Chief Education Officer,??Laurie King, addressing the graduation. (Barbados Advocate)

A Whole New World: Endless Possibilities was the theme of the Eden Lodge Primary School’s graduation held recently at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Two Mile Hill, St. Michael.

Chief Education Officer with the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development,??Laurie King, in speaking to its relevance told the 2012 graduands it had the tendency "to awaken thoughts of the vast measure of possibilities" along life’s journey and to fill them with optimism.??

He stressed that with a positive attitude, they could anticipate joy, well-being and a successful outcome with every situation and noted that the curriculum, at the secondary level, that included science and technology, music, visual arts, foreign languages and physical education, was designed to open doors to realise this potential.

Students were also told that as they pursued their education, values such as persistence, diligence, industry and integrity were necessary. Mr. King said: "Maintain a high level of self-esteem and self-confidence and have a positive attitude…if you can imagine it, you can achieve it, if you can dream it, you can become it."

Praising the St. Michael-based school for its academic and extra-curricular success, Mr. King said he was satisfied that at yet another institution there was evidence of collaborative efforts towards the primary objective of the education system – that is "to provide a well-rounded citizen with the necessary orientation, attitudes and?? skills needed to make them life-long learners in society."

He disclosed that it was the Ministry’s aim to encourage the spirit of inquiry and critical thinking which he noted should be encouraged from early childhood to adolescence. Noting that this was a task requiring the collective efforts of parents working together with the school and its community, the senior education official said: "We must pool our collective efforts to provide the necessary resources to facilitate the education of all our students."

A section of Eden Lodge Primary School’s graduating class of 2012 at the ceremony. (Barbados Advocate)

Urging the students to be prepared to make sacrifices, work hard and strive for excellence, Mr. King said, "nothing will come easy."

The school staff was told that it must be committed to providing a "nurturing, safe and secure environment for our students where they could receive optimal opportunities to learn, thrive and succeed".?? As the Chief Education Officer spoke to the organisational constraints and external pressures which a school may face, he told teachers: "Your training should allow you to assist students to make the right choices when they make the wrong choices…"

While he noted that external pressures may prove demanding, Mr. King urged: "Never tire of planning conscientiously and comprehensively for the students in your care; your devotion, determination and perseverance may mean the difference between success and failure for these young citizens."

The graduation ceremony saw Akil Murray and Hope Joseph emerging as the Most Outstanding Boy and Most Outstanding Girl respectively with both receiving a number of awards and prizes.


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