Queens College marks 175th anniversary
― epitomizes excellence says Pres. Granger
DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, October 29, 2019
The Head of State, called on his historical knowledge as he delivered the feature address at the Queen’s College’s (QC) 175th Anniversary General Assembly. Before a filled auditorium, His Excellency, President David Granger recapped the school’s record of excellence stating that the culture of conventions, customs and code of conduct created the conditions for the continuity of the College’s ‘class’ despite the changes and challenges of the past 175 years.
He said, “Queen’s [College] had to be good to nurture four out of eight executive presidents, three prime ministers, three chancellors of the judiciary, several chief justices and high court judges, numerous ministers and public servants and thousands of academics, bureaucrats, businessmen, diplomats, scientists and other professionals.”
The president recalled that Queen’s College started at Colony House, located where the High Court in Georgetown now stands, in 1844; was relocated to Main and Quamina Streets, in 1845; to Carmichael and Quamina Streets, in 1854; to Brickdam, in 1918 and, finally, to Longden Park in Thomas Lands, in 1951. The occupation of a bigger building and a larger campus in North Georgetown’s ‘green belt’ allowed it to expand its science programmes and according to the Head of State, these changes led the way and set a standard of excellence in science education.
He said: “An increasing number of science students began winning the coveted Guiana Scholarship which was introduced in 1882. The College won 80 percent of all Guiana Scholarships from 1882 to 1945. As a consequence, President Granger noted the school has been creating a cadre of science-educated professionals for more than a hundred and thirty-six years. It helped to produce doctors, engineers and other scientists to work within the country, particularly in the bauxite and sugar industries, in the pre-Independence period. The school he said has maintained its position as the country’s most successful secondary school and as a centre of academic excellence and “remains Guyana’s longest surviving secondary school because it assured continuity while adapting to change.”
The president also noted the QC’s academic reputation in Guyana and the Caribbean.
“It won the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) School of the Year Award three times in the past five years and won the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) School of the Year Award three times in the past six years. Students’ performance has been exemplary,” he remarked.
In closing President Granger stated that QC can be the Caribbean’s foremost college of science and technology.
“The College’s 175th anniversary is an occasion to recall not only its glorious past but also to envisage a much brighter future. The College must be forward-looking. Students in years to come should imagine what the College would be teaching and what they would be learning when it celebrates its bicentenary 25 years from now in 2044. The College, in the next 25 years, can reach the apex of academic accomplishment. It can set the standard for other schools, particularly in the field of science and technology education. This will not happen by accident.”
The Head of State advised that the school’s plans should be carefully crafted and conscientiously executed.
“Provision should be made, now, for introducing incentives for students who wish to pursue science education; attracting and retaining science teachers; continuously upgrading of its laboratories; ensuring financial security and developing competencies in the field of science and technology education. The College pioneered the promotion of science education from the turn of the 20th century. It is suited to do the same during and beyond the Decade of Development: 2020-2029. The nation reposes its confidence in QC to generate, once again, the scientific élite to drive Guyana’s future growth.”