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Educating girls is key

Jade Searles was all smiles as she accepted her prize for Most All-round student.

The education of girls is very important and can lead to plethora of benefits, not only for the individual but the whole society.

This was the advice given to those present this morning at the annual Speech Day and prize giving ceremony at the Springer Memorial School.

Speaking on behalf of the original featured speaker, teacher Renee Taylor, enlightened the girls that they were very fortunate to have access to education. She encouraged them not to take this privilege for granted many other girls and women across the world, even in 2012 were still fighting for the fight to eduction.

She told them the story of 14-year-old Pakistani girl, Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in October this year for championing the right for girls in here country to be educated.

“One other girl was hurt in the attack, a Taliban spokeman quickly claimed their group was responsible. He said the teenager’s work had been an obscenity that needed to be stopped.

“Doctors said the gunshot wounds to her head and neck were serious, and Malala was flown to Birmingham, England.†The education that this Pakistani schoolgirl so desperately sought is the birthright of every child and it is the duty of governments to ensure that it is freely available.

“Here in Barbados our girls would probably think it is fun if school closed for a day, a week or several weeks. This is because they cannot imagine our Government saying that girls can no longer go to school. In Barbados girls have the same chances as boys to be educated — this is a state of affairs that we must value and safeguard.

“We have to continue to encourage the education of girls. The first person to benefit from education is the girl herself…, but the positive effects are felt also by her family. Education leads to greater self-esteem and self-confidence and opens up many opportunities for girls, enabling them to discover their own potential to develop themselves fully and increase their resistance to gender discrimination.

“The education of girls is obviously not enough to solve the world’s problems but it remains an essential factor in the development of any country”, she said.

This morning the girls were rewarded for all the hard word they did over the academic year 2011-2012. Among the prize winners were:†Keianna Hamid, the Kenneth Best Award and the Joan Brathwaite Shield for Student of the Year; Jade Searles received the Deputy Principal’s Award and Akela Jones was the Most Outstanding in Sports. The Chairman’s Award for the best overall all-round student went to Shanna Bennett and the Principal’s Award to Cateisha Johnson. (KC)†

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