Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 04, 2016 (SKNIS): With the establishment of a new playground, students of the Saddlers Primary School (SPS) will be able to exercise their rights to play and learn.
The playground, which was handed over to the SPS on Thursday, March 03, was a project that was undertaken by Cohort 4 of the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) Jenkins Leadership Course for Beginners and Experienced Managers. Darryl Lloyd, Deputy Chief Education Officer, described the handing over ceremony as special.
“It is in fact a momentous occasion in which we celebrate the inculcation of a vital resource into one of our most precious institutions of learning,” said the deputy chief education officer, while extending gratitude to Cohort 4. “Through your intervention, we demonstrate that we uphold the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the beliefs of UNICEF as we see it, that most students are able to exercise their rights to play, expression, assembling together, and the development of their personalities.”
Mr. Lloyd noted that child-friendly environments are critical.
“A play area, as innocent as one may appear, is integral to the development of a well-rounded individual,” he said. “Through access to play areas such as this one, students develop large and small motor skills and are able to garner vivid imaginations through free-play. Students learn invaluable life skills surrounding areas of team work. It is through play that students first begin to hone critical thinking skills and problem solving skills.”
He further stated that play areas also facilitate the emergence of the soft skills that are extremely valuable to all. He noted that these areas are indispensable assets and all should endeavour to play their part in order to ensure that children have access to play.
Lloyd noted that a playground is expensive and the Ministry of Education needs partners in order to succeed with its mission. He said that the Jenkins Leadership Group has not only joined the ministry in its pursuit, but it has risen to the occasion in a tangible manner through the presentation of such a noteworthy donation.
Marva Pinney, a member of Cohort 4, gave an overview of the leadership project and noted that the course lasted 18 weeks, as they developed the social competencies.
“The leadership training began on November 02, 2015. The course capstone, a pre-requisite for graduation, required members to complete two projects: a community project and a business project,” said Ms. Pinney. “The Cohort met on January 06, 2016, to brainstorm ideas for the community project and the majority of ideas that were generated involved undertaking projects in and around Basseterre, so the consensus was to select a project from the countryside of St. Kitts. It was a great suggestion, as there are several persons in the Cohort from these parts.”
Work on the Saddlers Primary School Playground commenced on Saturday, February 06, 2016, and was completed on Saturday, February 27. The group of dedicated leaders and experienced managers built and installed a tyre tower, added picnic benches, installed a balancing beam, built a seesaw, created rocking tyres and installed new swing seats.