Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness, is encouraging students who will be attending high school for the first time in September to be respectful in their interactions with others.
“I want you, while you are putting in the work through high school, to understand how to be respectful. You have learned it at home, you learned it at primary school – say ‘please, thank you, sorry, no miss, yes miss,” she urged.
Mrs. Holness, who is Member of Parliament for East Rural St. Andrew, was delivering the keynote address at the St. James Southern High Achievers Awards Ceremony, which was held at the Mount Carey Baptist Church in the parish on Wednesday (August 3).
The ceremony was held to recognise students from schools in the southern section of the parish for outstanding performance in this year’s Primary Exit Profile (PEP).
Congratulating the students on their academic achievements, Mrs. Holness told them that showing respect to others could take them a far way.
“[Sometimes persons] have something they could have given to you. They have a position they could’ve given to you; they have a scholarship they could’ve given to you, [but] they say ‘you know what, this child is rude, unruly, doesn’t have any manners’ and they give it to another person. So, you never know; [manners] can take you on your path to success,” she pointed out.
Mrs. Holness also underscored the importance of hard work in the quest for excellence.
“Excellence does not come easily. Doing well and being awarded doesn’t come because you [didn’t] put in work. If you do not work, you should not expect reward,” she said.
For his part, Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Homer Davis, who is Member of Parliament for Southern St. James, noted that the award programme is a way of giving back to the children.
Some 108 students from 15 primary schools across the constituency were presented with certificates, book vouchers worth $10,000 and $10,000 cash for their performance in PEP.
“As your member of parliament, as your Government, we put a very high price on education,” Mr. Davis said in congratulating the students.
In her remarks, Regional Director in the Ministry of Education and Youth, Dr. Michelle Pinnock, commended the students and thanked Mr. Davis for his “consistent commitment to education”.
Dr. Pinnock also hailed the teachers for continuing to “champion a pathway” for the students.