Farewell for 72 teachers
July 30, 2010
Farewell for 72 teachers

The Ministry of Education on Wednesday said thank you and happy retirement to 72 educators{{more}} who retired last year or are retiring this year.

“Your years of dedication and commitment have been a veritable labour of love and our nation is richer for the efforts you have made through the years,” Minister of Education Girlyn Miguel said during an appreciation ceremony at the Methodist Church Hall.

The retirees for 2009 comprise 26 teachers and six headteachers. The retirees this year comprise 30 teachers, eight headteachers and one principal, along with Joseph Mapp, Dean of the Technical and Vocational Division of the Community College.

Miguel, a former teacher and headteacher, told the educators that their contribution to St. Vincent and the Grenadines “is invaluable”, saying they have directly affected the quality of life of people of all ages.

“You have touched and influenced the lives of generations of young people, motivated and inspired them to use their innate talents and abilities to the fullest and become responsible contributing citizens of the world,” she said.

She quoted former president of the United Sates, John F. Kennedy, who had said the nation’s progress can be no swifter than its progress in education.

Miguel told the teachers and administrators that they have been “an integral part” of the “quantum leap” the education system in SVG has made.

“I, therefore, urge you to look back with pride and satisfaction, and look forward in anticipation and optimism,” she said.

She, however, said the teachers’ retirement did not mean the end of their productivity or contribution to nation building.

To Miguel, their retirement represents “a changing of the guard, a changing of roles, a shift in paradigms, from being an employee to becoming self-employed.”

“You are those teachers of experience and wisdom, those who can still guide others through the difficulties of understanding their roles and responsibilities in education,” Miguel said.

Miguel encouraged the teachers to use their retirement to travel, read, and learn new skills even as she thanked their families for their patience.

“Thank you for your patience in lending them to the system, thank you for your contribution in making their lives on the job a success,” Miguel said.

The retiring educators, some of whom were unable to attend the ceremony, were each presented with a gift.

Also addressing the ceremony were Chief Education Officer Lou-Anne Gilchrist and Advisor to the Ministry of Education Laura Browne. (KXC)