|Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones, assists students in rolling play dough into snakes as (from left) Arch Deacon the Venerable Eric Lynch; Education Officer, Wendy Small and Principal Carol Vaughan look on.
The addition of a new nursery class to St. Gabriel’s School at Henry’s Lane represents commitment to this nation’s education of its young children.
This was the key message conveyed today at the official opening of this facility that will house 30 three-year olds.
As Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones, praised the work of the school and its Board of Management, he said: "The education of the nation’s children is of the utmost importance and I am proud to note that you have brought on board that nursery class because…I believe that the school, like the church, must play a greater role in nurturing our children."
Reiterating Government’s commitment to ensuring that it would meet the CARICOM agreement of having all nursery-aged children educated within a formal setting by 2015, Mr. Jones told the school body: "So you are helping [to meet that goal]. We are on target to achieve that in Barbados before 2015."
He disclosed that in the next two years, six new nursery schools would be rolled out in the public sector. Two each would be placed in Christ Church and St. Michael, one in St. Philip and one in St. James, "the most populous parishes in Barbados".
Meanwhile, Principal Carol Vaughan, in her remarks on the new nursery class, said it signalled St. Gabriel’s commitment to "excellent education" for the nation’s children.
"We know that the foundation years of a child’s life are crucial in laying a sound and well-rounded foundation for future development. The nursery class, starting at age three, is itself a fundamental part of that process and is yet another example of the school’s commitment to change, not only to serve the extended St. Gabriel’s family, but also to share in the commitment of the Government of Barbados, and, in particular, those of our Minister of Education and Human Resource Development towards ???the expansion of nursery education in Barbados’," she remarked.
The principal added that the school, with a roll of 415 students, aged three to 11 and a teaching staff of 32, considered itself "part of that resource pool committed to the delivery of quality education to the citizens of Barbados".