NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (August 29, 2022) — As he bade farewell to some retiring school principals and teachers, commended remaining teachers, wished well those going off to study, and welcomed those joining the teaching fraternity, Hon. Troy Liburd, Junior Minister of Education said he is pleased for the start of the 2022/2023 school year which promises to be an exciting one.
Mr. Liburd was delivering remarks at the Back To School Convocation 2022 to herald in the new academic year. The event, which was held at the at the Nevis Performing Arts Centre (NEPAC), was hosted by the Department of Education with the theme “Education for the Future: Reflect, Refocus, Recalibrate.”
“I am very happy that we are here for the starting of the new school year. Want to join our Principal Education Officer (PEO) in extending our heartfelt thank you to those of our staff, those who have decided to go on into retirement…Permit me to mention our three principals who have left us for retirement: Mrs. Lineth Williams of the Gingerland Secondary School; Mrs. Violet Clarke [of the Cecele Browne Integrated School]; and Ms. Barbara Hendrickson [of the Joycelyn Liburd Primary School]…
“We want to thank you for the hard work you have put in over the years. We truly, truly appreciate you and at some later time when it is appropriate, we’re going to try to come together and do a formal thank you for those teachers who have retired.
“For those who have left us to pursue higher education whether it’s at the teachers training college or at universities overseas, we want to wish you the very best and we do look forward to some of you coming back and re-joining the ranks, having been qualified,” he said, adding “To those of you who are new to the teaching fraternity we want to say a special welcome to all of you.”
The Junior Minister encouraged the new teachers to be respectful to students, colleagues and the authorities wherever they are assigned.
“I want to urge you when you go into the various schools to be mindful and to work together with your colleagues, to be respectful of everyone especially those who have been placed in a leadership role and they are your leaders. I want to ask you to be very respectful of them.
“I want to ask you to be very respectful of the students whom you have been called upon to serve. Of course we keep hearing that the children, that they are our future but the future can only be bright if those who are called upon to teach them and to guide them and to lead them do it in the right way. So I want to encourage all of you who have just joined the ranks of the teaching fraternity to take it seriously; do the best possible job that you can do,” he said.
Mr. Liburd expressed gratitude to the teachers who had been in the service for some time.
“To those who have been with us for a while, we want to thank you for the work that you have been doing and we want to encourage you to be exemplary. Continue to work hard; continue to support us; continue to do your best for the children of Nevis. The hard work that you have been putting in, it has not gone unnoticed and the island of Nevis is far better for the work that you do,” he said.
In conclusion, the Junior Education Minister said his expectations for the new school year are good. Reflecting on the past year, he noted that there were memorable moments.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that we are going to have a wonderful year in the school year 2022/2023. 2021/2022 of course we had our challenges but we had some really, really big successes. I want to make mention of the Charlestown Primary School for winning that relay festival that we had over on St. Kitts. I believe that was a really big deal…
“I attended the sports and it was a very proud moment for me as minister, not only that Charlestown Primary won but Joycelyn Primary did exceptionally well with only a few students and also the St. Thomas’ Primary did exceptionally well with only a few students and the Ivor Walters Primary School.
“I don’t think I had been to an event before and every time there was a Nevis team in the race, I felt almost 90 percent confident that we were going to win. That is how good the domination of the Nevis schools was at that event, and so I want to encourage us to continue to keep up the good work and we look forward to the same or better in 2023,” he said.