It was a message of change that was delivered at the Graduation Ceremony of the University of the West Indies’ Open Campus, last Saturday evening, when Minister of Education and Human Resource Development , Ronald Jones addressed graduands.
Stressing the relevance of the Open Campus “against a backdrop of increasing global economic chaos and financial instability,” Mr. Jones stated that change in the delivery of education had made available an enhanced array of undergraduate and post-graduate courses and programmes through distance and blended modalities.
“The Open Campus offers flexible, market-driven programmes and courses necessary for national development. One such challenge is the preparation of quality graduates who are capable of contributing to the sustainable development of Barbados,” he remarked.
The former teacher advised graduands not to “rest on their laurels” following their graduation. “As you graduate and seek to further fulfill your dreams, there are many changes in life which you will have to embrace if this Certificate or Diploma is to be of value to you…. It makes little sense remaining in your comfort zone and romanticising the glorious old days. Today’s climate thrusts us into a looming financial crisis, with fluctuating energy rates, uncertainty in the business sector and the constant need to adjust and reform educational policies to make them more relevant,” Minister Jones pointed out.
He further emphasised the need for graduands to be prepared for change. “At this juncture, many of you may be seeking employment, a promotion within your current organisation or a general enrichment in your lives, as a result of your successful completion of these programmes and courses. But are you prepared for the change that is commensurate with the realisation of your goals?
Change starts with accepting responsibility for your life, your actions and what you need to do to transition to a new situation. It is therefore important to set realistic goals, which you can be responsible for achieving in order to be successful,” he underscored.