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Berkeley celebrates 125 years of excellence

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Berkeley Institute 125th Anniversary. Pictured- Dionne Glasford (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The Berkeley Institute last night celebrated its 125th anniversary in green and gold days before it welcomes its first signature learning programme students.

Keisha Douglas, the Berkeley principal, said 132 SLP students are set to start classes on Monday, with specialisations focused on healthcare and financial services.

She said the school had always offered students opportunities to excel and follow their interests and aspirations.

“The signature learning programmes will simply assist that with formalising the initiatives for young people,” Ms Douglas said. “We are excited for the changes.”

She said the first of the signature school programmes to be housed at Berkeley Institute will support students looking to enter fields of healthcare and social care with tracks in medical science and services, social sciences and services and holistic healthcare services.

“The second signature programme is financial and insurance services, where students will have the ability to participate in tracks such as accountancy, insurance, banking, business administration and fintech,” Ms Douglas said.

She also highlighted some the school’s long and rich history since it first welcomed students on its original Court Street location in 1897.

Ms Douglas said: “Today we celebrate 125 years as an accredited, diverse school with a rich heritage and a tradition of excellence.

“We have provided a simulating educational environment that has prepared scores of students to lead full and purposeful lives and pursue leadership roles in both local and global communities.”

Hundreds of Berkeley graduates and friends of the school gathered last night to take part in the anniversary celebrations, including Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education.

Craig Bridgewater, chairman of the Board of Governors, said the school has always been on the leading edge of history since it opened as the islands first integrated secondary school.

He said the school’s purpose had not changed since it was first conceived in 143 years ago – to provide an excellent education for all students, regardless of their social status, background, race or gender.

Mr Bridgewater said the areas selected for the signature learning programme aligned with the future needs of the island.

The evening’s festivities, hosted by Debbie Jones-Hunter and Jason Ford, also featured musical performances by Berkeley graduates Samantha Smith and John Lee, a short animated film by Tashel Bean and a candle lighting ceremony to remember those who have died.

Berkeley Institute 125th Anniversary. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Berkeley Institute 125th Anniversary. Pictured- Diallo Rabain, Minister of Education (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Keisha Douglas, Berkeley principal, said 132 SLP students are set to start classes on Monday, with specialisations focused on healthcare and financial services.

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Published September 07, 2022 at 7:59 am (Updated September 07, 2022 at 10:52 am)

Berkeley celebrates 125 years of excellence

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