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New Year message from the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport drs. Rodolphe Samuel

As we embark on yet another new year, I extend my wishes for a healthy, safe, happy, and prosperous New Year to all the people who call Sint. Maarten their home.

A new year is a time to reflect on the year just gone and to make resolutions of targets to be accomplished throughout the year. Sometimes we make these resolutions with good intentions, but somewhere along the line, our resolve weakens as the year progresses. Allow me to encourage everyone this new year to take the time to think of what it is you want to achieve and put a workable plan in place to take you closer to your goal as the year progresses.

For parents, in particular, I encourage you to make a resolution to get your children off the phone at night at a reasonable time. This will allow them to be well-rested and able to absorb the information being provided by their teachers the following day. Too many of our children are up till odd hours of the night/morning on sites and are unable to get up well-rested for school. Education is the best gift you can give to your child, and part of this is ensuring they are well-rested and not too tired to take advantage of the opportunity they have been given. I also want to urge our students to make a resolution to spend more time studying and less time on their electronic devices at night. This will put you on the path to success.

Last year we had many success stories from our athletes with some very impressive accomplishments. This year let’s resolve to do even more to make sports on the island more popular and have more people choosing to participate. Sports can provide a young person, especially with a sense of well-being both physically and mentally, and we must encourage more of our youth to get involved in a sport.

St. Maarten has an abundance of great sports people, and this new year I hope to see them make efforts to teach the younger generation some of what they know.

This year ahead is already filled with challenges, from the effects of the war in Ukraine to the aftermath of the Covid 19 pandemic, and I encourage everyone not to be daunted by these but instead to look for opportunities. A setback is a setup for a comeback. We will face the problems that arise this year together and learn and grow from them.

I want to say a special thank you to the staff in the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, our Education Family, as well as our Managers, staff, and teachers, for all their hard work throughout the past year. I look forward to continuing working with you this new year to achieve even greater goals.

Happy New Year 2023 from my family to yours, and I hope we all do our part to make it a successful year for us and our island.