STUDENTS of schools in east Port of Spain and Morvant were told to remain focused on their live and career goals and to avoid distractions from negative influences.
They were not given this sage advice from school deans, teachers or principals but from two of Jamaica's most recognisable conscious reggae artistes Sizzla Kalonji and Capleton who visited several schools on Thursday morning.
Sizzla, whose real name is Miguel Orlando Collins, and Capleton, real name Clifton George Bailey, are expected to perform at the Kings of the Earth concert at the Queen's Park Savannah on Saturday night alongside Anthony B, Cocoa Tea, Queen Omega and Kushite.
Accompanied by their entourage and heavily armed Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) police, Sizzla and Capleton began their visit at the Rose Hill RC Primary School, La Coulee Street, east Port of Spain.
On October 31, students and teachers at this school had to lie on the floor of their classrooms as warring gangs shot at each other in the area.
Speaking with reporters outside the school, Sizzla said he heard about the incident and wanted to visit the school to spread the message of positivity through music, to the students.
"I wanted to spread the message of Rastafari reaching out to the people, reaching out to the people in the diaspora and reminding them of our oneness, despite the whole situation, despite the crime and violence and distractions and all those stuff. We are one black people and we should be conscious of that.
"Don't be easily distracted, stay focused, know what you want in life, know where you're at and get it done.
"We're making a visit today at the Rose Hill RC School to see the kids, you never know what can happen, they may have a few questions, I may sing a song and give some words of inspiration," Sizzla said.
Asked his thoughts on the gun battle that led to the students taking cover, Sizzla said it was a cause for concern and he felt it was indicative of a greater need by government to address the concerns of depressed communities.
"We need to attend to the needs of the people and and assist them so they can be more comfortable to avoid any violence because we all know education is the key, there are people doing what they are doing with crime and violence and firing guns to disturb children in studying yet still they're doing it, so something is wrong.
"The government needs to reach out more to the people to understand what they need."
Students from all classes were shuttled into the school's auditorium by teachers where they excitedly spoke among themselves before Sizzla and Capleton walked in to speak.
Sizzla began by commending the students for keeping their school and uniforms clean and encouraged them to continue studying hard and steer clear of trouble.
He completed the visit by performing an abridged version of his song, Thank You Mama.
Capleton also advised the students to work hard towards their dreams and heed the advice of their parents and teachers, before performing, 'Jah Jah City – a song which also addressed gun violence.
The artistes and their entourages also visited the St Barbs Government Primary School where they spoke with students and distributed stationery and lunches, before visiting the Morvant Laventille Secondary School.