• JIS News

    Minister of Education, Andrew Holness has said that poverty and social circumstances should not be used as excuse for failure or underperformance, but should be used as motivation for success.
    “If you are poor, if you are dispossessed, if your circumstances are bad, you must take that and you must have a positive view of yourself and use your energies creatively,” he said.
    Mr. Holness was giving the main address, on February 28, at the official launch of Jamaica Day in Schools, at the Windward Road Primary and Junior High School. The launch also recognized the institution for winning the Junior Schools Challenge Quiz Competition.
    “You have succeeded, despite not having enough classrooms, without a glorious auditorium, in spite of the circumstances of the community that surrounds you, in spite of the family conditions out of which these children come, and that is a message to the rest of the society – don’t use your condition as an excuse for failure,” the Minister said.
    Mr. Holness said under this year’s theme: ‘Celebrating Jamaica; Celebrate me; Celebrate my school’, Jamaica Day provides a unique opportunity for students to share in the history of their schools, and for teachers to instill in them, a sense of pride and responsibility.
    “It is also critical that our young people see themselves as active participants in history, and not just passive recipients of the benefits of others…you are not just the beneficiaries of the work that was done by your forefathers, thereby creating a brand and a market for Jamaica in the have a duty to pick up that flag, carry our name around the world to continue developing our brand and opening markets, so that as a country, we can grow,” the Minister said.
    He argued that Jamaica Day is an excellent opportunity to establish and strengthen the partnership between schools and their alumni, and to reconnect with past students who have become role models.
    Jamaica Day is the Ministry’s flagship programme for its Culture in Education Programme, which seeks to showcase aspects of Jamaica’s culture through the performing arts, visits to historical sites, sporting activities and recognition of outstanding citizens. The first celebration of Jamaica Day was held at Glenmuir High in Clarendon in 2002.
    Minister Holness commended culture agents who have sought to ensure that aspects of Jamaican culture are integrated into the formal school curriculum.
    Several past and present students of the institution were recognized for their positive contributions in the areas of academics and sports. Sport personalities included: Keith Gardner (the first Jamaican to make the finals of the 110 metre hurdles at the Olympics); Rowan Wade (athlete); Nadine Bryan (for netball and athletics); Akeam Phillips (most outstanding junior surfer at the 2006 Squick Silver international surfing competition); and Shantal Blackwood (for outstanding performance in tennis). Meanwhile, the Junior School Challenge Quiz winning team was presented with awards, and student Marvin Brooks was recognized for his honesty in returning a lost cell-phone to its owner.

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