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REMARKS BY AMBASSADOR LOLITA APPLEWHAITE, DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL, CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY, IN TRIBUTE TO DR. LUCY STEWARD OUTGOING REGISTRAR OF THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL (CXC) DURING THE SIXTEENTH MEETING OF THE COUNCIL FOR HUMAN AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT (COHSOD), 10 OCTOBER 2007, GEORGETOWN, GUYANA


Posted in: Communiques | 12 October 2007 | Release Ref #: 237/2007 | 1055

    I am extremely pleased today to be the one afforded the opportunity to pay tribute to my friend, Dr Lucy Steward, a national of Trinidad and Tobago and a true Caribbean citizen, who will shortly be demitting office as Registrar of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), one of our premier institutions and one as old as CARICOM itself.

    It is fitting that this occasion – a meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) dedicated to youth and culture – was chosen to express appreciation to Dr Steward, since she began her service to education at the regional level in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, where she served with distinction as the Chief of the Education Programme.

    Even when she moved from the Secretariat to take up the position of Chief Programme Officer, Human Resource Development, at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London in 1994, Lucy never lost her commitment to education in the Region and always sought to ensure that we took advantage of the opportunities provided through the various Commonwealth Secretariat programmes. Her experiences at the CARICOM and Commonwealth Secretariats would stand her in good stead when she began a very special journey nine years ago as Registrar of the Caribbean Examinations Council.

    During her tenure at CXC, COHSOD has had the opportunity to appreciate the quality of Dr Steward’s continuing contribution to education in the Region. She has led the Council’s responses to the many mandates given by Member States as they sought to ensure that students leaving the secondary system in our Region were provided with adequate options with regard to their assessment and certification.

    In recent times the Region has been grappling with issues related to the certification of the wide spectrum of students leaving secondary school since the introduction of universal secondary education in many of our Member States. The past three years have therefore been ones requiring much additional attention on the part of CXC to addressing appropriate certification for this level. Dr Steward has successfully led her CXC team as the Council responded to these mandates, particularly with regard to the new examination, the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence, and, even more recently, the award of the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) in schools.

    In all of these initiatives, Dr Steward has worked tirelessly, not only in her office in Barbados, but through her travels throughout the Region, in order to promote the new initiatives and gain the support of stakeholders at all levels. Ministry officials, teachers, parents and the general public can all feel that they know the Registrar and CXC. She has managed to put a face to the organisation, making it a household name and fulfilling admirably her role as Ambassador of CXC.

    I am sure that COHSOD will join with the Secretariat in expressing appreciation to a Regional Official who has served unselfishly and with distinction as she sought to ensure that our students were afforded an education that was relevant, and inculcated attitudes to learning that would serve the development of the Region well. She has been a good steward of the organisation, supervising its continued growth.

    On behalf of the Secretariat, I wish you, Lucy, health and success. You have built on the successes of CXC and are leaving it, in its thirty-fourth year of existence, greater than you found it. I am confident that your skills and expertise will continue to remain in service to the Region, as they have been all your life.

    Thank you, Lucy, for your commitment to regional education. If it is true to say that behind every successful man there is a woman, it is equally true that behind every successful woman, there is a man! I know Lucy’s husband, John, would like to have been here today (if only to “carry her bags”, as he often says to me) but had some other inescapable commitments. I think if he had known about this tribute he would have dropped everything else and come to “carry her bags”. I thank him for his support that allowed Lucy to spread her wings.

    As a token of the appreciation of the Secretariat and the Region, I wish to present you, Lucy, with a pin depicting the interlocking CC of the Caribbean Community, of Guyanese gold and Guyanese craftsmanship – a symbol of Regional resources and creativity in honour of a Regional citizen.

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