Be the author of your own story!
This was the key message Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones, sent to the 2017 graduating class of St. Ambrose Primary School yesterday, during a ceremony themed: I am the Author of My Own Story, at the Barbados Public Workers’ Cooperative Credit Union.
The Education Minister told the children that they needed to sift through all that was around them in the community, family, school and church to determine what would become their life’s story and journey.
He identifies a belief in their school, no matter where they were placed, and pride and dignity in their school uniform, as instrumental aspects to further the development of the culture of their school and their own journey.
Parents and guardians heard they too had a part to play as the most important persons in their children’s journey, and Mr. Jones warned of the impact of lewd behaviours and physical and mental abuse on their charges.
Stressing this could be damaging and cause some to act out in various ways, he said: “When they are children they must be treated as children. In other words, the story that they are trying to construct must not be filled with abuse, it must not be filled with physical pain or verbal blows.
“When we demonstrate behaviour like that towards our children or somebody else’s children, we are admitting our own weaknesses…. But in their stories, there is a memory…. And, sometimes, in later life a lot of that anger, anguish and pain comes pouring out because our children are damaged.”
Principal, Jacqueline Andwele, who is expected to retire next year, said the theme reflected the determination of her school to positively impact the social development of the students, assigned to their care each school year.
Praising teachers and parents for their contribution to the school, Ms. Andwele stressed life in secondary school would not be easy, and stated that parents needed to be there to help children cope with pressure and guide them towards positive behaviours.
All 19 graduands gained places in Government secondary schools with top boy, Ronniequan Griffith, and top girl, Stevecia Hyde, set to attend The St. Michael School and The Lodge School, respectively, come September.