Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones (third from left) is pictured as he addressed students who were awarded Barbados Scholarships and Exhibitions in the conference room of the Ministry of Education. Also pictured (left to right) Administrative Officer (Tertiary Section) Andrew Waterman; Chief Education Officer (Ag) Laurie King; and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, Bruce Alleyne. (A. Miller/BGIS)??

Eight more young persons have been recommended to be given Barbados scholarships and exhibitions. This will bring the number to 42 individuals receiving such awards.

This was announced today by Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones, as he met with some of this year’s scholarship and exhibition winners at the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, Elsie Payne Complex, Constitution Road, St. Michael.

In offering his personal congratulations to the scholarship and exhibition winners, he also expressed satisfaction with the overall performance of students who took this year’s Caribbean Examinations Council and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination tests. However, the Education Minister maintained that there was still room for improvement, adding: "We want to make this education system not only good, but we want to make it the best education system in the world.

"We have to limit the number of students if not eliminate those who slip through the cracks. We have to ensure that for persons who enter our education system that we remove those challenges that confront them."

The Education Minister observed: "In Barbados we tend to push our children, sometimes a little hard. And there are some who can run that race well, some who run the race a little slowly. That is a comparison of our own individual abilities."

Making the analogy between academic performance and a 100-metre race, Mr. Jones emphasised that even though some persons might not have placed first, they were still winners at the end of the day. "That is what we want to underscore in our education system in Barbados…There are some persons who run faster than others," he stressed.

The Education minister noted that all persons should be given the opportunity to excel by taking the Caribbean Examinations Council exams in third or fourth form, if that was feasible. He encouraged the students to be humble, "recognising also the value of other human beings in the world. That is the true demarcation of an educated citizen – when you can… recognise the contribution and the success of others all around you and to give them their worth and their value."

Furthermore, Mr. Jones advised this country’s young people to make the most of the educational opportunities provided to them from nursery school to the secondary and tertiary levels either by the state or their families, or both.

He also encouraged students to choose the career paths that would serve to develop the society and admonished them to exercise their talents and not to allow mediocrity to take centre stage in their lives.

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