Philanthropy Welcomed by Education Ministry

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Ronald Jones, Minister of Education and Human Resource Development (left)??with Christopher Holder (right), son of the late Maria Holder and some of the children of the Maria Holder Nursery School, unveil the plague to open the??school today at a ceremony.?? Also pictured is Colin Brewster (behind)??of the Brewster Trust.?? (A. Miller/BGIS)
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"A significant and generous contribution" is how Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones, has described the philanthropy of the Maria Holder Memorial Trust.

Addressing the official opening of the Maria Holder Nursery School in St. Thomas today, Minister Jones recalled that Mrs. Holder came from "distant climes to Barbados," and as a result of her interaction and love for this small island was able to share and to care and to manifest a positive spirit in the contribution of her resources to the island. "Long may her memory continue to be celebrated in Barbados and long may her generosity, manifested through her son and others, continue to be felt in this country," he remarked.

He also explained that Government had outlined very clearly its goal to work with philanthropic organisations in the development of education, culture and sports.?? Mr. Jones added that the Maria Holder Memorial Trust had, however, "taken on board in a very deliberate and focused way nursery education".??

He noted that the Trust’s work was in sync with his Ministry as it too was starting at the base. ??"…Nursery education starts at the base in the development and evolution of the young people in Barbados. ??It is of course our view that when you start at this stage, you can lend support to care and nurturing of our young people," Mr. Jones said.

Stressing that it was necessary to implant virtues in our citizens from young, he alluded to the fact that nursery education stood to accomplish this. He said, "It is about implanting in their hearts virtues of generosity, the return notion [of giving back to society]; virtues of care and respect for each other and for others within their wider communities including their elders… love that should encompass everything. That is what we are trying to do.

"We are not just simply trying to teach Mathematics, English Language, History or Social Studies but through those applications finding the virtues that would make life truly important for us…"

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Students of the??newly opened Maria Holder Nursery School, receive a donation of footballs from Axel Bernhardt, CEO of the Brewster Trust, on??behalf of the Brewster Trust at todays opening ceremonies.??(A.Miller/BGIS)??

The Minister also commended the Education Project Implementation Unit (EPIU), noting that the project was essentially an in-house one and he extended compliments to the Moravian Church for allowing Government’s acquisition of their lands.

There was also a word of advice for parents and teachers at the ceremony, as Minister Jones urged them to love their children even as they moved from nursery to primary and secondary school. ??He said: ",…The first thing we do is to love our children and?? demonstrate that not in a materialistic approach …[which is] manifested via the newest iPod or the best pair of shoes, or the brand name shirt or pants…Do not think that it is a demonstration of care and nurturing love. In many instances, it is an opting out of the process."??

Pointing out that the Trust, along with the Education Ministry was currently looking at three new nursery schools, Mr. Jones said the EPIU was already designing the refurbishment of the Nursery School located at Holders Hill. He added too that land had been identified in Christ Church, and St. Michael and that St. John would also benefit from the Trust’s initiative, with the latter parish likely to have, instead, a day care centre for children.

Meanwhile, son of the late Maria Holder and co-founder of the Trust, Christopher Holder, confirmed the Minister’s announcement that more nursery schools would be built.?? While noting that the new school had taken some four years [since planning in 2007], Mr. Holder said: "We are certain that there are going to be at least three more of these schools built as quickly as possible… a four-year delay or time frame is, for the sake of the children, not that good. ??We need to move in the quickest time frame to have these schools built. We have the desire to do it. We have the funds available."????

joy-ann.gill@barbados.gov.bb

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