NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (February 05, 2013) —Minister of Education in the Nevis Island Administration Hon. Vance Amory, lauded a new and historic initiative at the Violet O. Jeffers-Nicholls (VOJN) Primary School at the inaugural induction ceremony for the School Safety Programme on February 4, 2013.
In brief remarks at the ceremony held in the School’s auditorium, Mr. Amory said the safety programme in a child friendly school environment was one which came with many responsibilities.
“This is very commendable but if we are talking about using the children to act or to perform the duties as crossing guards under supervision, I want to say to those who have been selected, that you have committed yourself to a very important duty and always with duties you will also have a responsibility,” he said.
The Minister of Education also pointed to some of the qualities students involved in the programme would require, among them punctuality, a pleasant disposition and to be considerate and urged them to take their duties seriously.
“It means you therefore, have to also begin to develop those qualities of being pleasant not just to those persons who are crossing but also to beware of or be aware of the grumpy drivers who might want to cause you to be unruly or to lose your calm…
“Please take your duties seriously and you cannot be too young to take life seriously and this I am happy is something the school is inculcating in the students to take up responsibilities and to take them seriously” he said.
Notwithstanding, the Education Minister explained that there were other safety aspects for children in schools and noted they must be made to feel safe in the school environment.
“Our children must feel, when they come to school, that they feel safe, that they will not be discriminated against, they would not be bullied because bullying seems to have taken on a new, ugly head internationally.
“I want to say to the students and teachers of this school that we should discourage any attempts at bullying because that could threaten the safety of your children and of the school and the community,” he said.
Mr. Amory also spoke to students and teachers about their interaction and also told the teachers they should have an interest in the wellbeing of the students.
“If they [students] feel safe in the school environment, they must feel that they are loved and I am talking about the pure love of children for children. You must love your neighbour as yourself, you must not give what you don’t want to get.
“Also from the teachers you must have a loving interest in the welfare of the children. It’s not just when they cross the road but once they get into the school compound, we must ensure that they are protected from harm and from danger,” he said.
He further told the teachers that if they loved the children they would ensure their safety, that they were not discriminated against, not bullied and would keep them safe and see them through to maturity
“See them grow in confidence in themselves and also in their community because they will then take that confidence which they feel of being safe, into their communities, into their homes and we can have better homes because our children feel safe and they feel that they have a duty to perform,” he said.
Mr. Amory also thanked all those involved in the implementation of the programme and those responsible for moulding the students in readiness for an assignment of such importance.
He said he was certain that other schools on Nevis would emulate the VOJN’s School Safety Patrol project because it was necessary for children to be a part of the development of Nevis from a tender age. Once they grew up with that attitude it would augur well for the island’s future.