Acting Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, unveling the plaque to officially open the new Female Unit of the Government Industrial School. (Image: C. Pitt/BGIS)

The Female Unit of the Government Industrial School now has a new $2.1million home.

After three and a half years of being temporarily located at the Barbados Defence Force after their Summervale home was destroyed by fire in October 2006, the unit has taken up residence at Barrows, St. Lucy.

Speaking at the opening of the ultra-modern institution last Wednesday evening, Acting Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, said the facility was being opened at a time when there was ongoing public debate about the negative behaviour being displayed by many of our nation’s children.??"It must be remembered that the residents of the Government Industrial School are products of the community and their behaviour would reflect what was happening in the wider community. It [therefore] is evident that the values which we ourselves held dear when we were children are not being readily embraced by a section of today’s youth," he stated.

Noting that today’s youth were being subjected to a wider range of influences, the Acting Prime Minister pointed out that in some cases, these influences, led them to make "poor and costly choices", which adults could no longer ignore.

"…We cannot escape assuming responsibility for addressing problems being faced by our youth.?? Problems like substance abuse; irresponsible sexual behaviour; school drop-out and engagement in violent and sometimes criminal activities, among others.?? The sooner these delinquent children are reclaimed, the better it will be for this country," he charged.

Mr. Stuart, therefore, called for stronger family units to be maintained within the home.??"The heads of many of our households no longer seem able to control children who, themselves, are in need of firm and exemplary parenting.?? Too many adults, whether parents or otherwise, appear incapable of disciplining and managing their charges, even those at primary school age.??They seem to have taken too literally and certainly too far, Isaiah’s statement "a little child shall lead them," he warned.

The facility, which will cater to 48 female residents, includes three dormitories; recreational, visitor’s and admissions areas; a medical examination room; two classrooms; a hairdressing salon; a computer room, dining area, kitchen; close circuit television; a 4000 gallon water storage for irrigation purposes; stand-by generator and a ramp for the physically challenged.

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