As part of his ongoing encouragement to teachers and students to excel, Governor-General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Professor Sir Kenneth Hall visited the Green Island, and Rusea’s High Schools in Hanover on April 9.
Sir Kenneth, accompanied by Lady Rheima Hall, also planted a tree at each school, as a reminder to members of the school family to respect all life; protect the environment; reject violence; share with others; listen to understand; and rediscover love.
In his address at the Green Island High School, the Governor-General said there seemed to be two competing philosophies about education; that education should be about creating involved and conscious citizens; and the other more recent one, that education should be about preparing graduates for the workplace. It is presented very often, he said, as though the two were incompatible.
He encouraged his audience not to take sides in the issue, adding that it was his view that the school should do both.
“My reason for suggesting that you need to merge these two competing philosophies happens to be that in a place like Hanover, you really have very little choice, because we have to create citizens who are able to function, not only in Hanover, (and) in Jamaica, but also in the world at large. We must also be clear that an education provides every educated person with the capacity, not merely to work for others, but to create his or her own space, his or her own job,” the Governor-General said.
He argued that the school has the responsibility of becoming part and parcel of the development of the parish. “It has a responsibility to create new citizens, to ensure that all of the citizens have a focus, have a purpose, and can continue to make their contributions as all other Hanoverians have done elsewhere,” he added.
At his alma mater, Rusea’s High School, the Governor-General lauded the scholastic achievements of the students, adding that such achievements formed part of the tradition of the institution.
He pledged the continued support of the Old Students Association to the institution, adding that it was drilled in the consciousness of former students that service to the country was the highest achievement for an individual.
“You have made your own achievements, but the one appeal I have is that we must return to a tradition of excellence, because this is the only guarantee we have in this country, that all of you are going to find a place as creative citizens in our country,” Sir Kenneth said.