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50 and going strong

Published: 
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Northeastern College, Sangre Grande...
Past teachers of Northeastern College. Photos: marcus gonzales

Fifty years and still going strong! On Friday, Northeastern College, one of Sangre Grande’s leading schools, celebrated 50 years as a learning institution at an interfaith service.  Principal Harricharan Sieunarine, in addressing past and present teachers, students, deans, friends and officials of the Ministry of Education, described the feat as no easy task, having faced many constraints, challenges and changes over the last five decades in order to create a pleasant seat of sweet learning for the thousands of students who passed through the school’s doors.

 “We must recognise that we are indeed moving ahead.  Fifty years must be celebrated in a big way.  This is a momentous occasion which must go down in history.  We are proud to be considered among the best,” Sieunarine told a packed hall. He also spoke about the school’s crowning achievements and the progress it has made. As Sieunarine commemorated the memory of the noble institution with meditation and prayers, he said the school had been rooted in the past and was poised for the future.
Sieunarine also heaped praises on the media for its continued support and presented small tokens of appreciation to its members.

Today, some of the school’s past students have become journalists and politicians.  Others have taken up important roles in the country and abroad. Among some of the former teachers at Northeastern who have now joined the People’s Partnership Government are Works and Transport Minister Jack Warner and Minister of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education Fazal Karim. School supervisor III,  Elma Joy Campbell explained that every learning institution has problems “but it is how you find a way to overcome it.” Campbell said one of the ways of fighting adversity was through teaching. Campbell pleaded with parents and teachers to support the school in their future endeavours, stating that they can’t afford to be sinking ships since they have to reach the 100 year milestone.

NEC history

In May of 1960, the late Dr Eric Williams placed the foundation stone at the school, which was formally called Sangre Grande Modern Government Secondary. On May 9, 1961, the school, which had only three classrooms, 105 students and three teachers opened its doors. Two years later, the winds of change blew and Sangre Grande Modern Government Secondary was changed to Northeastern College.