PRESS RELEASE – Good day and a Happy New Year to all the promising students of this country, Saint Lucia. It is indeed a privilege to be addressing you as president of this esteemed organization as we usher in a new year of both toil and triumph.
At this juncture in our history the students’ movement has endured a tough but swift transition from dormancy to vibrancy and the concept of student governance is gradually regaining its recognition in our education system.
Last year the National Students’ Council experienced a marked improvement in advocacy for students and stood in solidarity with the communique presented to Education Ministers at the 19th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (19CCEM) in June 2015.
The communique highlighted the need for dialogue among stakeholders in dealing with issues affecting students. In October of 2015, this was accomplished when the NSC hosted the first ever National Students Forum. The program gave students the opportunity to openly express their sentiments on the education system while receiving informative responses by officials at the ministry of education.
In the advent of a new year, the NSC hopes to follow a program of activities which caters for students with various needs and inclinations. This can only be accomplished through a collective effort from every single student sitting behind a classroom desk to those occupying executive roles to the teacher coordinators supervising their actions.
Undoubtedly, there is a lot in the pipeline for the year 2016.
One of our main priorities is to reel primary institutions into the student movement by establishing students’ council in various primary schools around the island. This move ensures that students moving into secondary school will already have the experience of functioning on a council, hence, increasing their preparedness and maturity levels. In light of this, the NSC congratulates the Augier Combined School on electing their first students’ council. The council has wasted no time in advocating for their students as it has now opened talks with the school’s principal on a full lunch hour to allow students to distress after the morning teaching sessions.
The NSC aims at providing representation for all students on island and therefore we’ll also be working closely with the southern branch of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College to create an executive at that institution.
Training and equipping is critical in empowering students to take up the mantle of the students’ movement by educating them on the power they possess as students in Saint Lucia. Therefore, we and our affiliates aim to execute several training sessions geared at developing future leaders while paying attention to the marginalized and neglected student. To this end, I want to make mention of the establishment of the Justice Mario Michel Scholarship Fund which will provide scholarship opportunities for underprivileged, high academic achievers.
This year, the fund will finally be launched to the Saint Lucian public. The NSC extends its gratitude to the Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development and Labour for supporting with the provision of bursaries to students at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College and to the Hon. Mario Michel for granting permission for the fund to be named after him.
Throughout the year the council will engage in a drive to increase its social media presence as we seek to rebrand the movement and be more attractive to the present generation. It is for this reason the NSC has launched a logo competition to give our students the opportunity to create a face for their organization and begin to take ownership for it. The competition is open to all Saint Lucian students; however, the January 18th deadline is quickly approaching so we encourage you to continue sending in your entries.
The Saint Lucia National Students’ Council will continue to remain steadfast in providing quality representation for the students of Saint Lucia while enabling them to be leaders in their schools and communities. As we go forward into 2016 may we begin to see the importance for greater collaboration among affiliates and may each student of Saint Lucia, experience a hunger to make a positive impact on the education system and work towards the development of their country.
On behalf of the President and Executive of the Saint Lucia National Youth Council, Miss Louise Victor, myself and the executive of the National Students’ Council, I wish you continued success and again a Happy New Year.
I thank you.