Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones. (FP)

Boys at the St. Leonard’s Secondary School have been urged by the island’s Education Minister, Ronald Jones, to respect and care for each other and strive always to be "number one".??

Addressing the school’s assembly today, Minister Jones called on the "young men" to share, care and build respect for one another. He asked that they build an understanding based on friendship and camaraderie and not on the competitive and predatory environment that sometimes occurred when men are placed in the same environment.??

He stressed: "As human beings it is our responsibility to like and care for and to protect each other – not to see who is the ???baddest of the bad’. It has nothing to do with how powerful and how strong you are.?? You are testing your strength against each other!"

He pointed out that the school at St. Leonard’s Avenue was famed for its football exploits, among others. ??He alluded to their recent success in the Under 15 cricket final against Combermere and contended that sports is the best avenue to test their strength. "I believe that young men should demonstrate their athleticism through sports and you have done it in football, you have had strong track and field athletes over time and as you have done in the past, you have reached the finals," he maintained.

The Minister, who bears responsibility for Human Resource Development, also reminded students that power comes from within by stating: "…Sometimes, we think in a very small way about our own strengths, our own abilities; our capacity to do things that we see others do. But once we attempt those things we realise that we are a whole lot better than so many others and we do not settle for second or third or fourth best.

"You do not go into any activity believing that you will be in the middle of the pack. Let being in the middle of the pack be the consequence after you have tried very hard to be number one and to be successful; because there are others trying as well… You young men need to strive to be number one in your work and study here," he said.??

In addition, a warning was issued against violence, as Mr. Jones urged: "No, do not get involved in it". He continued: "Violence brings pain, death and destruction. And, therefore, I want to urge you to work hard to be strong lights in this country, in education and your community. ??Work with your teachers and continue to give them support… and, work with your Principal?? to bring this school up to the level that I know that it can be."

Commending the school for its achievements in Spanish, The Junior Duelling Chef Competition and its outstanding choir, the Minister urged its further participation in the community.

The Minister is currently touring a number of institutions to motivate students towards higher levels of achievement as he familiarises himself with staff. Last Friday, he visited the Ellerslie Secondary School and congratulated its Principal, Captain Errol Brathwaite on his new appointment. ??This week, he will also visit the new Blackman and Gollop Primary School at Edgerton, Christ Church and the Maria Holder Nursery School in St. Thomas.


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