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Nourishment for life


The Ministry of Education seems intent on making sure the island has a replenished population of custard apple trees.

As part of the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of universal free education in the island, Minister Ronald Jones this morning planted the young trees at both the Blackman and Gollop Primary in Staple Grove, and the Thelma Berry Nursery School, just a minute away in St. David’s, Christ Church.

Principal at Blackman and Gollop, Joslyn Brewster remarked that she had wanted the custard apple tree planted, especially as it took her back to her days as a child at her grandparents’ residence.

She said that was the only place she could remember seeing the tree as a child and over the years she had not found them as prominently around the island.

Minister Jones admonished the children to take charge and care for the tree and ensure no one damaged it, stating that it had been planted on the eastern side of the school so it would be visible to all passing by.

There were more than 70 million children, he told them, that did not have the kind of access they did to education. He advised that they should cherish the knowledge they would garner at school, and be nourished by the fruit that would be produced from the custard apple tree.

A similar tree was planted on the northern side of the Thelma Berry Nursery, aided by a number of three and four year old students, an exercise that was lauded by principal there, Angela Chaplain.

She expressed her gratitude to the Ministry, not just for the tree but for the development in education over the past 50 years. No longer were teachers limited to reading, writing and arithmetic, she said, or the chalk and talk method, but were free to utilise technology and the project method in their classrooms.

It was a welcomed change, Chaplain remarked, adding that she was particularly grateful as well for the increases in the number of nursery institutions in the island.

“We have students coming in now who can write their names and who can use computers,” she expressed. (LB)

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