Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones in conversation with some of the students in the first cohort of the Lower Sixth Form of the Christ Church Foundation School. (C.Pitt/BGIS)
Sixth formers at the Christ Church Foundation School (CCFS) have been urged, along with other students there, to ensure that the institution continues to be "one of the leaders in the positive movement of education in Barbados".
This plea came today from Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones as he commended the CCFS on its introduction of sixth form education. The gathering of officials also included the new Chief Justice, and old scholar Marston Gibson. Mr. Jones said: "Long may it continue to give succor to all of the young people of Barbados who are able to come here. Long may you continue to be in partnership with the leaders, the Principal and Deputy Principal and other members of the senior management and with all the teachers. ??And, long may the Old Scholars and the PTA continue to work with you."
The first cohort of Lower Sixth students heard that theirs was a partnership which required them to "embrace the teachings" on offer.?? Moreover, the Education Minister urged them to commit to learning despite the short space of time expected in the sixth form. "As long as you are willing to make the commitment, to be focused, to be determined in what you do, your journey will be successful," the Minister maintained.
He added: "I want to urge you to re-commit yourselves to the best pursuit of knowledge that you can find and utilise the best knowledge possible… A year is a short time… but, it is time that you have to utilise well, that you have to manage well.
The educational journey, especially at this stage, takes a short time.?? A few years ago you entered your various schools as first formers scared of new walls, of facing a new culture, but before you blinked you were doing examinations in your fourth forms.
"Everybody can learn; can be good…can be focused. It is when we sell ourselves short that we come up short… there are philosophies of life, there are ideologies of life that maybe, at your young age, you don’t truly understand, but when you listen to your Principal, Deputy, teachers, leaders in your schools, the PTA President and members of the Old Scholars they will provide you will little tidbits of knowledge that will help guide your life. And, all you have to do is to bring those tidbits to your own knowledge and make good use of your own life’s journey and education is only one part of that journey."
Stressing that formal education was an important part of life’s journey, Mr. Jones, a former teacher, called on students at all levels of the Christ Church School to inculcate the positives of education. He said: "It is only one small part of that life’s journey and I want each and every one of you young people in this hall to take on board that which is good, that which is positive; that which will make you feel good about yourselves [and] that which will keep you away from a lot of the vulnerabilities of this life."
Noting that these came in many forms, he urged them to desist from "all those things which [could] weaken your soul" and prevent them from reaching their goals. Calling on them not "to place limits on themselves", he stated, "We should be able to go beyond what we see as our own limit because we have the?? God-given capacity to be?? greater than who we think we are."
He alluded to new Chief Justice, Marston Gibson and told the students that they, like him, had the ability and the capacity to be "good citizens" and "to be whomever and whatever they desired to be".
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Board of Management of the CCFS, Orlando "Gabby" Scott, noted that the school had made significant contributions to the society in law, Parliament, medicine and cricket. Adding that it was the Board’s desire to see "the young men and women maintain that legacy of outstanding work and service of mankind", he said, "You have to follow in the outstanding trek that these luminaries have made.?? I want you to acknowledge that fact by your scholastic output during the next two years."
Reminding students of the economic recession, Mr. Scott, a trade unionist, told them that, as money and jobs were scarce, it behoved them to "cut out wastage, respect and take care of the school’s property. "Cherish the investment made in you by your Government and parents and work diligently to ensure the success of you, your school and your country…" Mr. Scott stressed.