(EMU) – St. Kitts, September 30, 2016: Primary school students in Basseterre were reminded that there are nationals living overseas who make sacrifices to ensure that they can advance their learning during a brief ceremony last week for a donation of school bags containing supplies for less fortunate children by the St Kitts-Nevis National Association of Washington D.C.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Hon Shawn Richards, received the bags from Mr. William Hodge, recent past president of the Association, who returned to St. Kitts to take up the post as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education in September. The minister urged recipients to take care of the bags which he said came by way of sacrifice from the donors. “It is important for students to understand that these gestures come about with a lot of effort and require that students put in equal effort to maintain the items they receive as well as to perform to the best of their ability,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
Minister Richards referred to other measures such as the use of uniforms utilized by the Ministry of Education to ensure that students are on equal footing in terms of their preparedness to perform in school and their psychological well being. He said the donations help boost morale and level the playing field for students.
Deputy Chief Education Officer, Darryll Lloyd, expressed gratitude for the partnership forged by the SKN Nationals Association of Washington DC. Referring to it as a “timely and meaningful donation,” Mr Lloyd said the Ministry of Education would pay special visits to schools to check on students receiving the bags to ensure that they were performing well in school and are able to benefit from the investment made.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Mr William Hodge who officially presented the bags said he was please to be in St. Kitts now as PS to be able to present the bags and in a position where he could in fact see how the donations impact children’s lives.
Mr Hodge informed that the Association organizes annual events to help raise funds for the purchase of necessary items. The events include a Walk- A- Thon at National Mall as well as a Caribbean Breakfast Sale. Some persons also donate willingly out of their own funds.
“We have a number of persons who have left home for years but they have not forgotten about St. Kitts and Nevis. Their heart is right here and they want to do a lot to help us”, Mr Hodge emphasized.
Having assumed the role of Permanent Secretary, just a little over one month ago, Mr. Hodge has been actively engaged in making donations to different schools in St. Kitts and Nevis. Mr. Hodge revealed that supplies include pens, pencils, note books, erasers, rulers and glue sticks. He added that he would make it his personal responsibility to visit these students at the schools to find out how they are functioning and to encourage them to pursue excellence.
The Association gave books to the St. Kitts East Zone; and West Zone and Nevis schools over the past three years. This year the Basseterre zone has received as will Nevis.