Press Release

Ministry of Education, Youth Affairs and Sports
Release Date:
Tuesday, 22 March 2016 - 3:00pm

Teachers and students at the Eslyn Henley Richiez Learning Centre dressed in brightly coloured socks yesterday March 21, to raise awareness for Down syndrome.

The day was also observed as World Down Syndrome Day under the theme, “My Friends, My Community.”

Principal, Mrs. Vansittart Huggins said that Down Syndrome International invited everyone across the world to wear socks to raise awareness of the congenital disorder.

Mrs. Huggins said, “The school held a short ceremony and introduced the six students at the school with Down syndrome. These students were presented with brightly coloured socks and a personal post card.”

General Manager of Dolphin Discovery, Mr. Emmanuel Gilbert also made an appearance at the school and gifted students with a trip to the Dolphin Discovery where they will swim with the dolphins.

Mrs. Huggins said the students were delighted with the announcement and expressed gratitude to Mr. Gilbert and the Dolphin Discovery for granting the students the opportunity.

World Down Syndrome Day is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012.

The day is observed annually on March 21, to raise awareness of what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how people with Down syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities.

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21.  Instead of the usual 46 chromosomes, a person with Down syndrome has 47. Anyone can be born with Down syndrome, and race or economic level are not factors in inheriting this disability.

Persons with Down syndrome can attend school, work, make decisions that affect them, have meaningful relationships, vote and contribute to society in spite of the disabilities.  They are entitled to quality educational programmes, a stimulating home environment, good health care and positive support.

The Ministry of Education and Culture continues to support the Eslyn Henley Richiez Learning Centre as it continues to include every child through inclusive education.

For more information, persons should telephone the Eslyn Henley Richiez Learning Centre at 468-3701 ext. 2519.


Bria Smith

Information Officer II
Department of Information and Public Relations (GIS)
Telephone: 468-2747