I had to be in Victoria Park to witness the graduation of my first grandson from College, and how times flies, just the other day he was an energetic toddler, now a quiet young man aiming for the skies … literally.
His little token from me was a keychain with his name on it, but no key. He holds the key to his future, as are the other 700 + young adults, but he, as well as other graduates need to unlock their full potential by pursuing their dreams and all available opportunities, including starting up their own businesses for niche (specialized) markets.
The 2022 graduation was well organized, the weather held well for the duration of the ceremony and all seemed happy with the outcome. While exiting the Park I chatted briefly with the Minister of Education Curtis King and commented on the large number of graduates and the dread of finding jobs for this huge number of talented persons, some of whom may go on to university, while others will opt to start working right away. He replied by stating that it was a collective approach by both government and private sector to absorb this talent. So true.
Here, the need for us to establish our own university is raised again. It does several things, first it will make tertiary level education more affordable and available to locals, secondly it would provide employment opportunities for Vincentian professionals to serve as lecturers, we can offer specialized courses in marine biology and volcanology as we currently have that critical mass both in terms of the human talent and physical environment in close proximity to enhance research. We have some of the best historians, musicians, legal brains, mathematicians, teachers, civil engineers, medical doctors and more, all who will make the University of SVG the most sought after campus in the East Caribbean … Yes, we have what it takes to make it happen, that will be the pinnacle achievement of the Education Revolution.
And speaking about music … Darren Andrews was in his finest element serenading the graduating classes following the presentation of certificates (diplomas). The musicians backing the violin soloist poured out some sweet jazz rhythms while Darren made his strings ‘talk’ with the assistance of electronic effects. The music created the ideal atmosphere for graduates, friends and parents to socialize, take pictures and in some cases to say farewell to friendships made over the years. It was indeed a touching ceremony and the closing musical interlude was the “icing” on the cake.
I hope some of these graduates will also pick up careers in music as this field is wide open. We have produced some of this planet’s greatest musicians and in order to guarantee continuity, every opportunity to train musicians and vocalists must be encouraged. My mother was a music teacher, teaching piano lessons to the highest grade handing them over to Pat Prescod just before they took the final practical exams. In calypso, pan, drumming and dance we have held our own admirably and therefore a faculty of Music and Arts must be among the areas of training offered in our own home grown university.
All the best to our graduating class of 2022. May the Good Lord open your understanding to achieve your dreams. Remember, you hold the keys to your future, use it to unlock God given opportunities.
Contributed by: Donald De Riggs.
September 29, 2022.