The Need To Invest In The Island???s Youth Mooted

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Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, presents General Secretary??of the Barbados Workers’ Union, Sir Roy Trotman, with an award at the launch of the Productivity Council’s youth workshop.??Looking on is Associate Consultant at the Council and Coordinator of the workshops, Calvin Husbands.

A Government minister is calling for a re-think of this island’s school curriculum to include an innovative component; a move that should lead to less students being marginalised in and out of the classroom.

Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, made this observation today, while addressing the Productivity Council’s workshop held under the theme: "Tips for Improving your Personal and Professional Productivity," at Hotel PomMarine, Marine Gardens, Hastings, Christ Church.

In expressing concern about the marginalisation of some of the island’s youth despite the academic achievements of some of their peers, she implored teachers to be more creative in their lessons’ delivery.

"If we in our school system would allow for more initiative … and grade them by a different standard … then we would see more from our young people," Dr. Byer Suckoo said.

She further stated: "When the education system, our lending agencies, schools and businesses can put a value on innovation, then we would not have so many marginalised young people."

The Minister also noted that there were scores of young people who were unable to obtain a student loan to attend university or to establish their own business because they could not secure the necessary sureties to acquire financing.

"I think that we have to change the structures in which students learn and in which they are expected to work, flourish and establish their businesses.?? We have to adjust that structure to allow for them to maximise their potential," Dr. Byer Suckoo stressed.

She also urged business leaders not to discredit the creativity of the island’s youth. "In cases where some young people do not have the requisite educational or professional attainments, their potential as a repository of good ideas must not be ruled out.?? It doesn’t mean that we can look at them and determine that they cannot produce anything of value to this nation," the Minister underlined.

Dr. Byer Suckoo contended that young people must be given the opportunity to "explore ideas that would place Barbados on the map".

"We have to stop thinking about youth enterprises as small businesses that would hire one or two people. While every community needs to develop the resources within, we must realise that our young people also have ideas that can take our country forward," Dr. Byer Suckoo pointed out.

jwilson@barbados.gov.bb

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