Sterling Products Limited (SPL), in its ongoing efforts to improve employer/employee relations, has awarded the children of eight staff members who performed outstandingly at the 2014 National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA).
The company held its annual bursary award for employees’ children on Thursday at the SPL boardroom in their Providence, East Bank Demerara head office.
Present at the event were SPL Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ramsay Ali; managers of the company; representatives of the Clerical and Commercial Workers’ Union (CCWU); Deputy Chief Education Officer Doodmattie Singh; awardees and their parents.
Addressing the reception, Ali said the company has always been committed to helping employees. SPL, he said, has been trying over the years to look at different ways and means by which workers can be motivated. He pointed out that the company has been promoting parenting, family values and education.
SPL boasts a literacy programme whereby employees in the factories and elsewhere are encouraged to improve their English and Mathematics skills. The pension funds and other social programmes are positively impacting relationships between SPL and its workforce. One such way of helping employees is by awarding the successes of their children in the NGSA examinations which has become an annual tradition.
Speaking to the awardees, Ali said: “Sterling is very pleased that we can assist you…. We are very proud of you guys, you have achieved something and now you can move on to a different level of education. There is always a place here, a preference will be given to the employees children when there is time for employment and they have the qualifications; there is always a place at Sterling for you. Well done and congratulations.”
CCWU General Secretary Ann Anderson, in her remarks said: “Sterling is a company that gets into your business; it is more like a family. Sterling goes further, they decide to look after the children of their workers and not many companies do this. If my history and recollection prove me right, they are one of the companies that offer the highest value in a bursary award at least under the CCWU. I am standing here and looking at future doctors, lawyers, CEO of Sterling and even a trade unionist! I want you to value what is being offered to you. Now this is a new stage, it[is] as though you are starting over, it is harder, you will be dealing with a different group of children, now you are mixing with the best of the best and all of you did well.”
The Deputy Chief Education Officer, in urging the children to remain focused and to steer clear of bad influences, said: “I want to ask you to continue school, do not drop out, go up to CXC. You heard from the Chief Executive Officer that you will be the first that Sterling Products Limited will offer a job; they will give you preference amongst all other graduates from other secondary schools. I want to urge you to remain in school, do like what you did in primary school: complete all your assignments, read and complete secondary education.”
Singh, reminding them of the need to be responsible and to take care of themselves, added: “I urge you to take good care of yourselves, you owe it to your parents, to Sterling Products Limited who will now partner with you, who has been partnering with your parents for your education for a long time.
You owe it to your community and Guyana at large – take care of yourselves, be the best that you can be. You need to pay attention to health and good nutrition. I am saying this to you because this is the stage where children will say: ‘I don’t want home food anymore, I want fast food’ – you need to pay attention to your nutrition, eat your fruits and vegetables because CXC is far more demanding than National Grade Six Assessments. Do not drop out of school, focus on good nutrition, and choose your friends wisely.”
Past recipient of the SPL Bursary Award in the 2005 NGSE exams, Richard Leo Jr, commented that nine years ago, he was sitting in the very chair the current awardees are and now the company has taken him on as an intern after he went through secondary school and into the University of Guyana, where he will soon be graduating with a Degree in Economics.
“You will meet a lot of new people and have a lot of experiences, but I urge you all to continue your education,” he said, adding: “It is now time to move forward, Sterling is already helping your parents which is very good. You will go out to face some challenges, be focused and put yourself in the direction[in] you wish to be successful.”
Gratitude was expressed by Rachel Seecharran on behalf of the awardees. “I am very happy to be an awardee and to be sitting around people who went through the same experiences that I did and who will be going through another experience in the future,” young Seecharran said before wishing all her fellow awardees good success in life and a better future.
“Make the best of everything you have been given by your parents, by your education – everything. Make the best out of everything,” she concluded.
Awarded this year were Fiyaad Hack with 518 marks; Taruna Singh with 505 marks; Rachel Seecharran with 486 marks; Natasha Shaw with 452 marks; Nadia Singh with 440 marks; Clayton Harry with 425 marks; Ryan Peters with 400 marks; and Alicia Mohitram with 326 marks.
Each child was presented with a monetary award of $50,000.