Graduating students of Cedar Grove Private School were advised yesterday that no matter how far they excel in their life to always be courteous, respectful and charitable.

Delivering the feature address at the graduation ceremony at Naparima Bowl, San Fernando, yesterday, attorney Kevin Ratiram said it was easy for someone who is privileged to forget the underprivileged in society.

Speaking on the theme ‘Go into the world and do well, but most importantly, do good’, Ratiram said doing good is as simple as being courteous and respectful.

Ratiram, president of Rapidfire Kidz Foundation, said: “Many of you will go on to become scientists, doctors, professors, university lecturers and scholars, but no matter how high you reach in life never ever forget that courtesy is paramount.”

Also encouraging the students to be charitable, he made reference to the Venezuelan migrant situation in the country.

“It amazes me to hear some of our Trinidadian brothers and sisters cursing the fact that Venezuelans are in Trinidad and Tobago today…I am not saying lock, stock and barrel bring the whole of Venezuela here, definitely, we cannot do that to our detriment and surely there are some negative elements within them, but these are people who cannot get food, who cannot get medicine, who cannot get an education. They come here only to live a better life because if they remain over there many of them will not live and we curse that because it ent have enough for we here.”

Principal of Cedar Grove, Shaheed Allaham presents Abhilasha Jaichan with the Principal Award

He recalled that some Trinidadians also protested when aid was sent to the people of Dominica two years ago after a hurricane caused havoc, destruction and death on the island.

“Be charitable, regardless of how big or how small your charity is,” he advised.

Ratiram also noted that children are sometimes pushed into a career that they don’t like by their parents. Parents, he said, especially from privileged families, believe that their children must become a doctor, lawyer or accounts.

“Parents what about if your child has an aptitude of hairdressing, what about if your child has an aptitude for art, what about if your child has an aptitude for fixing cars and they can go out there and be the best hairdresser, the best artist, the best mechanic. Are you going to say that the child has failed and has not done well?”

He said often parents tend to live their own dreams through their children, resulting in many of them spending years imprisoned in a career in which they were unhappy.

Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal, who was also at the graduation, commended the school on its excellence over the years in academics, other areas of school life and community development. He urged students as they enter into secondary school to listen to their parents, teachers and elders and to continue to focus on their studies.

Cedar Grove Private Primary School, Graduating Class of 2019

Original article by Rishi Ragoonath of the Trinidad Guardian