Spanking new facilities at Pine Plantation, St. Michael, and a new Registrar for the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), were among the key talking points when the Council recently held its Appreciation and Awards Luncheon, at The Crane Hotel in St Philip.

In his address, Education Minister, Ronald Jones, told employees they should be in the new facilities by the end of January next year.

Noting that the facilities took about two-and-a-half years to complete, he said the building had been finished for some time, but there were leasing arrangement between the National Insurance Scheme, which built the facility, and the Ministry of Housing and Lands, that had to be addressed before it could be passed to CXC.

???It took a little while to negotiate the kind of reality that we wanted to achieve, but that is now completed . . . I don???t think we should go past the end of January before we have that facility for the use of the Caribbean Examinations Council,??? he said to rousing applause.

Describing it as an outstanding facility, designed and built to the CXC???s specifications, Mr. Jones said of the organisation: ???The CXC has been one of the leaders in the Caribbean region.

“It has really been in the front line keeping the region together, particularly for its young people and for all those who participate in our reaching high standards of matriculation to move on to higher levels of education. In fact, you lead, in one or two ways, among the examinations councils or bodies of the world, so you should be exceedingly proud of that kind of achievement.???

The Minister wished awardees and those retiring the best and urged the latter group to continue ???giving of their service???, in some capacity, to the CXC.??Mr. Jones also commended newly-appointed Registrar, Glenroy Cumberbatch, who will be at the helm of the new building when opened.

He acknowledged he was particularly pleased because Mr. Cumberbatch had served as deputy chief education officer, at one point.?????We???re pleased that he has risen to the ranks to carry on the work done by previous registrars,??? he stated, later signalling pleasure at the appointment of Professor Sir Hilary Beckles as new chairman of the Campus Council at CXC.

???All of that says that there is this momentum, new faces, some new visions as well as continued vision for the institution,??? the Minister stressed. Among those receiving longstanding awards were Amril Gittens and Heather Herbert for 25 years of service.

Senior Assistant Registrar in charge of the Examination Division, Susan Giles, and Technical Assistant/Printer, Hensley Hinkson, who have embarked on retirement, were also honoured. Employee of the Year was Kath-Ema Armstrong.

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