Working together to enhance national pride
by Minister of Education St Clair ‘Jimmy’ Prince
Students, parents, my fellow educators, I wish you all a happy Independence Day. As St. Vincent and the Grenadines celebrates 39 years of sovereignty, my hope is that we all spend some time truly reflecting on what it means to work together to enhance national pride. When we consider that national pride is the love and devotion we feel for our blessed Hairouna, we realise that our Independence theme is not only patriotic, but more so, achievable. As a nation, we can all work together to improve our country; no one is too small or too big to play his or her part.
Students, you can help to enhance national pride by continuing to perform well locally, regionally and internationally. Represent yourself and your country to the best of your ability in your academics and in your sporting and extra-curricular activities. When you perform well, St. Vincent and the Grenadines performs well. You are a representation of our nation. As such, your part in enhancing national pride is to ensure that your representation is always a positive one. Be mindful of your social media presence – the world is watching so watch what you post online. What you post reflects on you and by extension, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Let’s work together to make sure that what the world sees is a proud nation filled with youths with endless potential.
Parents, your role in enhancing national pride starts by instilling in your children a love for our country. Children live what they see and hear, so set good examples for them. Instead of only pointing out the negative things about St. Vincent and the Grenadines, foster ingenuity and critical thinking skills in your children. These skills will ultimately facilitate improvements in the vulnerable areas that exist in our small island state. Speak with your children about the way things were – pass down national traditions and customs – play old-time games with them and keep our unique Vincentian culture alive and well. Your words and actions can help to enhance national pride for this the land of the blessed.
My fellow educators – your part in enhancing national pride is a challenging, but attainable one. You are expected not only to facilitate and develop the excellence that is our young people, but also to create avenues for their expression of national pride. I am quite certain that all schools throughout St. Vincent and Grenadines there will be or have been some ceremonial acknowledgement of our island’s auspicious liberation. However, students need to see our country being celebrated year-round. This can easily be done by integrating love for our country into the hidden curriculum. Link the tidiness of their classrooms to the tidiness of our country and its effects on tourism and our economy. Encourage open and respectful debates on topical issues and how they can affect them as students and citizens of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Drill the importance of their contribution towards the development of the country. Continue to be excellent exemplars of what it means to be proud upstanding citizens of our beloved SVG.
Students, parents, my fellow educators, let us all work together to say like Alston Becket Cyrus:
I love you St. Vincent
Home of the blessed St. Vincent
St. Vincent, St. Vincent
I love you!
Happy 39th, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. May God continue to bless you and keep you.