Some 1,000 students from across the island will receive donations of school supplies thanks to the Adopt a Child Back to School Program, the brainchild of businesswoman, Melissa Skerrit.
Additionally scholarships for four secondary school students, two Dominica State College (DSC) students and one preschooler will be made available by the program.
About 100 students from Roseau and the environs were presented with their packages at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium Terrace on Monday 8th September 2015.
“The packages to be presented here are to aid in an easier transition to the school year,” Skerrit, who is the wife of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, said. “In total, about 1,000 students island wide from the preschool, primary, secondary and college level will be given packages which contain the needy materials for school.”
The packages contain school bags, scientific calculators, geometry kits, and markers among other items.
Skerrit noted that paid school fees and supplies are a confidence and self-esteem booster for the recipients.
Meantime, she commended the government on the “great strides” made in the education sector and its efforts on leveling the playing field for all but she pointed out that parents and student have to play their part.
Skerrit told parents that too many times they are left with fully equipped but passive learners.
“This is unacceptable,” she pointed out. “We as parents need to engage in instilling a sense of excellence in our children. We need to value the importance of setting goals with our children, setting high standards and ensuring that they are achieved.”
She said achievements cannot be attained when parents simply state their expectations but action is also needed.
“We have to turn off the television set, put away the video games, set study times, enforce house rules, inspect their books, and build a good rapport with them, their school as well as their friends. If we encourage that attitude and our community is enforcing it, I have no doubt that we can raise top achievers,” she noted.
To the students she also had some advice.
“Now students at the end of the day, you can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents and the best schools in the world and none of it will really matter unless you fulfill your responsibilities,” Skerrit said. “You have to be active learners, pay attention to your teachers, and listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults. Show up to school on time and put in the hard work that it takes to succeed. That is what I want you to focus on today.”
She noted that the responsibility for education is on every student and she urged them to appreciate the importance of a good education.