Guidance For Higher Studies For Highschool Students - 2010

The annual Guidance For Higher Studies workshops for High School Students organized by the Association of Sri Lankan Graduates of Canada(ASGC) in partnership with the York Region Distric School Board(YRDSB), Canadian Tamil Alumni Association(CTAA), Candian Tamil Medical Assocation(CTMA) and the Sri Lankan Accountants Association(SAAC) was held on Saturday October 30th, 2010 to promote higher education among Tamil youths. This enriching and engaging event for high school students and their parents were conducted from 10 am till 3 pm at Middlefield Collegiate Institute. This workshop as designed to serve as a forum for dissemintation of information, exchange of ideas, and sharing of academic professional experiences. The moderators and the panelist are selected on the basis of their success in their chosen profession and their ability to relate to youth. As usual, ASGC conducted the event free of charge and provided free lunch to about 250 students and parents who attended the workshop.

The plenary session of the workshop started with the welcome speech by the ASGC President Mr.Yaso Somalingam. Following the welcome speech, Mr. Cecil Roach, Superintendent of Education of YRDSB expressed YRDSB's happiness in supporting such an excellent workshop and appreciated the services provided by ASGC to the highschool students. Thereafter an inspirational keynote address was made by Dr. T. Kirubarajan, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at McMaster University, where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Information Fusion and serves as the Associate Chair for Graudate Studies. Prof. Kirubarajan challenged the students to choose the subjects that they have a passion for and aim to reach the top. In addition, he outlined the study skills that students need to develop in order to be succesful in university.

Ms. Suganja Sinnathamby, Workshop co-ordinator, while explaining the format of the workshop said that two sessions, one in the morning and other in the afternoon would cover fields of study : Life Science, Engineering and Applied Science, and Social & Business Studies. Each field of study would be addressed by 6 or 7 guest speakers, chosen on the basis of their academic and professional success. The students would be able to ask questions and the discussions would take place in an informal and friendly atmosphere. She also mentioned that the parents would have a separate session to deal with the issues specific to parents. Mr. Thaves Ponnampalam and Mr. Sukeevan Kailayapathy briefly introduced all the presenters to the audience. The list of presenters with their qualification and their places of work are given at the end of this article.

The highschool students were able to receive vital information about the selection of courses and the career paths of different professions from the young graduates in the Tamil community. Similary parents collected very valuable information from a panel of speakers who have been involved with parent-school-community issues.

Finally, all the students and parents gathered in the main auditorium for summary and recap of the discussions. The moderators of each group presented a summary of the items discussed in their sessions. The panel of presenters and moderators answered the questions raised by the participants. Towards the end certificates were presented by ASGC to the presenters and to the volunteers in appreciation of their contribution.

Compiled by Dr. V. Manivannan
Executive Director
Association Of Srilankan Graduates Of Canada