NASSAU, The Bahamas — Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Development the Hon. Loretta Butler-Turner said the development of a local craft industry other than straw work has not yet been fully tapped into and is open to all regardless of age.
Speaking at the opening of the Ministry of Labour and Social Development and Ministry of Education Penn/Pratt Co-Education Unit’s 11th Annual Craft Show, Thursday, April 14, Mrs Butler-Turner said the schools’ students prepared a wonderful display of talent, some of which, if channelled in the right direction can take them far in life.
“We have in our midst some budding business owners and artisans,” she said.
“It is my hope therefore, that students will continue to expand their talents in this regard.”
Mrs Butler-Turner also told the students to continue along the path of self-development and self-control, and continue to make progress in becoming productive citizens who will make a positive contribution to the continued development of The Bahamas.
She also thanked Inez Johnson, the principal of the Penn/Pratt Co-educational Unit, as well as the staff for continuing the tradition of holding the annual event to showcase the many and varied talents of young persons who attend the Unit.
“I appreciate the challenges you face as you seek to develop the minds of the young persons who reside at the Simpson Penn and Willie Mae Pratt Centres and the special dedication required in this unique setting,” Mrs Butler-Turner said.
“It is not easy but you have accepted the challenge to help shape the lives of these young persons in becoming productive citizens.”
Ministry of Labour and Social Development officials, students from various government high schools and the Centre for the Deaf attended and participated in the opening ceremony, which was held under the theme “Self Empowerment through Entrepreneurship”.
Ms Johnson explained that the two-day exhibition being held at Simpson Penn School showcases the steady growth of the students’ skills in agriculture, culture, crafts and home economics.
“As we move forwards in the 21st century, we must prepare our students to face the challenges in this large global village. They must become self-sufficient and skill oriented to become marketable to they can realise their dreams and goals of becoming productive citizens,” Ms Johnson said.
The goal of Penn/Pratt teachers is to do whatever it takes to tap the potential of each and every student that enters this institution, she explained.
“Our students worked diligently using their hands and minds to create beautiful craft items and they have transformed and enhanced their surroundings,” Ms Johnson said.
By Llonella Gilbert
Bahamas Information Services