Over the next five years, the Parkinson Memorial School will undergo a physical transformation that will hopefully spill over into how students there view themselves and The Pine, St. Michael school.
Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Santia Bradshaw, announced on Wednesday, that a rebranding of the school would be undertaken by Goddard’s Enterprises Limited (GEL) and Sign Depot. The exercise entails the adoption of the school and students by GEL, which will spearhead a five-year physical upgrade of the school plant.
Staff of the company will also mentor students on an on-going basis in an effort to build their confidence and prepare them for the world of work. Sign Depot is installing new signs at the school, which will provide a new theme and brand of excellence for Parkinson.
Goddard Enterprises Limited conducted a mentorship programme with students back in March but wanted to do more to positively impact the lives of students. This is the start of what Minister Bradshaw hopes would be similar public-private sector partnerships throughout the school system. She told students and staff at Parkinson that Government could not do it alone.
“Having come to the Ministry a few short months ago, it is clear that the Government of Barbados will not have all of the resources to do all of the things that are necessary across the school plants of Barbados. You and I both know there are repairs that are needed at the school to be done. You, as young men and women, would like to see more things happening at Parkinson School. But we also know that if we don’t have the financial resources to do it, then it means that we have to be able to reach out to some of the people across our community who do.
“So, through the partnership with Goddard Enterprises, and I am sure there are going to be other entities that will come on board over the course of the next few months and the next few years, I believe we are going to start to see a transformation across this particular school,” Ms. Bradshaw asserted.
She told students that despite what they would have heard about the school even before attending, it was them and not the institution that would determine their success. The Minister also lauded the hard-working teachers for their dedication to students and the school. And, she implored students to wear their uniforms with pride.
“As much as the Ministry may receive negative reports sometimes of people complaining about this school, we also know there is some good. There is positive in each and every young person and we have a responsibility working with these groups and corporate entities to get the best out of you.
“You, as students, have to help them to shape the institution you want to be a part of. I want you to take a vested interest in the Parkinson School. I know there are people who have passed through this institution who have done well… .I want to know that students are proud when wearing their uniform; that they are proudly wearing it in such a way that they do good things only for this institution,” the Minister stressed.
Group Human Resources Manager of the Goddard Group, Lianne Fingall, said they were “proud” to be associated with Parkinson. “We have some further plans for you. You will be seeing more of us and we are very happy and proud to be associated with you our neighbour, Parkinson Memorial School,” she told students.