Minister of Energy and Energy Industries and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Stuart Young, visited the Standard Five students of Holy Faith Preparatory (St Bernadette’s) March 17.
The Standard Five students welcomed the Minister with a warm rendition of their School Song, which was followed by his interactive speech, and a Q and A segment.
Young advised the students to be calm, as the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) approached on March 29. “In life you should never panic, everything will be okay,” stated the Minister. He asked students about their choices and disclosed that he was a past pupil of Holy Faith Prep (St Monica’s) and reminisced about playing football against St Bernadette’s. Young also attended St Mary’s College.
Students were then given the opportunity to ask the Minister questions. Here are just a few.
Twelve-year-old Noah-Andrew Edwards asked, “What is your definition of good governance?”. Young explained that good governance must take place everywhere.
“For good governance to work the right decisions must be made with the proper procedure at all levels. There are no shortcuts and no favours.”
Eleven-year-old Charlotte Newton-Forrest asked, “You have been a practising attorney since 1998. I would like to become a Member of Parliament, which career path should I take? What should I study in Form 4/5 Convent and at the university level?”
“According to our Constitution there are no qualifications to become an MP. You must be over 18 years of age, of sound mind and be a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago. Additionally, the individual should not have dual citizenship. Electing people from different backgrounds helps to create more inclusivity with regards to law-making,” elucidated Young.
“You attained a black belt in Shotokan karate, do you have any tips for a karate kid like me?” asked 11-year-old Silvero Noah De Silva. His reply: “Stay focused, karate teaches you discipline, and discipline is very useful in life.”
The final question came from 11-year-old Amy-Leigh Valentine, who asked about his Ministerial portfolio. “If you are given the opportunity to move to another Ministry which Ministry would you choose and why?”
“When I first started in 2015, the Prime Minister chose me. He has the authority to make those changes. In the many places I’ve travelled to, I am known as the Minister of everything. I am willing to serve anywhere I am placed because I am in this for children like you. I believe in Trinidad and Tobago. If you are in the capacity to serve, serve anywhere. I am okay as Minister of Energy. In this capacity I represent T&T.”
The Q and A segment ended with a vote of thanks given by the Standard Five Creative Writing teacher, Tenisha Sylvester. Afterwards, the students along with the staff of St Bernadette’s had the opportunity to take photos with the Minister. Young also autographed students’ items and wrote individual messages of inspiration to each student.
The Minister’s visit came after the Standard Five class accompanied by the Principal and Creative Writing teacher visited the T&T Parliament September 8, 2022.
The 90-minute tour was led by Communications Specialist, Melissa Belgrave, and comprised visiting the House of Representatives, the Senate, and viewing the art display in the Rotunda. — Tenisha Sylvester