“The decisions you make today will determine your destiny tomorrow.”
These words of advice were reiterated today at the Wesley Hall Junior School Graduation Ceremony at the New Dimensions Ministries Transformation Centre.
Featured speaker and Deputy Chief Education Officer, Karen Best, advised the graduates that the school to which they have been assigned would not make or break them or determine their destiny.
“The only person who determines your destiny is you,” the veteran educator and former school principal said.
“The Governor General once said it is not where you start but where you end … Because you did not go to a top school in Barbados you are not a failure. There are many decisions you will have to make about friends, morality and [so on]; remember that decisions lead to choices and choices lead to consequences.”
The education administrator reminded the graduates of the proverb that “Birds of a feather flock together”, while urging them to associate with people of good character. “Some decisions,” she said, “will be unpopular, but because you are the only person making a decision that does not mean that it is wrong.”
Best told the parents that they should be involved with their children’s school life where necessary as well as an active part of their development. She advised them to encourage their children to join extra-curricular activities because of the fact that students who are involved in sport excel academically.
Principal of the school, Herbert Gittens, said in his address to the graduates also noted that regardless of the school they will be attending from September, building a solid foundation was necessary for a good quality education.
“What matters is that you are prepared to work hard for success…,” he said.
“The curriculum at various secondary schools is almost similar. The teachers went to the same schools, training college and universities. The CXC examinations are the same for all schools.
“If you focus and work diligently you will meet again at BCC and UWI. Remember that success comes with hard work. Choose your friends wisely and be of your best behavior,” Gittens advised.
The principal then encouraged them to listen to their parents and to have the attributes of honesty, obedience and respectfulness.
To the parents he said: “Let your children be children, continue to monitor their progress, monitor the company they keep and the places they go. Do periodic checks on their bags.
“Get your priorities right, fancy electronic gadgets and brand name clothes are not priorities for your children now. Work closely with the school and the teachers and pay particular interest in your children’s education.”
Valedictorian, Annisa Hunte told her fellow graduates that although the journey was not easy, she was confident that she could achieve with God’s help. Hunte then reminded them of the message in their school motto — it does matter if they win or loose but how they play the game.
“Be respecful of those in authority … The journey has just begun, let us always carry the theme [of today] in our hearts,” she said. (MR)