Parliamentary Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, addressing students of the Alleyne School at the school’s Independence celebrations.

The Alleyne, Coleridge and Parry and Alexandra Schools should be upgraded to sixth form institutions, to service the needs of "that growing segment of Barbados that is in the north".

This view was expressed by Parliamentary Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner recently, as she delivered an address entitled: "Proud past, honourable present and a fantastic future" at the Alleyne School’s Independence celebrations.

Mrs. Sandiford-Garner told the students and teachers, that it was time for the Alleyne School to receive "its due reward for shepherding, nurturing and guiding the girls and boys of this parish, and indeed of all Barbados for the past 200 plus years".

She also suggested that it was time for the school to expand not only physically, but in terms of its involvement in St. Andrew’s sporting and cultural life. The Parliamentary Secretary said that academics could not be the sole focus of the school, and noted that a group was currently working on reviving the St. Andrew Parish Festival.

"Your school is ideally laid out for cultural activity and a magnificent pavilion and playing field will soon be yours. With the help of your staff, this school must be brought into the limelight as the cultural and sporting centre of the north," Mrs. Sandiford-Garner stressed.

Not only did the Parliamentary Secretary challenge a new generation of Alleynians to a season of service, but she also urged the girls "to carry on the tradition of the first Alleyne girls, by helping troubled classmates, keeping company with those in need and doing your best for the school, the community and the parish which has helped to educate you."

Senator Sandiford-Garner said she also looked forward to the Alleyne School having one of its former female students as principal by the year 2020.

Meanwhile, in his remarks, Principal Erwin Greaves noted that successive governments had invested in education, health and community development, so that the young citizens would be equipped to take up their role on reaching the age of maturity.

He told his students it was important that they understood that the opportunities they were afforded "not only came at great sacrifice, but came because people are concerned and were concerned about your future".

Mr. Greaves warned them that the numerous distractions that they had in life were not to be followed. "I am afraid that there are some of you who are being misled. There are some of you who think that the way to success is through illegal drugs, crime and violence," he lamented.

He noted that success came through hard work, and stressed that at the Alleyne School, that was exactly what was expected. "You must learn therefore to develop positive skills, and I am therefore advising you to take some responsibility for your learning, your discipline and for your attitude. They are all possible positives or negatives, and I would therefore advise you today to seek those things which are positive and uplifting," the Principal advised. ??

He also appealed to the students to make a commitment to take advantage of all available opportunities at school and in the community. This, Mr. Greaves said, would enable them to make a positive contribution to the development of Barbados.

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