Minister of Education introduces new PS and Chief Education Officer
THE MINISTER OF Education has thanked two ‘stalwarts’ of the education sector as they leave with, together, a service period to the Ministry of over 75 years.
St Clair ‘Jimmy’ Prince, Minister of Education briefly addressed the packed New Testament Church of God at Wilson Hill yesterday morning, at the beginning of the Ministry’s Annual Thanksgiving Service.
During his address, he noted that he would like to say thank you to two “stalwarts of the education sector who have left us.”
“I’m talking about the Permanent Secretary Mrs Morine Williams, and the former Chief Education Officer, Miss Beverly Neptune. They have retired now, or they are retiring,” he stated.(see story on back page) “I’d like to thank them. I benefited from their counsel, from their vision and I wish them all the best,” Prince revealed.
The Minister said that he hoped that the two women’s contribution to St Vincent and the Grenadines would not end now that they are retiring, but continue to, “produce the good work which they have done over the past years.”
“They have given us in aggregate over 75 years of contribution to the Education sector, and we thank them for it,” he informed.
The new Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Education, Myccle Burke, and the acting Chief Education Officer, Elizabeth Walker, were both formally introduced at the ceremony to the educators and students lining the pews.
With the theme of the ceremony being, “reflect, rejoice, give thanks,” the Minister said it was important for them to contemplate on their strengths as well as weaknesses.
“We ought to correct weaknesses, and we ought to build our strengths so that we can deepen and widen the particular enterprise in which we find ourselves,” he mused.
“We are mostly people of faith in St Vincent and the Grenadines, and we accept that we need the guidance of God in our lives, but while we do faith, we have to do works also,” he encouraged those present.
He spoke about the distractions, and that there seems to be more attention paid to results for the exit examinations for the schools, at the end of a period, “and we don’t pay enough attention to what happens in between that.”
“At the end of a period, the persons leaving school… Did you build character? Did you instill morals? Did you inculcate a sense of citizenship, and patriotism, etc? These are the works I’m talking about that we need as educators to deal with,” he clarified.
He also reached out to the stakeholders to the cause outside of the churchwalls, and commented, “because I don’t think that the rest of society is in tune all the time with what is needed from them in terms of support for the Education Revolution here in St Vincent and the Grenadines. They send their children to school and see the school as a sick bay or a holding bay until they come home from work. We have to change that.”
He noted that in 2019, “we need to recommit ourselves, rededicate ourselves towards developing our students and our system.”