Making good choices

Six students graduating from government’s Alternative Education Centre were encouraged to take responsibility for their choices while learning from their mistakes in order to move forward in the right direction.

The graduates, Yanique Connolly, Michael McLaughlin, Roshano Ramoon, Patrick Miller Jason Christian and Overtha Bush received their diplomas from Education Ministry’s Chief Secretary Mary Rodrigues in the presence of invited guest.

At the ceremony students listened as Education Minister Ralston Anglin encouraged them to take the right steps in life.

‘For a person to improve their life and make significant changes they must first take responsibility. Each of us individuals must take responsibility for our achievements, actions, failures and lives over all,’ he said.

Mr. Anglin also shared with students his life of growing up in a not too wealthy family and how he too could have used a lot of excuses as to why. But he said that did not stop him from making wise choices.

‘Before coming to the Alternative Centre you might have blamed your parents, teachers, friends and even the school system, but I hope as a result of your time spent here, you have come to realise you cannot blame others for the consequences of your own actions.

‘Often times it is only when you have seen the wrong that you become empowered to move forward in the right direction,’ he said.

Mr. Anglin said he was informed the school consisted of three units, transition, suspension and tutorial. Tutorial units he said supports students who have difficulty working in large groups and provides them with one-on-one support and works to reintegrate them back into main stream schools. The suspension unit he said ensures that students work is not negatively impacted as a result of their suspension. The transitional unit he said assists students to achieve greater benefit from vocational studies rather than the traditional academics.

He also said he was proud to see that some graduates had acquired fulltime jobs as a result of the programmes as he acknowledged Alternative staff for their efforts.

Principal Raphael Daniel said the need for expanded alternative education could be on the rise.

He said a greater number of students from John Gray and George Hicks High School were being identified as needing transition services and figures could increase dramatically in instances where students were expelled.

‘This is an indication that the request for services in alternative education is on the rise’

He also informed the Minister that the school has lived under a threat of moving to another location as the building is slated to become part of the health services. He said it was a challenge as to how to accommodate students so they can do their best.

Minister Anglin responded by saying he was hoping the Ministry of finance could work some miracle. ‘All I can say is that government will try to do the best to add to and support the programmes at these facilities and try to work towards a better future for all.’

Guest speaker Bernie Bush also expanded on students not blaming others for choices they made.

‘Now is the time to take full responsibility and carry yourselves like ladies and gentlemen,’ he said.

‘The world does not revolve around you there are certain rules you have to follow and there are requirements that will be need in the job world. Keep your heads high.’

He said some point in time we all make mistakes but you must dust off yourself and move on.