Aspire, Apply, Achieve
“Class of 2012 – you have a duty and responsibility to actively participate in building Montserrat.”
Miss Kadine Cabey speaking as the top student of the 2012 MCC (Montserrat Community College) Graduating class reminded her fellow graduates, “It is now entirely up to us to realise our true potential and take our rightful place in society.”
Kadine even though she was most likely reading a prepared speech echoed all the encouragement from all the speakers before her. I would encourage you as well to offer your appreciation to those in your past.
The ceremony, on December 12, 2012 (the date known as 12-12-12) as is usual with such and most events in Montserrat began with a prayer by Pastor Kellar McFarlane of the Wesleyan Holiness Church and introduction of the chairman by MCC staffer Miss Marsha Allen, who established the introductory protocol for the evening.
In her introduction of Mrs. Viona Alexander-Smith, Miss Allen said she was “best described as a vibrant and diverse individual,” adding, “she loves life, people and enjoys seeing her creations come to life, whether it’s a hairstyle or a news story. Assuming her role the chairman in her opening remarks admonished the students, “Remember it is wise to always have an idea of what you want to achieve, so that you chart your way forward.”
The main events for the evening began with the Principal’s Report. He highlighted the achievements of the college and students over the previous year and urged as he described the near and future plans for the college.
The principal Paul Payne, reported: “The intake into the Advanced level programme rose from fifteen (15) in the previous year to twenty two (22), an increase of almost 50%, resulting in a full-time enrolment of 29 in this programme (Advanced Level).”
He noted that “Despite the on-going economic challenges, the College was able to offer places in its three programmes, the Advanced Level, the Building Construction & Maintenance, and the Adult and Continuing Education Programmes,” adding that there were twelve Part-time students enrolled in CAPE courses.
He said that at the end of the school year, the Board of Governors agreed to the recommendations of the Academic Committee, to rename this programme the CAPE Associate Degree Programme and to the introduction of the Grade Point Average (system) of recording students’ performances.
He then reported on the successes of the students for the year in the major exams. The College entered 42 candidates, which included 13 part-time students. 16 CAPE Units for a total of 144 subject entries were registered, which was reduced and results based on 136 subject entries. This however, was an increase from the 35 students who registered for 107 subject entries in 18 CAPE Units last year. The College recorded 108 subject passes, achieving pass rate of 79.4%, an increase on last year’s pass rate of 73%.
There were some outstanding successes in some subject areas and individually.
He reported a 100% pass rate in nine subjects compared six subjects last year in Chemistry Unit 1, Caribbean Studies, Communication Studies, Computer Science Unit 1, Information Technology Unit 2, Environmental Science Unit 1, Law Units 1 and 2, and Physics Unit 1. He noted an above 80% pass rate in privately tutored subjects: Environmental Science Unit 1, Law Units 1 and 2, and Computer Science Unit 2 were small, where College facilitated registration. Pass rates above 80% were obtained in Biology Unit 2, Environmental Science Unit 2, Information Technology Unit1 and Management of Business Unit 2 with a note that the pass rate for Physics improved outstandingly to 100% from last year’s 33%. Here the principal applauded the efforts of Montserrat’s Physicist, Dr Samuel Joseph.
The one downside of the principal’s report was that which has been reported throughout the Caribbean and also in the US. Mathematics recorded dismal results. “The College is yet to record a CAPE pass in Mathematics from students with less than a grade 2 at CSEC,” Mr. Payne commented.
In some instances no passes were recorded. Of 12 full time students only three achieved a grade 3 pass in the CSEC maths.
“Once again, these low results in Mathematics, continues to signal this area as one that the College and the Secondary school are obliged to give special attention now,” the principal lamented.
Back to the bright side, he named the top student, Kadine Cabey, who was the top CAPE student this year. Kadine passed the five CAPE Units that she sat. Annuouskha Adams, Nish Brown, Oswen Carty, Jhovan Daniel, Krysten Gerald, TiVonne Howe, Amuelle Kirnon, Liska Peters, and Ruian Zhu all passed four subjects while another 13 students, obtained passes in three CAPE Units.
Going forward he said the College will continue its implementation of the development objectives of its updated Three-Year Strategic Corporate and Business Plan for the period September 2011 – August 2014. In keeping with the focus of the planned activities for the 2013/2014 academic year will include the five on-going initiatives, which include among others: Increasing and diversifying the MCC programmes and courses in response to specific training needs; and an expanded College population.
This latter, he said, will require expanded student services and the College plans to respond positively to this new challenge. “Of course these future plans and the continuation of our present programmes and courses are dependent on government restoring the appropriate levels of the financial subvention to the College,” he concluded.
Dr. Kato M. Kimbugwe is the DFID Representative for Montserrat and in charge of Montserrat’s Strategic Growth Plan. He was the feature speaker for the Graduation exercise. He too admonished the students about their future and their responsibilities. “The decisions you make today will determine your future and how successful you are in achieving your dreams.”
He advised them their success from here on is not only important “to you and your family,” but is also critical to the success of your nation. “You the class of 2012 and those that come after you have a duty and responsibility to actively participate in building Montserrat.”
He told them what for fourteen years has become little more than just sentiment, but a real challenge. “Montserrat has a long term vision of developing a sustainable and diversified economy which generates employment opportunities for its citizens.”
The usual follow-up to that statement he expressed in these terms. “To deliver this vision requires the development of a private sector as the engine for growth and a public sector that facilitates its development by creating a conducive and enabling environment.”
But, he noted: “Government must pursue expansionist policies, but take the form of facilitating expansion in the private sector rather than expanding the government sector.”
Musical entertainment punctured the proceedings, provided by the MCC
Mrs. Sujue Davis, wife of H E Governor Davis handed out awards and certificates to deserving students, followed by some other certificate presentations. These were certificates of appreciation and participation.
Following her presentation, Cape Associate degree student, Kadine invited her fellow graduates to acknowledge and present gifts to their tutors whom she lauded with thanks and praise. Outstanding to Kadine was Dr. Tolan, who she said excercised much patiene while encouraging them all the way through.
The proceedings culminated with a vote of thanks by Mr. Alford Dyett, MCC Student Council president, followed by the presentation of the candidates.