The George Hicks High School Class of 2006 marked a milestone of secondary education in the Cayman Islands.
At the graduation ceremony, held at the Agape Family Worship Centre Thursday evening, 316 graduates along with attendees heard that GHHS will now become four self-sufficient learning centres.
In his address Education Minister Alden McLaughlin said he wished to convey an important message as they prepared to move on to the next phase in their lives.
‘We sought to identify, define and encapsulate these special qualities in the profile of the Educated Caymanian’, a concept born of last year’s landmark education conference. Our vision was that every school-leaver would posses the component qualities of this profile. Our thinking was clear – the acquisition of these qualities would equip the individual for life, to thrive and prosper professionally, socially, and in the home,’ said Mr. McLaughlin.
‘We said that school-leavers should be enthusiastic and motivated. We said you should be good communicators and creative thinkers. We encouraged school-leavers to develop high self-esteem and a positive outlook. We also said that you should demonstrate a strong work ethic, honesty, reliability, and a sense of responsibility, as well as respect for others. We acknowledged the necessity of acquiring proficiency in literacy and numeracy, as well as adeptness in the use of ICT.
These are all worthy aspirations for you, and will serve you well throughout your lives. But to me, the glue which holds all of these things together is a very special quality – adeptness at solving problems.
‘Why is this so? Because if you possess the instinct to solve-problems, then you will have acquired the analytical and critical-thinking skills to prevail whatever your circumstances. You will possess the mental agility to analyse your circumstances, identify challenges; define the solutions; and take action.
Mr. McLaughlin said he believed this instinct would serve to guide in the acquisition of all the other qualities which made up the profile of the educated Caymanian and graduates must aspire to the acquisition of these qualities if they were to evolve successfully in a changing world both as individuals and collectively as the future of the nation.
As she gave the closing remarks Principal Adora Bodden-Groome said she could not help thinking that this was the close of an era in an educational institution they had all enjoyed being a part of. An institution dear to her because of being one of the first staff picked to start the school.
‘As we move forward into a new era, I look forward to the same level of commitment and dedication from those remaining, the new incoming staff, the Ministry and the Education Department, for irrespective of the system chosen, it is people who will make the difference.