Carnival 2018 was a definite success. Stakeholders and spectators alike share the view that many improvements were visible this year, but of course, we must continuously explore opportunities to improve our carnival product, ensuring that it continues to be representative of our culture and
that it serves as a top attraction to boost visitor arrivals.
The success of our carnival season cannot be attributed to any one particular stakeholder or event; it is the collective result of all stakeholders playing their respective roles and all events adding to the sum total of the Spice Mas experience.
To the winners of the various carnival events, hearty congratulations to all of you. You gave your best and the judges have spoken. From Soca Monarch to Dimanche Gras; from Queen Show to Panorama; from J’ouvert to parade of the bands and Monday Night Mas, the mere fact that you participated, means that you have played an invaluable role in showcasing what Grenada’s Carnival is all about and keeping our culture alive.
Sisters and brothers, thousands of visitors flocked to our shores for the festive season.
Immigration officers are the first point of contact for persons arriving in Grenada and from all reports, they are true ambassadors of Grenadian hospitality. Immigration officers must create a fine balance between upholding the law and being welcoming to returning nationals and visitors. I must commend them for the excellent manner in which they execute their duties. The efficiency they demonstrate in the line of duty must be replicated across the public service.
Carnival reached its crescendo over the last few days and I must acknowledge the role of the Royal Grenada Police Force in maintaining law and order. I commend the Acting Police Commissioner, Edvin Martin, for his leadership, and the entire rank and file of the RGPF, for effectively policing all the major shows and keeping incidents to a minimum.
In a very astute song some years ago, one of our veteran calypsonians, Black Wizard sang - when the carnival is over, we still need a brighter day. Government is quite cognizant of this reality and is well-poised to ensure we realise that brighter day for all of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
Our immediate focus is preparing the 2019 budget.
Sisters and brothers, in just a few weeks, students will be returning to the classroom for the start of a new academic year. What better way to start than with the encouraging news that Grenada outperformed its Caribbean neighbours in 23 of 30 areas in the 2018 CXC (CSEC) examinations. Chemistry, Physics and Biology are highlighted as three of the areas in which we outdid the rest of the region. It is quite heartening that the pass rate for students sitting the examinations this year increased to 70.5 percent, up from 67.36 percent in 2017. It is also encouraging to see students all over the, tri-island state, at both public and private educational institutions, performing well.
Congratulations to all students, their teachers and principals, parents, education officials and other stakeholders for the collaborative effort it would have taken to achieve such success. We applaud you, but at the same time encourage you to keep striving for even greater success.
The CXC (CSEC) results show that non-traditional subjects such as Industrial Technology, both Mechanical and Electrical, as well as Technical Drawing, recorded either perfect or very high pass rates.
Our investment in youth is also evident through the school books programme. This year, Government invested the sizeable sum of $2.6 million into the purchase of new books.
Sisters and brothers, this is an era of renewed hope and invigoration; we have a growing economy and increasing opportunities. As a people, we must continue to be disciplined and industrious, strengthening this foundation, both for ourselves and future generations. Challenges are inevitable but not insurmountable.