Project Your Brightest Beam — that was the theme at the St. Stephen’s Primary School graduation ceremony this morning.
And graduates have been projecting their brightest academic beams during the course of the school year. Principal of the school, Colin Cumberbatch, said that the school has performed exceedingly well this year, placing above the national mean in the Barbados Secondary Schools Entrance Examination — tenth overall in the English and 16th in the mathematics.
However, in his brief report he pointed out that for all its achievements the administration was finding it hard to work with the inadequate budget allocated to an institution with a role of more than 650 students.
“The average secondary school gets $10,000 towards staff development. However, the ministry gives me $14,500 to run the entire [organisation]… To put it mildly this is an insult to intelligent, progressive minded people such as the staff at St. Stephen’s Primary School,” Cumberbatch said.
The principal advised the parents to ensure they helped their children to understand that placement at a secondary school was not the end of a journey but the completion of a phase in the life of a child’s education. He added that the continued support as
parents was crucial to the child’s success going forward. “Get to know your child’s teachers and follow the progress. Allow them
to get involved in wholesome extra curricular activities which would aid their total development. More importantly, be a parent and show the love and affection they deserve least they seek it from some undesirable source which may have an unwanted outcome,” Cumberbatch said.
He told the graduates that they had shown the diligence and application needed to be successful and encouraged them to be proud of their achievements.
“As you move forward into the world of endless possibilities I implore you to project your brightest beam, never compare yourself or your achievements with those above yours for they will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself. May all your ambitions be fulfilled and may you grasp that … dream you wish to fulfill …,” he added.
Featured speaker, The Reverend McAthin Hinds advised the parents that their brightest beam would be required to shine when they have to show their charges how to handle peer pressure of a different kind, to teach them how to manage their time and to establish some priorities with some new methods of nurture and discipline.
“Whenever you are called upon to complete a task show and project your brightest beam, give it your best shot. I congratulate all of you for reaching this point but remember that you have only just begun, you have an exciting time ahead of you,” Hinds said.
Valedictorian of the St. Stephen’s Primary School and Student of the Year was Christopher Sandiford. (MR)