Marigot Secondary School renamed Jon Odlum Secondary

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10734006_741317312610334_5070635847720351609_nPRESS RELEASE – The island’s most modern secondary school will now be known by a new name that evokes decades of development and national service.

The former Marigot Secondary School, opened in 2006, was officially renamed the Jon Odlum Secondary School during a function held for the purpose on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. Mr. Odlum served as Member of Parliament for Castries South for 23 years, prior to which he was one of Saint Lucia’s first Labour and Social Welfare Officers.

Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony remarked that the ceremony was being held “to celebrate the memory of Jon Odlum, and to cast his name in stone to recognise him as another great Saint Lucian who has contributed to our development.” Indicating that the school was intended to serve children from the communities of Anse La Raye, Canaries, Roseau, and Cul de Sac, the Prime Minister also reminded that its construction was a long-held ambition for Jon Odlum.

Said Dr. Anthony,

“He beat the pavement and the muddy paths of the Cul de Sac, Marigot, Barre St. Joseph, and Roseau Valley, interacting with the people of these areas, sharing their triumphs and failures, their tears and their pain, and their hopes and dreams.

“He knew very well their plight, their deep poverty, their hand-to-mouth conditions. He always championed education as a means of lifting people out of the debilitating conditions of poverty.

“He knew that education was the only answer to the poverty that had been cultivated from the days of the sugar plantations.

“As such, this school here at Marigot is effectively the tangible pinnacle of a dream, an institution which represents the zenith of Jon’s belief that education was the key to the future of the downtrodden and dispossessed.”

The Prime Minister went on to reveal that the newly renamed Jon Odlum Secondary School had completed the realisation of another goal, that of secondary education for every Saint Lucian child.

Continued Dr. Anthony,

“This school has a special place in our history.

“It was, effectively, the last public secondary school constructed and opened on this island as we pursued at that time the achievement of Universal Secondary Education. USE, as it was dubbed, was an important achievement of the Labour Party Administration I led in 2006.

“And many at the time and perhaps some even now, believed that USE should not have been pursued. It was an incredibly myopic and an elitist view.

“But it is the reality. Some people do not believe in the equity of education. They believe that there should exist an uneducated class upon which to construct an economy to benefit from low wages.

“On the contrary, this Government, this Labour Party Government is resoundingly unapologetic in our belief that education is a basic right; that education is a ladder out of poverty; that education provides the knowledge and skills upon which society and economy are built upon; and that there must be equity and equality in education for all our children.”

The renaming ceremony was attended by Cabinet colleagues, including Minister for Education and current Member of Parliament for Castries South, Hon. Dr. Robert Lewis; members of the Odlum family, including Mr. Odlum’s widow, children, and grandchildren; representatives from the Ministry of Education; and the entire school population.

Mr. Odlum passed away in 2013.

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6 comments

  1. hi my child is going to that school do they have to bring bags for oreintion

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  2. Mr. PM, education should be the key to the downtrodden and dispossessed, except in St. Lucia, that doesn't matter. What matters is which party you belong to and whether key persons like you. I get upset every time I hear our politicians spout this nonsense about education being the key to mobility. It's worse when the Minister of Education says it, because he knows better. He knows this is not how things work in this country.

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  3. it was myopic to think USE should not be implemented Kenny. In fact it was myopic of an administration to introduce it wothout any solid plan for proper curriculum and effective filtering of students through the system. USE has created a mess for techers with so many students just essentially PASSING through a secondary school. thats all.they just can say thy attended a secondary school. no program to asswist those students of other intelligences. and you talk of USE.NONSENSE

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    • The idea of USE was a very noble and progressive idea however, as is usual for us, we rush through things and often put the cart before the horse. Basic structures were not put in place to facilitate USE, as a result we continue to fail our children and think we can fool them by telling them they have a secondary education.

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    • You said you're a teacher?? Hmmm ??

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  4. Renaming everything after the dead will not save SLP. These people should have mattered while they were alive! Not now. that shyte must stop by them ASAP.

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