He said that this was not the case roughly 90 years ago as there was little space in secondary schools to accommodate students. After Independence only 15 per cent of the secondary school cohort had a place in a five-year institution.
“This year, every child in the secondary age bracket has an opportunity for a five- year education,” Rev. Thwaites noted.
The Minister was speaking at the St. Andrew High School (SAHS) for Girls 90th anniversary service and naming ceremony on September 21 at the school’s Garden Theatre in St. Andrew.
Six buildings: the school’s library, the grade 11 block, the old science block, the office building, the main building and the school hall were named in honour of past principals and vice principals.
The Education Minister used the commemoration day service to remind the young women of the unique opportunity that has been afforded to them.
“All this is to encourage you to take so seriously and so joyously the opportunity that you have to attend such a good school…take seriously the subjects you are assigned to. You are the difference,” he said.
He also praised the St. Andrew High School for equipping the young women with the necessary characteristics and virtues that will make them strong professionals, loving wives and good mothers.
Rev. Thwaites lauded the United Church of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands and the Methodist Church for their commitment to and support of the institution over the past 90 years.
Meanwhile, Principal of the all-girl institution, Sharon Reid, said the day is an historic one in the life of the school and would make for great memories for the young ladies in attendance.
The 90th anniversary celebrations, under the theme: ‘Enrich, Empower, Abounding in God’s Favour’ will continue for 10 months ending in 2016.
Outstanding past student, Professor Emerita, Hon. Elsa Leo-Rhynie, is the patron of the activities.
Among those at today’s function was State Minister in the Ministry of Science, Technology Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, who is Member of Parliament for South-East St. Andrew, where the institution is located.