Many of you may be excited to start a new chapter, having moved on to a higher class, or a new school. As a grandmother, I too, am excited to see my grandson begin secondary school, and I give to you all the same advice I give to him – take advantage of every opportunity to learn and grow, and most important: “be good, do good and good will follow you”.
Even as so many set off for school with their book bags and crisp new uniforms, my heart goes out to those students whose parents may be facing financial difficulties at this time. My team and I have been working to try to assist some of these families in our various constituencies, and I am saddened by their plight. It is a sad reality that thousands of families have been affected by job losses and consequent loss of income, as well as rising food prices.
In addition to this, students entering secondary school have been denied the opportunity to use technology in the classroom and at home, as the laptop programme started by the Government I led was changed. My vision for our children was, and remains, a future in which they are equipped with the skills they need to participate in and take advantage of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. I am committed to making this vision a reality and seeing our young ones become innovators, leaders and entrepreneurs.
So, as you head off to school on Monday 3rd September, I urge you to set goals and work hard to achieve them. Greet each day with enthusiasm, and a renewed commitment to do your best. Be thoughtful and considerate of your peers, and help where you can.
I believe in each of you has the potential for greatness, but this can only be achieved through hard work, discipline and dedication.
All the best for a productive and enjoyable school year!
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition
2nd September 2018