Hon. Troy Liburd, Junior Minister of Education on Nevis delivering remarks at the opening ceremony of the Department of Education’s annual Back to School 2018 exercise.

CHARLESTOWN, Nevis – Nevis teachers were urged to continue to build on their successes of the 2017/18 school year for an even greater level of achievement by the end of the upcoming school year by Hon. Troy Liburd, Junior Minister on Nevis, at the Department of Education’s annual Back to School 2018 Opening Ceremony.

During the event, with the theme, “Redefining Our Mindset To Develop Our Future Through Holistic Education,” the minister congratulated more than 100 teachers attending the event for “A successful past year, I encourage you to commit to an equal or better effort for the upcoming year.

“I give my commitment and that of the ministry to be right there with you…,” Liburd said. “I give you all my commitment and that of my ministry that we will work tirelessly to ensure conditions improve; that the issues that were brought to me are being agitated for constantly, and those that you will bring when I come back to the schools to speak to you will be given the highest priority.”

The minister noted that the Nevis Island Administration is aware of the challenges teachers face and stands committed in improving working and learning conditions in the coming school year.

“We will be proactive in addressing some of the major concerns expressed by you our teachers…,” he said. “You who are on the frontline, fighting the battle for the hearts and minds of our children to ensure that our place, as a forward thinking and productive society, is secured for the next generation, should never feel alone in this.

“You should know that the department, ministry and indeed, the government, is right there with you. So, when I tell you we appreciate you it will not feel like – it is what it is, just talk. You will know it because you would have seen and felt the actions to show it,” Liburd said.

The minister told the teachers that the administration truly appreciated their tireless efforts. He used the opportunity to welcome those who had just joined the teaching fraternity and urged them to do as much good as they could in their chosen career. He described teaching as a rewarding career and expressed satisfaction that they had made the choice to serve and to help build the future of the island.

Liburd also gave words of appreciation to returning teachers for their service. He urged them to continue to make Nevis proud and commended them on their success during the previous school year.

“We have heard how good our students have done at the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC),” the minister commented. “I single out [the] Gingerland Secondary School (GSS), who was top in the Federation [with] a pass rate of 96 percent.

“I am very much aware that by the very nature of the job, you are many times called upon to go beyond the 8:30 to 3:30; that work often continues on weekends. I think I speak for the entire ministry, indeed the entire NIA, when I say we appreciate what you do. We appreciate the time you take out to work with our slower students [and] the courage you show to deal with the ones who are insistent of behaving bad.”

The Back to School training sessions commenced later in the day with meetings for teachers and ancillary staff and workshops. A variety of other workshops dotted the training calendar up to Aug. 31. School opens Sept. 3.

Remarks were presented by Mrs. Palsy Wilkin, Principal Education Officer and the Keynote Address was delivered by Ms. Zahnela Claxton, Director of Youth.

Among those present were Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis and Minister of Education; Hon. Alexis Jeffers, Deputy Premier, Hon, Spencer Brand: and Kevin Barret, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education on Nevis.