Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, greeting a member of the Garrison Secondary School’s Cadet Corps at the launch. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Mentorship in schools across Barbados can play a very important role in shaping the lives of children.

However, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart cautioned that if mentorship failed to impress upon students that "it does not matter where they went to school, but, rather it was the knowledge gained," then it has foundered.

He was at the time speaking during the official launch of the Mentorship Programme under the theme: Giving Back To Our Own, at the Garrison Secondary School last Saturday.

"Effective mentorship must involve instilling a belief in self, and getting people to understand the contribution they have to make is as worthwhile and as valuable as the contribution being made by anybody else, anywhere else, who was educated on any compound," Mr. Stuart said.

He added that mentors needed to reinforce what the teachers did in the classroom daily by instilling that sense of self belief and importance.

??Mr. Stuart stressed that it was critical for mentors to send students away from schools confident, and with a high sense of self-worth.

To do so, he told those present that there were a number of myths that needed to be dispelled. Among those he said was that the Garrison Secondary School ranked below any of the other secondary schools.

"That myth has been dismantled, not by talk but by performance…," the Prime Minister pointed out.

Another myth which Mr. Stuart said needed to be dismantled by mentors was that those who were knowledge workers were more superior to those who were manual workers.

"These myths are fed to people…and then we are given the impression that some people are better than others because some people use their brains and others do not. We all use our brains, so we are all knowledge workers, and we all use our hands so we are all manual workers. Mentorship must take care of that as well," he said.

Mr. Stuart further sought to dispel the myth that there was a substitute for hard work.

"Luck is not a basis on which you can plan your future. All luck has ever been is hard work meeting opportunity. There is nothing called luck… It is about hard work and sacrifice which are at the root of human achievement," he stated.

The Barbadian Prime Minister stressed that there were always mountains to climb, and noted that life was about a continuous pursuit towards perfection. "It is 98 per cent perspiration and just two per cent inspiration. That is what success is ultimately about," Mr. Stuart said.

He said he was looking forward to other schools adopting similar programmes among their numbers.


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