By Peter Ngunjiri,
Prime Minister of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, has advised that quality education is the best gift one can give to children and has made a clarion call for people to do so by giving back.
“It is so important, as responsible citizens, that each of us must find an opportunity to give back,” said Prime Minister Harris. “It doesn’t always have to express itself in terms of money. In our time, in the Sunday School, in the classrooms, assisting our young people with their homework and with their assignments we certainly are giving back, and I would want to encourage more of us to give back.”
Prime Minister Harris made the remarks on Thursday October 22 when he delivered keynote address at the 17th Annual Help-a-Child Programme Primary School Scholarship Award ceremony that was held at the Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Bourryeau.
A total of 95 students from the four primary schools in Constituency Number Seven, which he is the Area Parliamentary Representative, and children from the constituency attending the Cotton Thomas Comprehensive School in Basseterre, each received bursaries valued at $500.
“When we introduced this (Help-A-Child Programme) I said the best gift we can give to our young people is the gift of a quality education,” said Dr Harris. “The best gift that we can give to our children is the gift of a quality education, and if the education is well suited, then we shall never regret what they become, because education must help them to make the wise choices.”
When the Help-A-Child Programme was introduced, it aimed at assisting children attending the Edgar T. Morris Primary School in Tabernacle, Estridge Primary School in Mansion, Joshua Obadiah Williams in Molineux, and Violet Petty Primary School in Lodge Project, who showed academic potential and financial need.
The programme has since been extended to also include primary school children from the constituency who are attending schools outside the constituency, the bulk of them attending the Cotton Thomas Comprehensive School in Basseterre.
“Through the hardworking and commitment of the Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris as Parliamentary Representative for Constituency Number Seven, the Help-A-Child Primary School Award has been in place for a remarkable 17 years,” said proceedings’ chairperson Mrs Shamara Welcome-Phillip.
According to Mrs Welcome-Philip, to date, 823 students have been awarded scholarships to the tune of $411,500, and she thanked Prime Minister Harris for his dedication in helping young people to excel.
“I want to commend all our head teachers and our teachers who are helping our young people to find their place and to give them a sense of direction,” said Dr Harris, who introduced head teachers who had accompanied the pupils. They were Ms Suzette Cannonier of Joshua Obadiah Williams, Mr Dale Phipps of Edgar T. Morris, Mrs Kathuel Bergan of Violet Petty, and Ms Mercia Dore of Estridge Primary School.
Delivering remarks at the ceremony was Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mr William Vincent Hodge, who hailed Prime Minister Harris for having had the dream to assist children in Constituency Number Seven through the now well respected Help-A-Child Programme Primary School Scholarship.
Among those present at the ceremony included Resident Ambassador of the Republic of China on Taiwan, His Excellency Tom Lee, Ambassadors His Excellency Vance Amory, and His Excellency Michael Powell, Deputy Speaker Senator the Hon Dr Bernicia Nisbett, and Permanent Secretaries, Dr Deloris Stapleton-Harris (Health), Mrs Elreter Simpson-Browne (Sustainable Development), and Mr Osmond Petty (National Security).
Main Photo: A pupil of the Joshua Obadiah Williams Primary School in Molineux, on behalf of her fellow pupils, presents Prime Minister Harris with a plaque in recognition of his years of commitment to educational development.