A group of primary and secondary school students received tips on what to do to become good leaders in society, through a Leadership Conference hosted by the Alleyne School.
The students’ first set of tips came from Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Cynthia Forde, who told them that it did not matter what professional path they intended to take, or what social status they aspired to reach, they must be good leaders if they want to be successful.
Sharing her personal experience, Forde who said she was the sixth of eight children, noted that she was always a leader in ensuring that she and her siblings followed their parents’ rules.
“It starts within the home and then by the time you get to school you learn another level of leadership, and that is why that distinguished young man is your head boy and that distinguished young girl is your head girl.
“They have been able to inculcate the leadership skills to be identified as head boy and head girl. Leadership is not only in those positions, but leadership is in every classroom, and in every extracurricular activity.
“You can see the leadership flowing through in a way that is different. And remember, everybody is not going to emerge as a leader at the same time. It is easy for some and it is more difficult for others because some leaders are born, and some observe others . . .” Forde said.
The Minister said she eventually emerged as a political leader in the country, through her ability to set good examples, starting in the classroom as a teacher and also as a member of her community. She noted that a leader could not be selfish, and must be willing to share skills and knowledge with others.
“Those strengths that you have as leaders help you to make a difference in every sphere of life. If you are a leader, by the time you leave secondary school, or you come to secondary school for you primary school children, and you continue to study, to read, to share, to live by example, and accept that you made a mistake, you build a good character. Any leader should be able to walk with his or her head in the air with an element of integrity,” Forde said.
Senior teacher for the first forms and Student Council staff advisor Tameisha Cozier told Barbados TODAY that Wednesday’s conference coincided with Alleyne’s fourth annual Leadership Week, to give students the opportunity to train students who were heads of organizations at their respective schools.
“The objective is to help shape and mould the leaders at the Alleyne School, and also other secondary and primary schools. We have students here from Springer Memorial and Frederick Smith Secondary. And for the primary schools, we have St Bernard’s and A. Dacosta Edwards. Every year we have quite a few persons coming but we still like to keep it as close as possible because we know that Alleyne is not exactly next-door,” Cozier said.
A number of presenters spoke to students on a number of topics that would show them the way to becoming effective leaders. (AH)