‘Diplomas open doors,’ Gibbs tells students at annual awards evening | THE DAILY HERALD

Students with their diplomas at the Soirée des Lauréats.” (Collectivité/Our News photo)


MARIGOT–The Collectivité organised its annual awards evening to reward successful Baccalaureate students in the garden of Hotel de la Collectivité on Friday evening.

President Daniel Gibbs, Senator Guillaume Arnell, Députée of St. Martin and St. Barths Claire Guion-Firmin, Vice-President Valérie Damaseau and Préfète Déléguée Sylvie Feucher assisted with presenting gifts to students largely as an encouragement to continue their efforts and studies to be the best they can be.

“Irma did considerable damage to our schools. You have worked under difficult conditions and this evening I would like to publicly commend your efforts, those of the teaching staff and school principals, to achieve this very honourable result given the circumstances,” Gibbs told the students in his address. “A word for the family too, because without family, you wouldn’t be here. The support of parents is so important.

“I have great respect for parents who are involved in their children’s success, who do everything possible to help them achieve their goals. As parents, we all want to see our children succeed even better than we do. I thank you this evening, because the family foundation is an essential link in the success of life.”

He told students who did not pass this year not to give up and that there will be better days.

“Sometimes you go through failures to meet success. Don’t give up, work always pays off. Rest assured, the elected representatives of this Collectivité are very attentive to your path, to the future of the youth of St. Martin, because you are the future of this territory, you are the leaders of tomorrow, St. Martin needs you,” he said.

“Every year, the Collectivité devotes significant resources to education. We have already committed 2.5 million euros to the post- Irma repair of the 18 schools, and we will spend 9.5 million euros during these summer holidays to complete the major works of roofs, painting, fences, etc. This is a considerable but necessary investment because I hope that the September school year will go as smoothly as possible.

“I know that my Vice-President Annick Petrus in charge of education has not skimped on her efforts and I thank her here.

“We will also renovate all the sports infrastructure under the supervision my First Vice-President Valérie Damaseau. Sport shows us how important it is to develop the collective spirit and unite around a common project. I know that many of you practice a sport, and I take this opportunity to thank the associations and sports clubs that do a great job. We do not say it enough.

“The sports facilities will all be operational between September and November to allow our young people to practice their favourite sports from the start of the school year. As you know, two of our stadiums were completely destroyed. For the next school year, we will focus on Jean-Louis Vanterpool Stadium in Marigot, which was spared. The sports hall is finished, it’s beautiful. It will host school sports and associations from September, while the pitch and stadium stands will be rehabilitated.

“It will be a little longer for Thelbert Carti Stadium in Quartier d’Orléans and Albéric Richards Stadium in Sandy Ground. The demolition of Thelbert Carti’s roof and bleachers is planned in the coming days. Both stadiums will be completely rebuilt, with new infrastructure. The work is considerable and will be completed in 2019 and 2020.

“In spite of the delay imposed by Irma, we continue our efforts for the education of our youth thanks to the modern means which we provide our establishments (Internet access, computer equipment, tablets), but also thanks to the financial means which we allocate each year to the establishments: two million euros for the colleges and high schools, one million euros for the territorial scholarship for higher studies; two million euros for the computer equipment in the schools in 2018; without forgetting the three million euros which we devote this year to the professional training reserved for the unemployed persons.

“As you can see, young people from St. Martin have many opportunities for training both in the general curriculum and in the professional curriculum. Your diploma has opened a door for you. I invite you to persevere in this path, to go as far as possible. Do not forget one essential thing: it is above all for yourself that you work, for your personal development, to succeed in your life. Congratulations, everyone!”

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/78891-diplomas-open-doors-gibbs-tells-students-at-annual-awards-evening