Press Statement by Minister Rhoda Arrindell

The following is a copy of the press statement by Honourable Minister of Education, Culture, Sports & Youth Affairs Ms.Rhoda Arrindell, during the Council of Ministers Press Briefing held on Wednesday January 26th 2011. 

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Madame Prime Minister,

Colleagues in the Council of Ministers,

Members of the Media,

Residents of our beloved St. Martin,

Good Morning.

Let me start by announcing that this Friday, January 28th 2011, all the offices of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs will be closed all day to the public due to the Ministry’s Conference being held on that day.

The conference, which is being held under the theme: "The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports – A service organization," is a form of retreat for all staff of the Ministry. It is aimed at outlining and fine tuning our vision and mission as a new Ministry, as well as to have everyone on the same page so to speak as we build a service-oriented Ministry that will be responsive to the needs of the public.

The keynote address will be delivered by the Hon. Mario Michel, a former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Human Resource Development, Youth and Sports of St. Lucia. Judge Michel currently serves as Judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and is assigned to the High Court of Justice in Antigua and Barbuda where he is the Senior Judge on a three-member panel of judges.

I hope members of the press, that you have all received your invitations to the Conference. We will be happy to see you all there.

Also yesterday I had the distinct pleasure of welcoming our Cultural Ambassador, Nicole de Weever back home for a well-deserved vacation. Nicole is a featured dancer in the Tony-Award winning Broadway musical, FELA! I applaud her ground-breaking efforts in the dance arena, which I’m sure will serve as inspiration to the many other talents we have not only in dance but in all the other artistic fields.

Today, the Compulsory Education Law public information campaign comes to town at the John Larmonie Center. I will be there personally, as usual, to answer questions about this important law. The information campaign has become a kind of inter-active town-hall meeting during which participants from the various neighbourhoods have not only posed questions but offered some very good suggestions which we will be incorporating into the implementation of the law. I wish to remind everyone again, "Compulsory Education: it’s not a choice; it’s the law."

That is it for now. As usual, I look forward to answering whatever questions you may have for me. I thank you.