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Awards ceremony for Early Childhood practitioners

Early Childhood practitioners on Montserrat, some for the first, second or many times since 2008 gathered on the evening of Tuesday, June 26, 2017 at the Goodlife Night Club in Little Bay, where they received special awards for their work and dedication to the care and education of the very young.

The award ceremony a highlighting activity for the month-long celebrations was organised in their honour where in the presence of the practitioners, young and old with parents, male and female listened to congratulatory greetings to acting Permanent Secretary and Director of Education Glenn Francis lauded the efforts of these teachers who as he said, ‘have dedicated their lives to nurturing the islands youngest minds.’

Early Childhood Education Month as the celebrations have been dubbed is usually held during the month of June each year. Looking back on the now tenth year celebrations, we were reminded of the third year which ran under the theme Young Children: Heroes in Our Community.

Education Officer Early Childhood Inez Thompson officiated the ceremony beginning with the disclosure of the theme “Explore, Discover, Grow, Enrich” and announced that it was the tenth year that the Ministry of Education was honoring practitioners in this sector. She articulated her own belief in the old adage “encouragement is half of laborers pay”.

Almost as usual the month celebrations had begun with a church service and this year the staff, parents and children worshipped at the St. John’s Anglican Church.

Each Centre chose a day to showcase the activities the staff and children participate, this year under a theme of their choice. On each eventful day, the other Centres visit and engage themselves in the activities put on by the particular centre.

Before all twenty-seven staff members were appreciated with tokens, compliments of the Ministry of Education, Glen Francis told them: “We meet on another occasion to celebrate the efforts of this outstanding sector, of all the workers in this sector. I know there are a lot of hard workers in this sector I have seen them at work, workers who are absolutely dedicated to the education safety and the development of our youngest and I dear say even the most vulnerable of our children.”

“I know that the future development of our young people is impacted by the quality of education that they receive at this level, I know it and government knows it,” he said. “But yet of course within the existing structures and processes and rules including DFID rules, it is enormously difficult to adequately reward the workers of this sector for the value they bring to education of our people.”

Francis as he continued is feature remarks, went on to say: “I know government does not do you justice for the hard work and for your efforts day after day and what one does miss sometimes is how come you’ve stuck with it, there’s some of you who stuck with it twenty years that’s a lifetime thirty years that’s a generation and through all the challenges that you face every day you’ve stuck with it.”

Special awards were given to the following persons: Mrs. Elizabeth Lee – 22 years of service:– 1975 – 1997;

Mrs. Henrietta Lindsey known to many as “Miss. Sissie” for her initiative for starting Early Childhood services in 1970 – 1973;

Mrs. Madge Donoghue – 16 years of service in the private sector:– 2001 – 2017;

Mrs. Frances Riley – 22 years of service: – 1970 – 1992;

Mrs. Ursula Irish for over 25 years of loyal and dedicated service to the Early Childhood Sector. 

The six public centres, along with Aunt Madge Child Care, participated in the Exhibition which was held on Wednesday, June 28 and Thursday June 29, 2017 at the Montserrat Cultural Centre. Quite a number of persons from various communities visited and were really impressed with the items that were on display.

Fun Day should have been held on Friday June 30, at the Blake’s Football Field, however, because of the inclement weather, this was postponed until Wednesday, July 5, it being the culminating activity for the Early Childhood Month.

In 2010 a TMR reporter asked management if there was anything that came out of their 3rd year of early childhood celebration that needed improvement, Dr. Burns stated “we could do with more financial support…” This year that question was just about the same.

But Mrs. Thompson in her opening this year had said, “We have another opportunity to demonstrate our appreciation for the hard work and commitment of those who assisted in the development of something that we can be proud of and are beneficiaries of today.”

Quoting scripture, she said, “In the Book of Joshua 24:13 (from the New International Version) – So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant, this tells me that we are blessed to be beneficiaries of good gifts. In the words of John Adams before any great things are accomplished a memorable change must be made in the system of education to raise the lower ranks of society nearer to the higher.”

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Early Childhood practitioners on Montserrat, some for the first, second or many times since 2008 gathered on the evening of Tuesday, June 26, 2017 at the Goodlife Night Club in Little Bay, where they received special awards for their work and dedication to the care and education of the very young.

The award ceremony a highlighting activity for the month-long celebrations was organised in their honour where in the presence of the practitioners, young and old with parents, male and female listened to congratulatory greetings to acting Permanent Secretary and Director of Education Glenn Francis lauded the efforts of these teachers who as he said, ‘have dedicated their lives to nurturing the islands youngest minds.’

Early Childhood Education Month as the celebrations have been dubbed is usually held during the month of June each year. Looking back on the now tenth year celebrations, we were reminded of the third year which ran under the theme Young Children: Heroes in Our Community.

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Education Officer Early Childhood Inez Thompson officiated the ceremony beginning with the disclosure of the theme “Explore, Discover, Grow, Enrich” and announced that it was the tenth year that the Ministry of Education was honoring practitioners in this sector. She articulated her own belief in the old adage “encouragement is half of laborers pay”.

Almost as usual the month celebrations had begun with a church service and this year the staff, parents and children worshipped at the St. John’s Anglican Church.

Each Centre chose a day to showcase the activities the staff and children participate, this year under a theme of their choice. On each eventful day, the other Centres visit and engage themselves in the activities put on by the particular centre.

Before all twenty-seven staff members were appreciated with tokens, compliments of the Ministry of Education, Glen Francis told them: “We meet on another occasion to celebrate the efforts of this outstanding sector, of all the workers in this sector. I know there are a lot of hard workers in this sector I have seen them at work, workers who are absolutely dedicated to the education safety and the development of our youngest and I dear say even the most vulnerable of our children.”

“I know that the future development of our young people is impacted by the quality of education that they receive at this level, I know it and government knows it,” he said. “But yet of course within the existing structures and processes and rules including DFID rules, it is enormously difficult to adequately reward the workers of this sector for the value they bring to education of our people.”

Francis as he continued is feature remarks, went on to say: “I know government does not do you justice for the hard work and for your efforts day after day and what one does miss sometimes is how come you’ve stuck with it, there’s some of you who stuck with it twenty years that’s a lifetime thirty years that’s a generation and through all the challenges that you face every day you’ve stuck with it.”

Special awards were given to the following persons: Mrs. Elizabeth Lee – 22 years of service:– 1975 – 1997;

Mrs. Henrietta Lindsey known to many as “Miss. Sissie” for her initiative for starting Early Childhood services in 1970 – 1973;

Mrs. Madge Donoghue – 16 years of service in the private sector:– 2001 – 2017;

Mrs. Frances Riley – 22 years of service: – 1970 – 1992;

Mrs. Ursula Irish for over 25 years of loyal and dedicated service to the Early Childhood Sector. 

The six public centres, along with Aunt Madge Child Care, participated in the Exhibition which was held on Wednesday, June 28 and Thursday June 29, 2017 at the Montserrat Cultural Centre. Quite a number of persons from various communities visited and were really impressed with the items that were on display.

Fun Day should have been held on Friday June 30, at the Blake’s Football Field, however, because of the inclement weather, this was postponed until Wednesday, July 5, it being the culminating activity for the Early Childhood Month.

In 2010 a TMR reporter asked management if there was anything that came out of their 3rd year of early childhood celebration that needed improvement, Dr. Burns stated “we could do with more financial support…” This year that question was just about the same.

But Mrs. Thompson in her opening this year had said, “We have another opportunity to demonstrate our appreciation for the hard work and commitment of those who assisted in the development of something that we can be proud of and are beneficiaries of today.”

Quoting scripture, she said, “In the Book of Joshua 24:13 (from the New International Version) – So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant, this tells me that we are blessed to be beneficiaries of good gifts. In the words of John Adams before any great things are accomplished a memorable change must be made in the system of education to raise the lower ranks of society nearer to the higher.”

Click to view more pictures