In quoting this Chinese proverb, Dr Marlon Jameson, Co-Chairman of NorthGate College, seemed to set the context for the school’s 2011 Awards Ceremony.
Some sixty Fifth Form and eighteen Sixth Form graduands crossed the stage at the Ceremony, which took place on June 26 at The University of the West Indies (UWI) St Augustine Campus.
Dr Jameson’s remarks, delivered in the absence of NorthGate Chairman, Dr Noel Woodroffe, highlighted the importance of a quality education in the context of a global decline in moral standards.
“Society has never been as bereft of leadership as it is in this time,” Jameson said. “However, I am reliably informed that light shines brighter in the context of darkness. And so we relish the opportunity to unleash these young people into the darkness of the society in which they are called to function, and upon which they are destined to bring positive and significant impact.”
Dr Jameson highlighted the College’s ongoing Male Empowerment Initiative as one example as the commitment to the development of internal character.
“We are specifically focusing on our young men because we recognise the significant leadership responsibility that these young men will hold in the context of their families, their communities and the wider society,” Dr Jameson said.
Ms Yolande La Pierre, NorthGate College Director, delivered a presentation with similar emphases.
“For most educational institutions, the big concern is to ensure that students do well in their exams and pass their tests. At NGC, we also want our students to pass their tests. The difference is that, for us, the ‘test’ is not something that has been devised by an examining body in some region of the world; our students must pass the ‘test’ of life. Therefore we have to imbue them with lasting values that will prepare them for life.”
Keynote speaker, Dr Graham King, explained that it was this close attention to the development of students’ perspectives, values and thinking system that made NorthGate College “different”.
Dr King, a Lecturer in the Faculty of Engineering at UWI St Augustine and a Director of Global Leadership Interlink, elaborated on what made NorthGate College different.
“The NorthGate College difference is the deliberate attention that is paid to these undergirding elements, the hidden dimensions, the unseen nine-tenths. At NorthGate College, there is an in-built assumption that what is not seen is more important than what is seen.”
Speaking to the lively group of graduands, he said, “Process is more important than outcome. We don’t need you to get the highest possible grades, but we do need you to have the best possible process.”
Dr King encouraged students to remember, cherish and retain all of the intangibles that they had absorbed during their time at the College.
“NorthGate College is only the incubator; we have planted a seedling,” he said. “It is now your responsibility to nurture its growth to full fruition.”