news 20171030As Education Month activities concluded with the National Award Ceremony for outstanding performances among schools and students; Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo told the 2017 awardees that ‘there is room at the top for them’.

The event took place at the National Cultural Centre and was attended by Minister of Education Hon Nicolette Henry MP, Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson and a number of other senior Ministry of Education officials.
Delivering the feature address the Prime Minister told the awardees that there is always room at the top for them to excel. Drawing inspiration from the counselling of civil rights activist, the late Martin Luther King, PM told the students that life is a 20171030 4
“In order to reach your destination, you could either walk, swim, run or jump; but even if you have to crawl, be advised awardees that on that occasion, you must keep moving”.
Further PM Nagamootoo said life is about moving from a lower to a higher point and observed that the 2017 awardees have demonstrated that they are indeed moving. The veteran politician said the achievements should not be looked at in isolation and credited both parents and teachers.
The Prime Minister said most times it is the parents who spend time preparing students, helping them to get to school, and at the same time ensuring that they had a meal. He noted the importance of these interventions and surmised that these efforts ensure success in the 20171030 2
The PM singled out teachers for special commendation and said that they played an integral role in students being bestowed awards. “Teachers are a rare breed of humanitarians, they invest themselves in their students so that when you see a student, a student is a student plus the teacher”.
The PM said many times teachers are sent outside of areas where they live, where the challenges are greater than on the coast and the access to facilities sometimes is very challenging for them. However, despite these constraints teachers continue to mould and assist students who churn out exemplary results, Nagamootoo said.
Minister of Education Hon Nicolette Henry MP in addressing the audience told awardees that it takes fortitude and focus to be at the top of their class, year or nation. “Like the saying goes if you plant plantain, you can’t reap cassava”, what you put in you get out and you have put in so much to be here today”.
Ms. Henry said whilst we are in celebratory mood, there is even more to celebrate. “Seven very special students’ have been recognised by the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) and will attend another award ceremony in St Kitts on Thursday 14th December 2017”.news 20171030 3
Added to that the Education Minister informed awardees that every time their education is placed as a first priority they are opening up unlimited choices. “You won’t be restricted because your knowledge will set you free, free to experience all that life has to offer”.
She said her Ministry is committed to equipping, educating and empowering teachers to produce young people who can be whatever they want to be. news 20171030 1
In proffering advice to the awardees and other students gathered, Ms. Henry admonished students to write down their hopes and dreams in a journal thereby creating a roadmap to success.
She advised students not to be swayed by persons telling them who they are or what they can achieve. “Don’t let the clutter and distraction of other voices stop you from hearing your inner voice and achieving your destiny”.
Additionally, she warned against the adverse effects of peer pressure, since according to Minister Henry this can cause impressionable young people to journey down the road of destruction. news 20171030 5
“So be strong and brave and know that you may walk along your road on your own for a while but one day you will meet a crowd of people who have done exactly the same thing to meet you on your path and you will carry on together”.
The overall best performer was Queens College student Michael Bhopaul with 25 grade ones at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC). Additionally, Bhopaul copped the best Science and Expressive Arts awards.
Three additional Queens College students Rawletta Barrow, Roshawn Cummings and Jelena Arjune were awarded for being three of the best Senior Secondary school performers.
Shannon Woodroffe of Queens College was adjudged the best Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) performer. While Ashley Anthony of Queens college was adjudged second place in the same category.
There were numerous other awards that were distributed included the most improved primary, senior and junior Secondary Schools, in addition to the most improved region in mathematics at the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA).
Recipients for the NGSA category were Saskia Twahir, Clifton Bacchus, Gabriella Roberts, Xiana Chabila, Amelia Sugrim, Antonia Dey, Brandon Gouveia, Emily Lalchand, Raj Seeram, Tristan Persaud, Jerod Roberts, Tristan Richards, Muhammad Bacchus, Tia Chung and Kripa Thani.
Education month was celebrated under the theme “Promoting Wellness in Communities Through Quality Education”.