PHILIPSBURG–Minister of Education, Youth, Culture and Sports Silveria Jacobs congratulated Teen Carnival Queen Shakainah Arrindell-Pompier and Senior Carnival Queen Shanice Powell, who she said were front runners for capturing the crown in her mind based on their performance during the Queen Show pre-events.
However, she took note of the fact that the show finished close to 4:30am on a school night. “The Ministry was informed that a number of pupils did not attend school on Tuesday, I would like to remind parents that your first responsibility is for your children to make the most of their education,” said Jacobs.
Speaking at the weekly Council of Ministers press briefing on Wednesday, she said, “Keep your children close during the jump-ups and parades, and ensure they attend age-appropriate events.
“We are a community and we need to come together and be the village that raises the child. As Minister of Youth, I believe we must ensure our youth are not over-exposed to nor engage in the excesses associated with alcohol consumption and sexually suggestive conduct, which seems to be accepted as the norm.
“Many youth do as they see rather than what they are told. Therefore, we must lead by example and display behaviour we can be proud of down the line for generations to come. As parents we must also set limits for our children and enforce them.
“Ensure that your children respect themselves and the laws put in place to protect. They must also be taught to respect others, including those who were entrusted with the task of enforcing and upholding the laws for a safe and prosperous community.”
In her Carnival address Jacobs said, “We as adults, must lead by example. Do not encourage drinking and negative behaviour in our youth. Make sure your children attend school regularly during this time and keep up with school assignments and responsibilities as well. That should be your and their first priority.
“Do not use this time to deal with petty feuds or create scenes. Instead, build relationships and support our artistes as they get the opportunity to showcase their varied talents. We did get reports that students would threaten each other in school by saying that they can get suspended, but they will solve their problem with the other student during Carnival.”
She recalled that, as a youngster, after a certain time she would have to go home because the next day would be a normal school day. She hopes that parents guide their children by making sure they attend school the next day, as the holidays are near. Jacobs added that this week is still a school week.