President Anthony Carmona on Tuesday challenged parents to play a greater role in their children’s life and upbringing by assuming roles as mentors, adding that core values of compassion and respect must be taught at home.
Carmona made the remarks during his feature address at the National Scholarships and Awards ceremony for primary and secondary school students at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), in which he praised winners for their excellence and reminded parents of their duties as caregivers and moral teachers.
Recalling his own childhood, Carmona said his parents took on the responsibility as mentors adding in recent years, parents have fallen down on their duties. “My greatest mentors were my parents, and they never went to secondary school, yet they were intelligent, well-read, considerate, kind and respectful to everyone they encountered.
“As mentors we must demand that parents take up the mantle of primary mentorship. We live in a land where far too often, parents are allowed to do whatever they want and blame others, including teachers, principals and schools, for the poor stewardship of their children – the poor stewardship that is being inculcated at home.”
Unlike previous award ceremonies celebrating academic excellence, Carmona revealed that in addition to the award of the President’s Medal, each recipient was also given a presidential scroll, which commends the student for their achievements, and said he would also prepare scrolls for students awarded medals over the past four years.
“These scrolls will proclaim the remarkable achievements of our presidential scholars. You will now have a presidential instrument that will be my reminder of your inspirational success that you have achieved in the year 2017 and all for those who have achieved similar successes from 2013 to 2016.”
Quoting popular reggae artiste Chronixx, Carmona also urged students to put, “substance over hype”, in their daily lives by letting good sense prevail over sensationalism.
Minister of Education Anthony Garcia, in his welcome address, also lauded students for their achievements and said their success was not by accident. He noted the historic importance of the event, as it marked the reintroduction of technical studies, citing the importance of such a subject being included in the school curriculum in a gradually evolving technological landscape.