Parents and guardians, give your children all the support they need to succeed!

This advice has come from Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, when she gave the keynote address at Good Shepherd Primary School???s graduation on Wednesday, at the St. John The Baptist Church, Holders Hill, St. James.

???Let your children know that they can achieve. Do not stifle their dreams and aspirations. Do not laugh or belittle your young ones when they declare intentions to you that may at the time sound outlandish or impossible. They can and will do things with their lives that we will not have a clue about,??? Mrs. Sandiford-Garner stated.

Cautioning parents against pushing their children to pursue only traditional careers, she pointed out that there were also numerous opportunities for success in technology, vocational fields and the creative arts. ???Your role will be to ensure that they are tooled and skilled for a Barbados and a world that is changing. There is no space right now for any person who is not equipped to make their own way in the world,??? she said.

The Senator continued: ???So once you, the parent, recognise that they are determined and motivated enough to tell you what they can and want to do, that is the first step taken towards their success, and it is your God-given responsibility to ensure you do everything in your power to enable them.???

In addition, she told the children it was essential that they maintained the ???I can??? spirit, and insisted if they ever needed assistance with the variety of subjects at their new schools to ???speak up???.?????You cannot lose your way when you begin, otherwise you will have a very difficult time as your move from one level to another,??? she said.

Mrs. Sandiford-Garner also warned the graduates not to become impatient if success did not come immediately, pointing out that President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, had initially lost the election for his first outing as president.?????He recognised our time is not God???s time??? but Obama kept his ???I can??? attitude and eventually achieved success at the right time,??? she said.

Principal of Good Shepherd Primary School, Monica Walton, said all 42 pupils who wrote the Barbados Secondary School Entrance Examination (BSSEE) ???were successful???.??Adding ???excellence is the school???s trademark???, she said her school focused on providing varied activities for holistic development, including motivational talks, active sports programmes, educational tours, a recycling drive, poetry reading and a Little Leaders programme.

Ms. Walton added that the school would be launching a Spanish club next term, which would give pupils the opportunity to interact with their peers in Cuba. She further noted that the institution was seeking to establish a Literary and Creative Arts Centre, and the school was in the market for a benefactor to finance the project.

She also had words of encouragement for the graduates. ???Your future depends on many things, but mostly on you. Your future depends on what you do in the present. But the best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time. So, use each day as an opportunity to develop a sound character. In the arena of life, the honours and rewards will fall to those who show their good qualities and character traits in action,??? she said.

The principal also urged to parents to spend quality time with their children. ???The best thing to spend on your children is your time. This kind of support will assist your children in finding the right path as they progress through the next phase of their lives,??? she opined.

The top student and boy in the BSSEE at the school was Xavier Alexander, who will be attending Queen???s College, while the top girl was Kaiowa Pil??-Durant, who will be off to The St. Michael School come September.

The Female Sports Personality was Tyreen Lynch; she will be attending The Coleridge & Parry School. Diallo Thompson was awarded the title of Male Sports Personality, and he will be attending Frederick Smith Secondary.

Author: Shamkoe Pil??

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