Minister of Education to UB Class of 2022: “No Half-Stepping”

(BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)

The Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education, and Technical and Vocational Training, called on the Class of 2022 of the University of The Bahamas (UB) to pursue without ceasing a spirit of ethical service and excellence.

“I encourage you to put your shoulder to the wheel, to master your field, to continuously refine and hone your knowledge and skills through continuing professional development and lifelong learning and to pursue without ceasing a spirit of ethical service and excellence I encourage you to be the best that you can be. No half-stepping, simply stellar standard setting,” said Minister Hanna-Martin.

She informed the 600 graduates that she was proud of the university and the role it plays in expanding educational opportunities at the tertiary level to a wide cross-section of society and beyond.

“I stand here beaming with pride as I look out at a sea of beautiful faces of you graduates. The state invests heavily in this premiere tertiary institution; it does so as a matter of strategic policy intervention and in fervent hope and expectation that the offerings and experience here will develop skills and build strong character in individuals who will in turn add capacity to our collective standing and the wider wellbeing and success of our nation.”

The Spring commencement exercise held Thursday, May 26, 2022 at Atlantis Convention Centre, was the first after a two-year hiatus for in-person events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the highlights of the event was the conferral of an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree by Dr. Rodney Smith, President and CEO, posthumously, on the Hon. Arthur D. Hanna, former Bahamian governor-general, parliamentarian, deputy prime minister and minister of education. The award was accepted by Minister Hanna-Martin, his daughter.

In her address, she said issues including the country’s economic situation, natural disasters and external shocks indicate that this is a season not of worry and despair but of a creative rethinking of reality, which brings with it great opportunity.

“So while you are living in a time of great challenge and change, and perhaps even experiencing in your own lives a sense of struggle, the effects of hardship, the emotions of insecurity, fear, and the like, I want to assure you that these are all natural by-products of what we are facing and the peculiar times in which we live; they are all a part of the journey.

“The pandemic has created an opportunity for a reset — and it is digital skills, problem solving skills, adaptability, that are key to navigating the new reality — all things that young people have in abundance. And you have proven this in your own experience. This country has problems, this world has problems waiting to be solved. And this is where you come in. But we will not overcome our challenges or
chart the way to success as a nation by default.

“So it is important for you to know now that you are all responsible, you are all implicated, you are all affected, you must all participate, you must all contribute, you are young, you are energized and you are in your prime and you are primed for a time such as this.”

As a “special” group of graduates, Minister Hanna-Martin reminded the Class to keep a spirit of grace and gratitude most especially for their parents, teachers, counselors and others who positively impacted them and helped them along the way.

“Your trials and triumphs, failures and successes will make you stronger and more resilient,” she added.