Tuesday 23 July, 2019

Tobago Chief Secretary hosts breakfast for top SEA students

Hon. Kelvin Charles is flanked by the Top 10 SEA students. (L-Rback row) Brianna McPherson, Belle Garden AC; Adanna Rodriquez, Buccoo Gov't Primary; Daniella Taylor, Bethesda Gov't Primary; Sebastian Rampersad, Buccoo Gov't Primary; Xhane Gray, Signal Hill Gov't Primary; Achelle Melville, Signal Hill Gov't Primary.  L-R front row: Jade Llanos, Private Candidate; Kaelan Bynoe, St. Nicholas Private Primary and Brandon-Mark Browne and Jayden Roberts of the Pentecostal Light & Life Foundation Primary

Hon. Kelvin Charles is flanked by the Top 10 SEA students. (L-Rback row) Brianna McPherson, Belle Garden AC; Adanna Rodriquez, Buccoo Gov't Primary; Daniella Taylor, Bethesda Gov't Primary; Sebastian Rampersad, Buccoo Gov't Primary; Xhane Gray, Signal Hill Gov't Primary; Achelle Melville, Signal Hill Gov't Primary. L-R front row: Jade Llanos, Private Candidate; Kaelan Bynoe, St. Nicholas Private Primary and Brandon-Mark Browne and Jayden Roberts of the Pentecostal Light & Life Foundation Primary

The top ten Tobago Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) students, their parents, teachers and principals were treated to breakfast and awards by Chief Secretary and Secretary of Education, Innovation and Energy, Honourable Kelvin Charles on Tuesday at the Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort.

Reiterating that this is a ‘huge’ and ‘big’ moment for Tobago as history was created, Charles applauded the teachers and principals and said he hoped the results will motivate them to maintain the performance and gain no fewer than three students in the top 200 in 2020.  He also highlighted to the teachers and principals that the school development plans must be the basis for their programmes and the evaluation of their schools’ performance.

In addition to encouraging the students to choose their friends carefully and wisely as they embark on a new journey, Charles urged them to pursue whatever career path they choose, even if it is non-academic. 

“As we seek to develop Tobago, we need all kinds of skillsets not just the academic professions.  There is value in whatever work or career path you choose. Do it to the best of your ability and do it with distinction; go wherever your desires lead you but do good and do well.” He further cautioned the students not to be afraid of failure, stating, “Failure is an opportunity to begin again and begin more intelligently.”

Sebastian Rampersad, the top Tobago student who placed 18th nationally, had the opportunity to address the audience at the breakfast event.  He stated, “The support that we got from Principal Roachford made us determined to do well and fuelled our fight to make Buccoo Government the top school in Tobago.  In all, the journey was a stimulating experience and taught us life lessons that we will never forget.  Once more I thank everyone that impacted our lives on this important journey.”

The SEA Breakfast also included a motivational speech from Cherishe Alleyne, the 80th nationally ranked SEA student of 2005. Alleyne encouraged the soon-to-be secondary school students, saying: “Do not be afraid to enter into this new realm. Things will change but stay humble, love your life and live life to the fullest. Despite what people are doing around you, your journey is your journey.  There is beauty in being you. Parents, stand strong with your children.” 

Alleyne recently graduated as a medical doctor from St. George’s University, Grenada.

The principals of the top ten students were presented with plaques of achievement, while all ten students received cheques totalling $7,300 all of which were provided by the Division of Education, Innovation and Energy.

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