Participants of the ‘Panama Bilingue’ programme at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies today bade farewell to the staff and fellow students who participated in the English as a Second Language (ESL) course.
The graduation ceremony, which was held at the Cave Hill School of Business, was filled with laughter and cheers to celebrate the end of the four-month programme.
During the first three months the students, who came from Panama, Cuba and Venezuela, developed their skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing in English. In their final month they undertook two workshops in Business and Tourism, which also included a job attachment.
Throughout today’s ceremony many expressed their reluctance to leave the institution, with graduate Karina Garcia Gonzales performing the song “I’m not leaving”.
They were also given some words of advice from local entrepreneur Ryan Wills, who urged them to boldly express their creativity.
Noting that “creativity is the new currency”, Wills told the students that it is anticipated that by 2020 college graduates would have occupations that do not currently exist.
He recounted how he started his career at age 21 with an interest in photography, and 15 years later holds the posts of managing editor of Dazzle Magazine, and managing director of Orinje Nation.
“We are all born with the makings necessary to be creative and original; I’m here today to tell you that each of you has greatness in you,” Wills said.
The Panama Bilingue programme at the UWI Cave Hill Campus is part of an initiative of the governments of Barbados and Panama to strengthen cooperation, particularly in the area of education. (KK)