Positive steps taken by students can help to significantly reduce the high expenditure bill which Education Minister, Ronald Jones estimates is incurred yearly between his Ministry and the Ministry of Health.

The Minister made this statement today as The St. Michael School launched a health initiative called NEWSTART, (Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sunshine, Trust in Divine Power, Air Rest Temperance), at Martindale???s Road, St. Michael.

???At least one billion dollars every year is spent between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education. It is a lot of money for a small country [with] 282,000 people,??? he said while noting that some people did not understand the importance of that expenditure.

???That is what your parents???put to the coffers of the Government of Barbados to spend back on you and if you would believe it or not education spends about maybe 15 or 16 million more than Health,??? said the Education Minister, who jokingly stated that he would like some 100 Million more from Health.

Students were, however, told they might be able to help with this once they followed the principles of NEWSTART. Healthy initiatives, he stressed, had to be pursued by them as good practices for living and he added everyone had a responsibility to ensure they did not become victims how they lived and behaved and treated their environment.

He also cautioned that in addition to tobacco, any type of smoking whether ganja, weed and herb should be eliminated ??? because these could affect children as well.

The students were also advised that as they participated in the NEWSTART initiative they needed to take on board all things positive.??Explaining that the mind which was filled with negatives did not leave space for other good things, Mr. Jones said: ???So we want you young people to be positive, to be determined and focused and let those things that are very, very positive flow into the mind, so that you don???t have space in the brain, in the head for those things which are negative.???

Urging The St. Michael School to place Cleanliness on the NEWSTART programme, Minister Jones said he was pleased with the environs at Martindales Road as he had seen no sign of litter on the plant and would give the school 90 per cent for this.

???It means the school is observing the rules of good environmental practice – do not litter, do not pollute your environment; ensure that where you study; where you live; where you walk is clean and be part of this generally good initiative,??? said the Education Minister.


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