MESSAGE OF DR THE HONOURABLE TIM GOPEESINGH, MINISTER OF EDUCATION, ON THE REOPENING OF THE NEW ACADEMIC YEAR, MONDAY SEPTEMBER 5, 2011.

At the beginning of this academic school year 2011-201, I extend to all the near 250,000 students in early childhood, primary and secondary schools, and the near 15,000 teachers, senior teachers, vice principals, principals and school supervisors, as well as the administrative and ancillary staff, my sincerest best wishes for a very successful, enjoyable, healthy and safe year.

For the first time in our nation’s recent history, you are returning to school under a national State of Emergency, which has been implemented by your Government to combat the unprecedented crime wave Trinidad and Tobago has been facing in the past decade.

It is a time when all citizens, regardless of their age, gender or any other differences, should be especially concerned about the state of our nation.

Crime and violence, as you all know, affected every single citizen and our schools were not spared.

The lives and safety of the population were seriously compromised by the criminal elements and Government had a duty to ensure that our citizens were afforded their due Constitutional right to protection, safety and security in all public and private places.

The Government has called a State of Emergency to avert planned action meant to subvert law and order, to remove the gangsters and killers off the streets, to get the illegal guns out of the communities, to eliminate the illegal narcotics from society and to give special powers to the army to assist in this war against crime and the criminal elements.

Joint police/army operations have been established based on shared intelligence.

We have begun the process of rehabilitation in communities and the society’s law and order is being restored.

The Government’s decision to call the State of Emergency was therefore well timed and much needed, and in the 15 days it has been in effect, we have seen tremendous strides made by the law enforcement agencies in curbing criminal activity.

The State of Emergency is not a threat to the safety and rights and liberties of law abiding citizens.

All students and other citizens at this time, however, must be mindful of the fact that they have a responsibility to ensure that they uphold all aspects of the law and cooperate with the rules of the State of Emergency so that the desired results of returning our country to a state of harmony and non violence would be achieved.

To all in and out of our schools, it means that you must make a special effort to educate your friends and families as to the need for responsible behaviour and adherence to the law.

This has always been one of your tasks as educators; the only difference is that now, it has become a priority.

For students, it means that you must all pay careful attention to the laws of the land and ensure that you make a special effort to act disciplined, responsibly and lawfully.

The State of Emergency means that there are more police patrols and you must therefore realize that your behaviour outside your schools and in public would be under scrutiny, including on the social media internet sites.

Now is a time for us all to remember the words of our National Pledge, which state that:

“I solemnly pledge to dedicate my life
To the service of my God
And to my country.

I will honour my parents,
My teachers, my leaders and my elders,
And those in authority.

I will be clean and honest in all my thoughts,
My words and my deeds.

I will strive, in everything I do
To work together with my fellowmen
Of every creed and race
For the greater happiness of all
And the honour and glory
Of my country.”

In fact, I urge all principals and teachers to join the students in reciting this pledge in our schools once more at your daily assemblies, along with singing the words of our National Anthem, to remind us all of our duty to our country.

This is a time for all to recognize that the preservation of our beautiful nation’s democracy, liberty and prosperity is the responsibility of every single citizen, and we must always remember that Trinidad and Tobago can only succeed as a progressive, developed nation not only because of what the Government does for people but also, because of what the people do for themselves, for one another and for our country.

As students, teachers, principals and other workers who comprise the education system, we are the ones who have a special duty to demonstrate patriotism and I firmly believe that we can be the best exemplars of decent, law abiding citizens at this time.

The time has come for us all to band together as a people to preserve our country’s democracy and safety, and I urge us all to do what is right and required at this time to stand by the country we call home, the country we love and want to preserve for our future generations.

May God continue to bless each and every one of us with the dedication, strength and willpower to do this and may God bless our beautiful nation.

I thank you.

 

St Joseph''s Convent San Fernando invite students to participate in the Petrotrin''s Recycling Logo and Mascot Competition. Details are as follows:

 

 

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Please see Ms Ramdin for further details.

Visit by Dr. Earl Lovelace

 

The illustrious Dr. Earl Lovelace visited the school on March 19th. 2011 to discuss his novel The Wine of Astonishment with Fourth Formers of SJC.

 

dr lovelace preparing his notes before the lecture

In the above picture he prepares his notes before the lecture

 

 

Above: After the lecture and discussion, Dr Lovelace signs autographs for his new and enthusiastic fans

 

 

 

 

 

SJC San Fernando wins finance quiz

 

As quoted by Leiselle Maraj on the Newsday on Friday 1 April 2011, It came down to a battle between two girls’ colleges from South Trinidad but St Joseph’s Convent San Fernando proved to be superior at the National Financial Literacy Programme (NFLP) Secondary Schools Quiz 2011.

 

Semi-finals and finals of the quiz were held yesterday by the NFLP of the Central Bank at the National Academy of Performing Art (NAPA), Port-of-Spain.

In the finals, St Joseph Convent’s team took the lead at the end of the first round by answering correctly a team question worth ten points.

Naparima Girls’ College, the other team in the finals fought back and was 15 points behind St Joseph Convent by the time the team question was read signalling the end of the second and final round.

The Naparima team answered this question correctly but after cheering realised the ten points they gained could not secure them the victory. The two teams advanced to the finals after competing against North Eastern College and Vessigny Government Secondary School. These two teams also went up against each other for third and fourth place with Vessigny taking third place and North Eastern College placing fourth.

Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, Dr Shelton Nicholls congratulated all schools for the keenly contested competition which, he said, impressed officials at the bank. He said the objective of the NFLP is to prepare youths to be financially responsible in the future. This is done through school visits by the NFLP, expositions and competitions like the quiz.

“The world in the future will be driven by technology and will be more hectic than today. If young people are not financially literate they are preparing for a lifetime of poverty,” he said. Nicholls urged students to get their parents and teachers involved in the process of learning about financial literacy.

Rohit Dube, School Supervisor III, who spoke on behalf of Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh, said he anticipates the positive impact of the quiz on the lives of students. He commended schools and parents for lending their support to the students and expressed pleasure that the ministry partnered with the Central Bank to be a part of the programme.

 

Winners:

Arione Rojas

Zareah Arjoon

Maria Smith

Teressa Lochan Singh

 

Participants:

Samantha Nanan

Melissa Bhagwat

Ravena Ramdeen

Raelee Stanton

Chanelle Choonoolal