November 21, 2007
Premier of Nevis and Minister of Education in the Nevis Island Administration Hon. Joseph Parry told teachers that the time had come to take their place in the communities they served and to break down barriers of perception. He said they should reach out to the parents, in particular those who needed assistance, to give them a new reality of themselves, their children and life around them.
He gave the advice to a number of stakeholders in Education on Nevis during the second annual Extra Mile Teacher Recognition Award ceremony on November 17, 2007, at the Old Manor Hotel in Gingerland.
“You have taken on a profession, a calling a vocation and so you are going to have to break down those barriers of perception. You are going to have to reach across the community to the parents and I must say to you do not reach only to the parents to come to the parent/ teachers meeting, you have to reach to those who don’t come because those who don’t come are the ones who need the most help.
“They are the ones who are not making sure their children are dressed properly; they are the ones who are not making sure their children do their homework; they are the ones who are allowing their children to speak bad words and indecent language; they are the same ones who say they can’t control their 14 year olds; they are the ones that can be producing delinquents in our society who will break into your homes and all our homes and create confusion for us. So you have to break down those barriers and you are going to have to change their perception and give them a new and different reality, a reality about themselves, their children, a reality about you and life around us,” he said.
Mr. Parry underscored the Administration’s support for the teachers on Nevis and said the government would make serious efforts to reward deserving teachers with tangible gifts in 2008.
“I would say to you in the new year, serious efforts must be made to reward teachers financially for their efforts.
“I must also say that I now have an incentive programme offered by teachers and we will be working our way through that list because teachers feel good about themselves and we in the Ministry and the Government must make you feel good about yourselves and we must demonstrate to you that we feel god about you and your performances. Certainly we expect even greater performance from you,” he said.
Notwithstanding, the Education Minister congratulated the teachers who were awarded from the 14 schools on the island and urged them to see their nomination by their peers as a signal that they meant a lot to them, that they had been leaders, an embracer, an encourager, and a motivator in their eyes.
“Embrace this, don’t over do it, don’t get vain, don’t get unnecessarily visible but certainly, use it as an indicator that you have something that people are watching and continue to do what you are doing the same way that you have been doing it. Just keep on doing it and I am sure you will be rewarded again and again,” he said.
Premier Parry was accompanied by his wife Mrs. Myrthlyn Parry, who presented tokens to the awardees and gave a toast in their honour.