School children from across Barbados are being encouraged to strive for moral excellence during this new school year.
This advice came recently from Minister of Labour and Social Security, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, as she spoke at a Back to School Youth Rally at the Abundant Life Assembly.
Byer Suckoo urged the students not to be afraid to speak up for right and condemn wrong.
“You all know the bullies in the class and you know that when somebody is ‘picking’ on another person, it is wrong. When you see something wrong, I want all of you to have the courage to say it. If you as students can do it, you can lead the way in our society.
“We talk about morals and values in our society, but too many adults are afraid to say this is right and this is wrong. I want you to start from this year to determine what is good and what is bad, to stand up for what is right and reject what is wrong, wherever it exists… Don’t give in and don’t pretend you didn’t see it either. Pretending that you don’t see it is just as bad as condoning it…,” she advised.
The minister told the large audience, which included teenagers and adults, that they should not turn a blind eye to any illegal acts which were being committed, believing they would not be affected by them.
She pointed out that the students were the only ones who could make the school year an excellent one.
“Your parents cannot do it for you, they can help. There are things that they need to do to set the stage. Your teachers cannot do it for you. They have to be there to teach you and to ensure that the learning you need is provided, but they cannot make it an excellent year for you. You have the power and the ability to do it for yourself…
“The Government cannot do it for you either, the Government can provide the environment and the things that you need at a certain level to ensure that you have education… Government is making sure you have the schools, you have free education, many of you have received free text books, some of you are getting free school meals, and you are getting a free bus ride to school. The Government has done a lot for you, but the Government cannot make it a year of excellence for you,” she maintained.
She urged the children to be focused, to set standards of excellence, and plan their time wisely.