The faces of a large cross-section of the country’s future; its young people- beamed with joy and excitement at the Antigua and Barbuda Recreation Ground this morning as they represented over 20 thousand students from schools around the island
The students along with government officials and other high-ranking officers assembled to witness and take part in the National Youth Rally; a staple event of the 41st’ Independence celebrations. The youth Rally returned after a lull caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Youth Minister Dean Jonas told those gathered that the government will continue to provide the support that the young people need to ensure that their future is secured.
“We will also ensure that we provide support to be the building blocks of our future, to be the best that you can be…” he said.
Jonas also encouraged students to the unit to get the job done, saying with unity becomes strength.
“If you are only standing on one leg and leaning on one side when you are lifting that box of textbooks, it is likely that you will become unsteady and unstable and you will fail at your task. You must ensure that you are in a stable condition at all points in your life, or if you become unstable, you must know what to do and where to get the help to correct it,” he said.
He also admonished students to focus on their spiritual and academic education, saying these two will give strength of character, knowledge, and wisdom.
“Focus on working hard while still taking time to serve others, particularly those in need,” Jonas admonished.
Meanwhile, Chidindu Ohaegbulam, the top student in this year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate, examinations delivered the feature address.
The former St Joseph’s Academy student emerged at the zenith of the country’s performances with 23 subjects.
“I want you all as students to culminate within yourself, a reason to want to learn. A reason to want to do well. Your teachers and tutors are there to be your guide…” he said.
The National Dress Day and Flag Day will be celebrated Friday and an evening of drama will return to the Dean William Lake Cultural Centre on Saturday.
Events continue with a thanksgiving church service on Sunday at the Cathedral of St John the Divine and a gospel concert at the Antigua Recreation Ground that evening.
Schools Panorama is back on the lineup and is scheduled to take place on October 31.
The grand finale of the national ceremonial parade and awards will take place on the morning of Independence Day and the food fair throughout the day on November 1.
Barbuda is very much a part of the Independence celebrations. On November 1, for the first time, there will be a food fair on the sister aisle. The celebrations on Barbuda will continue with a ceremonial parade starting at 3 pm.