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Academics not all

Minister Blackett takes the salute at today’s Speech Day.

Recognition must be given to people with all kinds of skills who demonstrate productivity and the excellence as their trademark.

Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steve Blackett, made this observation earlier today while delivering the feature address at St. Leonard’s Boys’ Secondary School Annual Speech Day and Prize Giving Ceremony at the school hall.

Blackett had earlier lauded the school for its excellent achievements not only in the area of academics, but also in athletics, languages and the arts.

“This is particularly heartening since it is sending a clear signal to all Barbadians that success is not only about academic achievements, but also encompasses the more creative areas in the arts, sport, technology and just about any other area of endeavour that has the potential to deliver rewarding futures and productive lives for our people,” Blackett said.

He told the gathering, which included Speaker of the House of Assembly and parliamentary representative for the area, Michael Carrington, that “everyone has been given talents that are to grow and develop as we mature from one stage of life to the other”.

The St. Michael Central MP said: “Some of us have been given more than one talent; some of you can draw and can also run very quickly and some are talented in woodwork and technical drawings. Others are good at Spanish, can play a musical instrument and can sing. Yet others are good at debating and mathematics. Our talents vary with each individual.”

He noted that some of the younger students were yet to identify their talents, and suggested that is such instances parents and teachers can make a valuable input.

He maintained that they had a role to play in guiding the young students along the road of discovering who they are and what they are good at.

“In short, what I am saying is that each of you has a unique personality; a unique make up; you are special; you have been created with purpose and design that only you can fulfill,” Blackett explained.

He told the young students that it made no sense wishing they had the talent or gift of their friends. He noted that sometimes people become distracted into going after other people’s dreams, but he warned that this was a recipe for disaster.

Blackett called on the students to pursue their own dreams: “Having dreams is very important, but even more important is to have a plan as to how we will make those dreams become a reality. We must set goals for ourselves and remain focused on where we want to go in life.”

He reminded the students that exceptional performance always came when one was doing what came naturally, and encouraged successful students to “reach back and give something willingly to society”.†(NC)

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