by Anesta Henry
A rural primary school’s example of how to maintain a clean healthy environment is being touted by Environment Minister Trevor Prescod as a model for rat-infested, dirty schools to follow.
Prescod, who was impressed with Sharon Primary School’s litter-free environment and beautification of the facility, indicated that he intended to use the St Thomas school as a model for others to follow.
Prescod said: “This school must serve as an example of what I want to see as Minister of Environment all across Barbados. I am very much aware of the way the school has been structured. I have looked at this environment in so many different ways.
“You have a courtyard, so everybody plays an integral part in the environment here. And it looks like a model that should be replicated across the entire country. I think this is one of the best schools in its physical structure and its general upkeep.”
Prescod’s highlighting of the school’s work in caring for the environment came at the launch of the Sharon Environmental Avengers.
The Minister assured the students, staff and management, that he would be engaging his Cabinet colleagues and administrative staff at the Ministry about Sharon being the school of choice, “to motivate all the other schools”.
Prescod said he was also looking into holding a national primary schools environmental competition.
He said: “This must not just be a clean up mission. You have taken it to a different mission. I want to refine that level and I want to carry it a little further. The element of national beautification in my Ministry must be also featured in the work that we are doing across Barbados. It is not all about debushing and removing waste alone, we are going to beautify,” he said.
In the meantime, Prescod encouraged Sharon to continue with its environmental care programme, especially as it officially launches the club.
Principal Pamela Small-Williams said the Avengers Club was started after three seven to eight-year-old boys, including Jeighon Williams, Razario Connell and Jared Padmore, expressed their desire to commence a litter free campaign at the school.
Small-Williams explained that after permission was obtained from the parents, nothing seemed more attractive to the boys after lunch than their goal of overseeing a litter free environment.
“While the benefits of creating and maintaining a healthy school environment must be underscored, the reality of children at the tender ages of seven to nine who understand the importance of a sustainable, hygienic environment and are motivated to organise themselves to assist in such a tangible way is quite remarkable,” Small-Williams said.
Member of Parliament for St Thomas, Cynthia Forde, said she was overjoyed that a primary institution in her constituency was embarking on such a significant journey.
According to Forde, three boys who started the club were a prime example that Barbados has positive youth around.