We had the pleasure and honour to welcome Dr Vasant Kumar Bunwaree both in his capacity of the Minister of Education and Human Resources and as the personal envoy delegated by the Prime Minister, Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam, at Keats college as our chief guest on this auspicious occasion to commemorate the golden jubilee of our college. The Prime Minister has expressed his sincere apology for his absence because of his tied schedule preparing his participation to the African Summit scheduled this week.
Besides we feel privileged to have in our midst the people whom we love and respect and who have known my late father, the founder of Keats College. Indeed today we are all here to share a great moment in the history of Keats College, a secondary educational institution situated at Chemin Grenier, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. This new building where we are today is the Keats College Boys Department which was completed in 2007, that is one year after the demise of Mr.Max Wong Ah Sui. His dream was to have one college housed under two separate departments, one for the boys and one for the girls. This dream has come true thanks to the collaboration of one and all, our teaching and non- teaching staff, our Parents Teachers’ Association, our students and the administrative personnel of the college. Since the beginning of this year, thanks to the staff and students of Keats College many activities have been taking place to mark our golden jubilee.
50 years back in 1964, he started to live his dream of having a secondary school to serve the inhabitants of the south of Mauritius. Indeed it was not an easy task, but his enthusiasm, perseverance, hard work, feverish passion and the unflinching support of his wife, Mrs. Monique (Ah Foong) kept him striving to attain his goals.
Max Wong Ah Sui was an unflinching educator, an intrepid entrepreneur and a social worker. Keats College had a humble beginning with 40 students and a staff of 5 teachers, including its founder. Max Wong Ah Sui knew that investment in education is the gateway to social mobility of the population. We can say to some extent that Keats College has in a way or another contributed to the social uplifting of the younger generation of the late sixties, seventies, eighties and nineties and as such can be considered as a pioneer in the field of education in the south of the island. From 2000 onwards Keats College continues its mission in serving the population of the south.
Our success rate is quite visible as many of our students are working today in various sectors of the Mauritian economy. Our college is proud to have one of its former students, Mrs Josique Radegonde, as a member of the National Assembly. Before her, we had Dr Issimdar who first paved the way after being a successful returning candidate in the constituency of No 13 Rivière des Anguilles/Souillac. Chartered Accountant Mr Clency Appavoo, a former inhabitant of Surinam, the present chairman of the Mauritius Employers’ Federation, was a brilliant student of our college winning every year from Form 2 to Form V the scholarship at a time when education was not free. Many of our students who have settled abroad are now contributing to the welfare of their adopted countries. We feel proud to have contributed and given a good education to many of our ex-students who are now professionals in various walks of life.
Today the management of Keats College is laying much emphasis on technology.
Thanks to the vision of our Prime Minister Dr Navin Chandra Ramgoolam, we are investing much into our students in making them technologically literate. Next year we should be operating a Media Tech fully equipped with a view to motivating still further our student to the use of Information Technology.
Besides for 2015, we are embarking our school on the new HSC PRO program for our students. We want to give our students the opportunity to have a professional qualification so that they can be employable right away after finishing their HSC. The students passing their HSC PRO can still pursue higher studies afterwards.
Our aim is to get our students employable within the firms of the region, thus they can further help in the development of our surrounding villages without leaving their family.
Long live Keats college!
Message: Tony Wong Ah Sui, Rector of Keats College
Pictures: Avish Ramgoolam & David Johnson