De Gouverneur Toespraken

Terug naar Toesprakenjan 31, 2011

Education is sure to bring you “Something Good, Something Better”

Delivered by His Excellency E.B. Holiday during his work visit to the Milton Peters College

Good morning boys and girls,

How are you doing? I do hope that you are as excited about my visit to your school as I am. In fact it is more accurate to say our school after all it was my school long before it became your school. Namely together with my peers, I was one of the first groups of pupils to attend Milton Peters College, when it opened in 1976. August this year our school will celebrate 35 years educating the youth of St. Maarten. I believe that that is an educational milestone which deserves national attention. Attention that should translate in further improvements for and at our largest secondary school. After all the education of our youth should be the highest good on our island.

That brings me to the purpose of my visit: I am here to discuss the importance of education with you. I shall do so by addressing three questions.

The first is: Have you ever asked yourself why you go to school every day? Or should I say why your parents send you too school every day? Which one of you will like to tell me why you go to school every day?

The simple answer is to get an education. However, as you may have learned by now, nothing about education is simple, not even for the brightest among us. I say this because the true answer lies in the meaning of education.

Definition of education?

The second question is: Have anyone of you ever asked yourself what education means?
Well if you look in the dictionary you will see that education is defined as the process of gaining general knowledge, developing the power of reasoning and judgment, and preparing oneself for life in general. Thus as you attend classes do remember that education is a process that takes effort. It does not matter how bright you are. If you are to be a good student you will have to study. If you want to be a good basketball player and score 30 points a game for example, you will have to practice for the game. Ask Michael Jordan. Similarly, if you want to pass your exams your will have to do your homework and prepare yourself. So if you are not doing that I urge you to do so! If you do not, your lack of preparation will catch up with you sooner or later. And you will end up paying a high price.

What is the purpose of education?

That brings me to the third and final question which I wish to discuss with you this morning, namely; what is the purpose of education?

While reading and preparing for this visit I learned that the answer to this question has two sides.
The first side of the purpose of education is about self improvement. Education helps you as individuals to develop and progress, intellectually, physically, spiritually and emotionally. It makes it possible for you as individuals to live a happier and better life. As our world get more complicated people without education have it more difficult because in our modern world you need skills to get work, and you need to work to pay for the things you need to live. In that way education is real wealth. Education helps you to understand the way the world works and that in turn makes you more confident when you have to do something, which helps you to be a happier person, a happier individual.

The second side of the purpose of education is that it helps to build a better society. Through your education you are being prepared and you are getting yourself ready to help move St. Maarten, our community forward.

Based on this, it shows that each of us have a double purpose in life. One developing ourselves and two bettering the world we live in. The tool to do this is education. I advise you to make use of your time at Milton Peters and listen to your teachers, to get your education, for it is the best tool your can have in life.

Nelson Mandela said it like this and I quote: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.

Thus If you come to school with any other weapon put it down and take up the search for the tool, for the weapon of education. And if you gather in a gang quit and make your activities at Milton Peters College your place to gather and learn. Let us all be proud Alma Matas of Milton Peters College

As I look back at my three years at Milton Peters College starting almost 35 years ago, I look back with pride at three wonderful and memorable years. I learned to play basketball in the Gym here; it is my favorite sports to this day. The foundation for my Career was largely formed through the knowledge I gained here: This is where I was introduced to among others: “Handelskennis (Business), Wiskunde (Mathematics) and Staaatsinrichting (Government Organization). These subjects together with a solid and good education in the Dutch and English language are tools that I carry with me to this day.  These tools have helped to prepare me for the function of Governor of St. Maarten which I fulfill today.

It is my hope that you will do the same in your journey for education. Take it from me as a past student of Milton Peters College, that Education is a journey which is sure to bring you progress or simply put, education is sure to bring you “Something Good, Something Better” as you go through your life.

Thank you!