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The island’s schoolteachers are being encouraged to give unconditional love to the children in their charge, as a means of bringing about positive change in the values and attitudes of the youngsters of the society.
The charge came from Reverend Dr. Maitland Evans, as he addressed a function to honour teachers from 24 schools in North West St. Catherine, held at the Dinthill Technical High School on May 13.
According to Rev. Evans, “there is no greater dynamic for change than the persistence of a good example and teachers are perfectly poised to be that example”.
“If we are going to transform our world, our society or our children, we have to start by giving unconditional love especially to those who are or appear difficult to love,” he said. “It is that which will make the real difference for a transformation or a shift from domestic violence in schools, in the streets, in the homes and our daily lives, and it is the teacher, who is at the cutting edge of that movement toward that change” he continued.
Transport, Works and Housing Minister Robert Pickersgill, in his remarks at the function, also highlighted the problem of violence in schools and commended the island’s teachers for their resolute stand against such activities.
Mr. Pickersgill, who is also Member of Parliament for North West St. Catherine, noted that despite the challenges faced by teachers, there was noticeable improvement in the examination results over the last few years. “This is encouraging, very encouraging, and I commend you all for the good work that you have been doing,” he stated.
Fifteen teachers at the basic, primary and secondary school level, including principals, received awards for more than 150 years of combined service to education in the parish.
Dave Kelly, principal of Time and Patience Primary in Linstead and Colin Blake, acting principal of Polly Ground Primary, received scholarships valued at $75,000 each, to defray tuition costs at Mico Teacher’s College, where they are undergoing training.
Principal of Linstead Primary and Junior High, Errol McLean, who was among the awardees, said he was pleased that the work of teachers was being recognised. “This would certainly make a difference to us. It would engender greater efforts among our ranks and fuel motivation as we go forward,” he noted.