Barbados’ Head of State has urged the students of Vauxhall Primary School to respect themselves before demanding it of others.
As he continued his visits yesterday to primary schools across the island, Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave told the students of the Christ Church institution that if they did not learn to respect themselves, nobody would be obliged to respect them.
He told the little ones the practice of respect began at home and in the classroom, in the way they adhered to the guidelines and rules of their parents and teachers.
The Governor General advised them to steer clear of negative influences, including drugs and sharp-edged weapons.
“Keep away from drugs and bad company. Do not join gangs. Do not permit anyone to use you or abuse you,” Sir Elliott urged the highly attentive students who warmed to his remarks.
The Governor General also said he was aware that many of the students at Vauxhall Primary were from areas where working class families lived, and called on the teachers to pay close attention to this point, especially when it came to motivating and pushing students to succeed.
Sir Elliott urged teachers to leave no stone unturned when supervising students, as they might not be receiving such attention at home.
On that note, Sir Elliott challenged the children to help themselves through reading books and paying close attention during class as they expanded their knowledge base.
The students, slated to sit the Common Entrance Examination next year, were encouraged to start their preparations “now, and not later this year, or in January”.
The Governor General, who was invited to the institution by principal Lionel Stoute. thanked all those who made the welcome ceremony as enjoyable as it was.
He said the poem, dance, song and drama tributes by students were all well executed and he was appreciative of them. The school’s choir English and Spanish delivery of his favourite song Ash Grove especially touched his heart.