Roland Edwards Primary School celebrated its 28th year of existence as a learning institution with a church service held at Christ is The Answer Family Church in St Peter on Friday.
Principal of the school, Michael Watson, reflecting on the theme Giving Thanks, Moving Forward with Wisdom and Understanding said that the milestone anniversary was particularly special as he was retiring at the end of the current academic year.
“… It is even of greater significance…as this is the last one that I will be present [as] Principal. Our school has come a very long way from where we were in the mid-1970’s when I first joined the staff of what was then the Speightstown Boys’ School… Being a part of this brand-new institution when it opened its doors in April 1990, was like a dream come true; heaven on earth as it were. It was for us a total transformation [of] the aforementioned unbearable teaching and learning conditions that existed at Speightstown Boys’ and St Peter Girls, to the provision of many new opportunities afforded both staff and pupils for their overall training, preparation and development, here at Roland Edwards Primary,” Watson said.
He noted that the road towards 28 years had not been easy as the school had a lot of environmental and unforeseen challenges.
“ Our featured speaker, who would have been a student at Speightstown Boys’ at a time which I can speak about, can attest [to] what I am saying. The facilities or lack thereof, and the location of both institutions [Speightstown Boys’ School and St Peter Girls] were less than adequate for the business of teaching and learning. The poor physical conditions, noise and dust pollution, unsanitary conditions, all contributed to the many challenges that we faced as staff and as pupils,” he said. The school, in its early days, also had to contend with some of the unsavoury behavior of persons at the rum shop located next door, “…particularly when the drinkers had a bit too much to drink, as well as the loud noises generated when the large trucks and trailers transporting canes to the factors and other such heavy duty vehicles passed by the school,” Watson recalled.
Featured Speaker, Vallis Jemmott who was a past pupil at Speightstown Boys School, noted that he had been shaped at the school by Principal Michael Watson.
“ When I first came to Speightstown Boys’ School I was a piece of clay. I was raw, I had great potential- I believe, and I was being shaped by Speightstown Boys’ School. I had a privilege of Mr Watson teaching me in class three, Jemmott said.
He also advised the current Roland Edwards students to be inquisitive in their quest for education.
“ Don’t only be satisfied with what the teachers teach you. Be inquisitive… You must be willing to be molded and have faith in God,” he said. (LG)