NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (September 2, 2013) — Parents of the St. James’ Parish have been given another opportunity to have their children exposed to the development of their fertile minds. Premier and Minister of Education in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) Hon. Vance Amory, made the statement as part of his address at a ceremony to mark the official opening of the Combermere Pre School on September 02, 2013.
According to Premier Amory, the Combermere Pre School, which would be temporarily housed at the Franklyn Browne Community Centre at Camps Village, would give the teachers of the institution an opportunity to make their mark.
“The important mark which you should see yourselves as having the opportunity to make, is to make this pre school the most vibrant, the most dynamic, the one which anyone who comes and visits, whether to evaluate or just to pay a casual visit, can say this is a school where good things are happening,” the Education Minister said.
Fifteen three and four-year-olds were the first students to be enrolled at the new early childhood centre and while he addressed their parents, Premier Amory encouraged them to give their full support to the institution. He also made a plea for other parents who live in the area to take advantage of the facility, which he said would serve as a feeder for the St. James’ Primary and the Violet O. Jeffers-Nicholls Primary schools.
“Here is an opportunity to begin with fresh minds, a fresh institution to make a fresh beginning…If we want our children to be the best and we want them to have the best opportunity, then we must join hand-in-hand to make it so. That is my charge to all of us that we join hand-in-hand to make this school a success.
“This facility has a great future whether in this location or a new location…If there are any of you that know persons from the borders who would like to have good pre-school education or those who are sending their children to other pre schools, let us ask them to send them here to Combermere so the numbers can grow,” he said.
Meantime, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Mrs. Lornette Queeley-Connor said the establishment of the school ranked highest on a scale of historical importance for the St. James’ Parish, adding that for the past few years, parents of the area have had to bear the brunt of suffering with little or no choice for early childhood programmes for their children.
“With the closing of the Butlers Pre School many years ago and the Newcastle Pre School more recently, attempts at sustaining an early childhood centre in this area have been unsuccessful. Parents have had to journey with their children as far as the east is from the west, from Gingerland to Charlestown, to access early childhood education.
“Those who were not so minded had to keep their children at home, clearly, denying themselves the chance to gain employment for themselves and denying their children the opportunity of widening their scope for early stimulation and socialisation,” she said.
The Permanent Secretary of Education pledged the Ministry’s support in ensuring the success of the institution and registered its intention to provide the same convenient, high-quality service which is enjoyed by persons in the other parts of the island.
“The Ministry of Education has come to the rescue of the people in this area and has filled the need, with the support of the Nevis Island Administration, to have an early childhood centre established in this area…I want to take this opportunity to thank all those parents who have been so patient with us.
“To the new staff, lead teachers [Melissa] Pemberton and [Sharika] Benjamin along with their support team, thank you for being of such readiness to take on this herculean task. It is never easy being the first to lead a new pack. All eyes will be watching you but with the help of the Almighty God and the many supportive parents, we know that all will be well…Long live the Combermere Pre School!” Mrs. Connor said.