As we strive to partner with our youth, to better our world, I urge you to embrace our cultural tradition of: "It takes a village to raise a child". We each have a role to play in our students' success: government, schools, parents, the community and especially the students themselves.
Students are urged to strive to do their best from the beginning, as your success is for 90% determined by your attitude and 10% hard work.
You success will be determined by your strength of character, the level of respect you show for yourself and others, the ability to control your impulses, your compassion towards your fellow man, and the ability to treat others fairly.
You must know who you are, and what you stand for. You must believe in yourself and take the necessary steps to reach your goals.
Parents and schools are encouraged to do their part to facilitate our students in achieving their highest potential. Parents are encouraged to set standards for their children and to provide structure in the home as children must get the required night's rest, nutrition and attention in order to be able to perform optimally in school.
Government and schools are doing more each year to provide for the academic, physical and artistic development, and social-emotional health of our students, including healthy breakfast programs for students who need it.
Teachers have the unique opportunity to positively influence our students with patience, love, compassion, respect, and dedication.
Together we will strive in this year to provide better opportunities to meet the needs of our special needs students, be they gifted or challenged.
The business community and the community at large must also play a role as a part of the village, as we create a culture of progressive, positive learners in building our country St. Maarten.
I make use of this opportunity to wish all students, teachers, management, staff, parents and guardians a successful and productive school year 2012-2013, Minister of Education, Culture, Youth & Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs concludes her back to school message.