|The Hon. Hensley Daniel Minister of Health on Nevis|
CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (May 15, 2007) -- Minister of Health in the Nevis Island Administration the Hon. Hensley Daniel, lauded the establishment of a Sickbay at the St. James Primary School which he said, brought in line the connection between health wellness and education and regarded the facility as an important element in the education of children.
The Minister made the comment while he made brief remarks at the opening ceremony of the Sickbay on Monday May 14, 2007. The project formed part of a practicum by one of the School's teachers Mrs Shea Wilkin, in her pursuit of a BA Degree in Educational Administration from the University of the West Indies (UWI) Distance Education Programme.
"I regard the sickbay as an important element in the education of children because they have to be healthy in order to learn and so I to want to join in commending Mrs Wilkins for the establishment of the Bay...
"I am sure the people who work at the hospital in the Outpatient Unit would be happy to know that there is a sick bay over here because when there is no sick bay, it adds to the traffic in the Outpatients Department at the Hospital. So the more you can help us to reduce the load at the [Health] Centre which is the main facility [here], we would be more than happy for that... Rest assured of our Ministry's support to do this, I did communicate this to Mrs Wilkin when she started the project," he said.
In a project overview, Mrs. Wilkin said the project was conceptualised after she became enlightened of the ever changing roles in education and the benefits of building a school community in the course Current Issues in Educational Administration.
"I came to realise that our schools need to cater for the varying needs of the student population which it serves. Consideration must not only be centered on academics but also on the physical and health aspects as well. Just like any other enterprise, the school is indeed an organisation that serves people in a community and it is imperative that the quality of service be second to none," she said.
Meantime, Dr. Bronte Gonsalves, Supervisor for Mrs. Wilkin, spoke of the rational behind the practicum and explained that it was designed as a means for the UWI to determine that the student had, through the exercise, shown that she could put the theory from the courses she pursued from the BA in Educational Administration into practise.
She praised Mrs. Wilkin on her achievement and wished her future success with her continued studies.
"Shea from this point, I can safely say that your analytical skills, your communication skills, the involvement of different sectors of government have assured us that you are on your way to becoming one of our future administrators on Nevis. You have done an excellent job up to this point. May you be as successful with your thesis and hopefully one day we can then congratulate you as Shea Wilkin with the BA Degree in Educational Administration," she said.
Ms. Vertelly Weeks, Principal, in brief remarks regarded opening of the Sickbay as another milestone in the history of the St. James Primary School. She noted that since its inception, many students had made good use of the facility
"I can assure you that it will continue to be a great asset to the school. I want to thank Teacher Shea for her hard work and her vision and this is the first school to have such a thing as a sickbay. Congratulations on your achievement," she said.
President of the Student Body Council Ms. Taquila Prentice who spoke on behalf of the students noted that when the idea was introduced, they actively assisted and raised funds through a successful bake sale.
She said the students were willing to assist in the upkeep of the Sickbay whenever they were called upon to do so.