Ministers of Government used the early part of their day today, Wednesday, September 12, to visit schools in the rural parts of St. Kitts, where they impressed upon thousands of primary and secondary school students the significance of the Federation’s Independence, while also encouraging them to exercise patriotism year-round.
The Ministers’ visit to schools is one of the signature activities on the 35th anniversary of Independence calendar of events.
This year, the Cabinet Ministers were divided into two groups. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, the Honourable Shawn Richards; the Honourable Lindsay Grant and senator the Honourable Wendy Phipps visited schools on the western end of the country, while Prime Minister Dr. The Honourable Timothy Harris and the Honourable Eugene Hamilton toured the schools on the Eastern side of the island.
The ministers are expected to continue their visits on Thursday (September 13) when they will make stops at the various schools in the Basseterre area.
While addressing the students at the Edgar T. Morris Primary School, Prime Minister Harris said, “we hope by doing this our young people get early-o-clock an appreciation of the Independence journey and what is involved in Nation building.”
The theme chosen for this year’s independence celebrations is “Love, Service, Patriotism and Pride, Independence 35”.
Dr. Harris added, “we are hoping that the teachers would be challenged each and every day to fill in the gaps in terms of love, in terms of pride, in terms of patriotism in your
classrooms so that the students again feel the experience of what it is the task of nation building is about. Clearly we need a lot more love in our schools, in our classrooms, in our homes [and] in our churches than we now have.”
At the Cayon High School, where students of the Cayon Primary School were also gathered, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, the Parliamentary representative for constituency eight, made similar calls for the nation’s youth to exhibit a sense of pride in their country and self.
He said, “as I wish you a happy 35th anniversary of independence I want you to recognize again that this nation is a free nation. This nation calls for each of you to give of your best because tomorrow anyone of you can lead this nation in the same way that Dr. Harris—from a poor family in Tabernacle—came to this school [Cayon High School] and has risen to the point of Prime Minister in this country.”
The Government Ministers were this year joined by a handful of well-known musical artists and entertainers including Rucas H.E, Dejour and Nicha B, who are scheduled to perform at the 35th Independence Flag Festival.
That event, which is free of cost and will also feature the likes of Jamaican Dancehall artist Kranium, will be held at the Frigate Bay lawn on Sunday, September 16, starting at 8pm.