Penal Primary students dress for their dreams

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

FUTURE STARS: Cole Joseph, ten, left, and Aidan Khan, 11, both decked off in football gear, while Alejandre Montano, ten, and Caleb McIntyre, 11, right, wear pilot uniforms during career day on Friday at the Penal Presbyterian Primary School. PHOTO BY VENESSA MOHAMMED – Venessa Mohammed

Students of the Penal Presbyterian Primary School are focused on achieving their dream jobs.

On Friday the school hosted its first career day since the covid19 pandemic, and 391 students dressed in the uniforms they hope one day to don in professional fields.

Among these students was Standard Five pupil Zachary Ragoonath Singh, 12. Decked in a white laboratory coat, safety goggles and a makeshift identification badge hanging from his neck, he hopes one day to become a lab technician. It’s a dream he’s had since he was eight, following in the footsteps of his cousin.

JAWS: Students look at the rows of sharp teeth in the jaws of a Bull shark which was on display at the Ministry of Agriculture booth during career day at the Penal Presbyterian Primary School on Friday. PHOTO BY VENESSA MOHAMMED – Venessa Mohammed

“I get very interested in it and that’s just my brain telling me to go into that sort of job,” he said. “You get to do experiments in different sorts of things. I want to dig in more into it and see all the kinds of things with it.”

He has his parents’ support, and said he is staying true to their advice.

“They say once you put in your hard work, you’ll be able to do anything you want to do, (so) I’m trying to put in all the hard work.”

Standard four student Caleb McIntyre, 11, had his eyes set on the skies. Dressed in a pilot’s uniform with a captain’s hat and iconic aviator sunglasses, he hopes to see the world from above.

“It just feels good when you’re flying and you’re in the air and…you’re observing all the clouds and you see the habitats.

Jernisha Thomas, 11, salutes while sitting on a TTPS motorcycle during career day at the Penal Presbyterian Primary School on Friday. PHOTO BY VENESSA MOHAMMED – Venessa Mohammed

“I just have a feeling that one day I want to be a pilot and I would love to be a pilot when I grow up.”

He said he fell in love with flying while on trips to Florida and Tobago.

Dressed in scrubs with a toy stethoscope around her neck, a syringe and other medical implements in her pockets, Felisha Lafon, nine, wants to be a veterinarian.

“I like animals and I like helping them,” she said.

Having two dogs, Precious and Felix, and a rabbit, Cloud, as pets, she said she enjoys taking care of them.

To help equip the students with the knowledge of their respective career fields, the school had 32 organisations and professionals set up booths.

Among them were people representing chefs, police, the Defence Force, Fire Service, apiarists, make-up artists, optometrists, psychologists and jewellers.

Traffic Wardens Mr Boodoo, left, Ms Adams and Ms Levine answer questions during career day at the Penal Presbyterian Primary School on Friday. PHOTO BY VENESSA MOHAMMED – Venessa Mohammed

Principal Lynda Nandlal said the career day, themed Today’s Passport to the Future, was an initiative in keeping with the Education Ministry’s cultural transformation push. She said it’s the third such event hosted by the school.

“We give the children a direction, a pathway to motivate them to follow their dreams at a young tender age,” she said. “It is a means of opening their minds and getting the children, from a young age, to see the direction they want to go to.”

Parents were invited to attend the career day in the afternoon so they too could get guidance to help their children achieve their dreams.