Permanent Secretary Jennifer Lafond hands over plaque to Sidney Jules

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Jennifer Lafond has told young men at the St Mary’s Academy (SMA) that they can excel academically regardless of the stigma attached to the academic performances of young men.

Lafond was at the time addressing a ceremony this morning to award former SMA student Sidney Jules with US$500, a plaque and a certificate for receiving nine passes at Grade One, general proficiency in the 2009 CXC examinations . Jules’ award came from the Embassy of the United States of America and the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).

“Our young men are always under fire so it’s very heartening and gives me great pleasure to hand over a plaque of that nature to a young man. It augers well. I hope you (students) are encouraged by it and you will take it seriously, because there is the potential in every single one of you to become and to do as good, as and even better than was done by Jules. You just have to believe in yourself,” she said.

Lafond advised the male students that nothing is gained by being “lazy, uninterested” and “non-committed,” rather everything is gained by being serious.

She also encouraged students to remain committed to their education because “school life” makes up their life.

“This is just a part of your life; you have the rest of your life to do whatever you want to do. I want to tell you to take just this part seriously. There is enough time to attend to the distractions,” she lamented.