As this marks the first week of school for most students, we as a community can agree that education is essential for the betterment of our society and a better life for our children. The government of St. Maarten is committed to this reality. It is indeed important that our children get the opportunity as is their right, to education in a safe and nurturing environment.
We are starting a school year in challenging times amidst the pandemic which may seem to have no end in sight, especially when we see numbers continue to rise rapidly. St. Maarten has been here before and we know what it takes to bring down our numbers. As such, opening schools for the continuation of our student’s education remains a priority. As long as we can continue to offer education to our students in a safe environment, we will do so. We must all continue to practice the behavior that will ensure that the rapid spread of COVID-19 is contained and lessened. If not for ourselves, do so for your children and their future. Our children’s education is everyone’s concern; our children’s future is in all our hands.
To our students, all we can ask of you is to give your best each day. Continue to strive for excellence, exhibit good behavior and demonstrate the good values and morals that you’ve been taught at home, and are being reinforced at school. I want to remind all students that while you have a right to education, it is a privilege to attend school in these trying times. Take your education seriously, attend class every day, on time, and pay attention to all that is put before you. You have a responsibility for your achievement; set your goals, determine your actions, take responsibility for achieving them and have fun on this journey.
To our parents and guardians, you have a responsibility to support your children in their endeavors to do the best they can each day. I’d like to take time to encourage parents, to boost them up as I know many face challenges beyond what was expected. Do not give up hope, stay focused on making the best out of what we have, as with life there is hope. Management staff and teachers, you are a valued part of our society as front liners in educating our nation, you are Awesome!
In short, we all need to pull together to make these successful and rewarding experiences for all, teachers, parents, students, the stakeholders in education and the community. I pray that with the necessary provisions in place by your respective school board and with strict adherence to protocols for safety during this pandemic, that you are able to do what you love, which is absolutely necessary and makes a difference. Never lose sight of the influence you have on a child’s day, life, and future.
I pray that all our students will have as normal a year as possible, which will ensure their success on their journey. I encourage all to be safe at all times, protect yourself and your family by maintaining strong hygiene practices at home, on the street, at school and work. We will get through this together!
On behalf of the government of St. Maarten, I wish all a successful 2021-2022 school year. May God bless you all.