Take your new beginnings and make them into great possibilities.
That was the advice from President of the Senate Kerryann Ifill to the close to 60 graduates of the St Giles Primary School yesterday.
Delivering the keynote address at the school’s 2017 graduation ceremony in the Hugh Springer Auditorium of the Barbados Workers’ Union headquarters, Ifill urged the children to prepare themselves “for a wonderful opportunity”.
She advised, however, that there would be challenges ahead, and told the students they would have to determine how they dealt with those obstacles.
Ifill also put the students on notice that they would be exposed to a new set of subjects and expanded homework.
“See those cute little homework books that the teacher gave you before? Those are no help to you anymore. But all of them represent another chapter in your life; another chance for you to learn something new,” she told them.
“Approach each day as a new beginning, approach each opportunity as a potential to learn something, to gain something. If something negative happens at school, do not let it change who you are. Learn from it, take from it what will make you even better; share it with others.”
Ifill sought to assure students that not passing for the secondary school they wanted was not an indication that life had gone badly.
“Nor does it mean for you that life has gone in the wrong direction. Life has gone exactly where it is supposed to be. It is what you do with the rest of it that is important. So, today, as you prepare to leave the St Giles Primary School, take with you the beautiful lessons that you have learned. Take with you everything that you are, in order to achieve what you can become.”
This year’s valedictorian, Atiba Sealy-Thompson, was the school’s most outstanding student. He is among four from the Back Ivy, St Michael Institution who will be attending Harrison College in September.
Sealy-Thompson urged his colleagues to take to heart the advice he was given before sitting the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination: “It does not matter where you go to school, but what you accomplish at school.”