State minister calls for more mentorship and apprenticeship for young Jamaicans

Minister of state in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information Robert Morgan has urged Jamaicans to provide more mentorship and apprenticeship opportunities to young people.

Delivering the keynote address at the handing over ceremony for two bursaries under the Kenneth Chung Memorial Accounting Scholarship, which was held at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ) recently, Morgan argued that while academic scholarships are important, the impact of these scholarships would be greater if mentorship and apprenticeship were added to the equation.

“I think that everyone must appreciate that without mentorship and apprenticeship, the challenges that we all quarrel about on our verandas, in our bars and WhatsApp groups will continue, as the young people yearn for people to hold their hands, but we are putting our hands in our pockets, in many cases, out of fear of young people,” said Morgan.

He underscored that he is a beneficiary of mentorship in his career as a politician and argued that mentorship and apprenticeship would, for example, help to teach a junior accountant far more than the rudiments of the profession, including how to be a good employee and how to have integrity, while creating linkages and opportunities for networking.

The state minister urged the Kenneth Chung Memorial Accounting Scholarship awardees to focus on maintaining good grade point averages (GPAs) and contemplate how they will work to create opportunities for other students to benefit.

“Do not be role players but role models; be innovators, not just adopters,” said Morgan. “Recognise that the investment that is currently being made in you comes with a burden of expectation, to not just exist but to live, contribute and be a positive change,” he added.

In announcing Leshell Francis and Orane Wint as the first recipients of the Kenneth Chung Memorial Accounting Scholarship, Dennis Chung, past president of the ICAJ, noted that the bursary was established in honour of his late father, in recognition of the value that he placed on education.

“As a family we decided that the awardee had to be someone that was doing well in the [MSc] programme and had a financial need, because we want to ensure that when they receive the scholarship, they carry it forward and honour it,” Chung said.

The scholarship, valued at $250,000, is available to Jamaican students pursuing the MSc in accounting at the Mona School of Business and Management at The University of the West Indies.

One scholarship will be awarded each year to a student who has successfully completed the first year of the MSc in accounting programme and has a financial need.

Chung noted, however, that of the seven candidates who were interviewed in this the first year, two deserving students emerged, and the family agreed to award scholarships to both.

Both recipients expressed heartfelt gratitude to the Chung family and pledged to honour the memory and passion that Kenneth Chung had for accounting, education and excellence.

A graduate of Denbigh High School, Francis is employed as an accounts coordinator at Goddard Catering. His counterpart, Orane Wint, is an accountant at the National Environment and Planning Agency, where he has responsibility for final accounts.


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