I am pleased to be with you this evening to share in your function and deliver the Patron’s Message.
Firstly, I use this opportunity to join with the JTA, Berger Paints and the education fraternity in congratulating Mr. Wesley Barrett retired Chief Education Officer, who is this year’s recipient of the JTA/Berger Roll of Honour Award. As an educator Mr. Barrett has had the opportunity to influence many Jamaicans, and his leadership role in the field of education will undoubtedly have a lasting impact. Thank you so much Mr. Barrett for your service in the field of education.
Since its inception in 1977, the Jamaica Teachers’ Association has conferred the Roll of Honour Award on forty distinguished and outstanding educators. These are professionals whose hard work and commitment to education have earned them the respect, admiration and acclaim of their peers, their students and the wider Jamaican community.
The JTA/Berger Roll of Honour Award is the highest honour that is conferred by the JTA on our nation’s teachers, and emphasizes the promotion of excellence in performance, integrity and sound professional conduct. Even as teachers engage their students and make them excited about learning, these are values that they must be passionate about and transmit to their students.
Our teachers have the challenging yet pleasurable task of utilizing resources that extract the best from students and whet their appetite for learning. Each classroom should be an “Ubi Semper Discimus” setting where students understand that “learning never ends,”and they carry that principle with them for the rest of their lives. In this way you have broadened their horizons about the endless possibilities ensconced within the world of learning.
Jamaican teachers have been doing a remarkable job with their resources to produce world class scholars even though there are areas in which we need to improve. Our youngsters compete with the best of the world. That is the result of the teaching and coaching they get from their teachers.
It is my hope that the 2010 recipient of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association Roll of Honour Award will inspire others to continue undaunted in their efforts to mould the young minds of this country.
I commend Berger Paints Jamaica Limited for sponsoring these Awards for the past 18 years. Your partnership with the JTA confirms your belief in the value of education and the role it plays in national development. I believe this collaboration confirms that despite our challenges and our differences, we can work together and use what is right with Jamaica to fix what is wrong with Jamaica. There are some things wrong and it is not just for us to stand aside, but we need to get involved and fix what is wrong.
May I wish you success as you continue to recognise the educators of our country.
Thank you and enjoy the evening.