Fifty (50) persons from the parishes of St. James, Hanover, Westmoreland and St. Elizabeth were awarded at the West Jamaica Conference Centre at the inaugural Education Fundraising Banquet. Themed “Education: The Tool for Transformation”, the event, which was held Sunday, November 24, 2019, is the first of its kind to be hosted by the Education Department. The program was designed to raise funds to meet the different needs of the schools as well as to acknowledge outstanding students and those who have contributed to Adventist Christian Education.
The banquet was opened with welcome and highlights on the importance of Adventist Christian Education by Ms. Shadeka Haye, Education Secretary at West Jamaica Conference; “The Seventh-day Adventist Philosophy of Education is Christ-centred and Adventist Education imparts more than academic knowledge” she emphasized.
Guest Speaker for the evening, Dr. Herbert Gayle, Senior Lecturer at the University of the West Indies, and alumnus of Savanna-la-mar High School expounded on the imbalance of the Education system; favoring girls over boys in a post-colonial country. “Jamaica is not going to be educationally transformed until we begin to reinvest in education for boys thus closing the gap between girls and boys for education” he emphasized.
During the event, individuals were awarded in various categories, namely: retirees, parents, teachers, the cast of the Education Cantata and students who excelled in the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) and Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Exams. Special Awards were given to Lackett Cuff, Heather Smith-Sherwood, Lorna Stephenson, Olive Shields and Ingrid Sonlin for their commitment to the Education Department of West Jamaica Conference.
Ita Braham, former teacher at Harrison Memorial High School, expressed how she felt about being recognized at the banquet. “Working with the organization and the students gave me great satisfaction because I helped them move from one stage to another; It gave me a sense of purpose” said the retiree, who gave 41 years of service to the Adventist Education system.
When asked how she felt about being acknowledged at such an occasion, another special awardee, Gloria Brown, who also contributed to Adventist Education for 41 years, spoke of the satisfaction she felt about her time in the field of teaching. “I feel great to be a part of Seventh-day Adventist Education. “I have taught many students and I was very passionate about getting them to excel academically but what gives me even more joy, is seeing several of them submit their lives to God” she added.
Ingrid Sonlin received a special parent award for her dedication to the cause of Adventist Christian Education. She commended the work of the Education Department and after sharing her experience and encouraged the audience to pursue Adventist Education for their children.
“I want my children to get good Christian Education. I want to feel confident knowing that when they leave home, they are being taught by Christian teachers. If I can do it, you can do it too” she encouraged the listening audience. Sonlin who, according to her, had to do odd jobs to pay her children’s tuition, went on to emphasize that the sacrifice was worth it.comments powered by Disqus