead to economic transformation and a good life for all of its citizens.

Further, she said, “[We] have pursued a policy of unity and social cohesion to ensure that our Government works for all Guyanese. We are committed to developing our education system to ensure Guyanese youths have the skills they need for the job market as we continue to transform our economy…We are developing infrastructure from rural roads to ICT hubs, to drive economic growth and job creation across all Guyana, including our hinterland areas.”

Minister Hastings-Williams then commended the teachers and parents of the graduating class for supporting the students throughout their academic career, noting that they can now proudly celebrate their achievements with them.

She also reminded the students that upon their graduation, they will be embarking on a new phase of life that may sometimes be fraught with challenges. She urged them to exercise patience and to maintain their integrity even as they pursue tertiary education and/or employment opportunities.

“Your Government will continue to provide our youth with economic opportunities and better paying jobs… At times, you have to work your way up in order to get where you want [to be]. Having a slow start can train you to achieve greater success since possessing different traits will make you highly resourceful and knowledgeable,” the Minister said.

Meanwhile, Headmistress Ms. Angelina Yearwood said she is proud of the school’s performance at the last CSEC sitting. She informed that it has recorded a higher overall pass rate over the years and, moreover, the Class of 2019 attained an impressive 100 per cent pass rate in Building Technology and Technical Drawing.

“I am elated that this is our tenth annual graduation exercise… We are moving forward and excelling in the different subject areas and as we progress, we will get better results,” Ms. Yearwood said.

Additionally, Mayor of Linden, Her Worship, Waneka Arrindell, advised the graduands to take full advantage of the educational opportunities that are available to them.

The Minister of State then presented Valedictorian, Miss Bonita Vivierious, with the President’s Prize which includes a laptop computer, a plaque, a certificate and a $10,000 book voucher.

In an invited comment, Miss Vivierious expressed gratitude for the support students received. The aspiring accountant said, “I’m very much grateful for the help of my teachers and my parents. I want to say thanks a lot”.

The graduation ceremony was held at the Wismar, Linden, Upper Demerara-Berbice (Region Ten) school.

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