Minister of Youth, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo

Minister of Youth, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, has pointed to the St. Michael North Constituency Council’s Youth Assistance Learning Experience (YALE) Programme as proof that the Community Councils were working to create programmes of meaningful value to the development further of the country, especially the youth.

She was speaking at the launch of one phase of the YALE programme.?? The Homework Supervision Project, at the Eden Lodge Soroptomist Village, in St. Michael.?? It begins in earnest this Saturday, January 9, at the Eden Lodge Community Centre.?? The project was conceptualised by council members to aid the youth in the community in their preparation for the upcoming Common Entrance Examination. ??

Dr. Byer Suckoo said she was pleased to see the programme was getting off the ground, since everyone needed to be involved in helping the youth.?? Stating that this generation appeared to have the "decks stacked against it", she noted that every generation had young people who were self-motivated and those who needed help.???? "We must be more involved in the development of our young people," she underscored. ??

Chairperson of the Project Committee of the Council, Judy Jackman, explained that the programme was conceptualised out of a desire to bring a holistic approach to the development of youth in the community, and it would include areas such as sports, the performing and visual arts, skills training, education and religious activities.?? The homework pilot project aspect would, however, focus on building strong educational support for the children and fostering better community ties. ??

"The programme, in its pilot stages, will cater to 50 children within the constituency, between ages eight and 11 years.?? Sessions will be held each Saturday at the Eden Lodge Community Centre from 9:30 -11:00 a.m. for 25 children, and from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for the other 25.?? Instruction will be given by seven young students from the constituency, who will be supervised by trained teachers.?? The curriculum will follow that of the Ministry of Education and the training will focus on assisting the children with any learning difficulties they may be encountering during the regular school sessions," Mrs Jackman said.?? ??

The Chairperson revealed that the Council would be measuring the success of the pilot programme through monitoring and evaluation of the students.

The St. Michael North Constituency Council is one of the first six councils to be established.?? Twenty-four others are expected to be up and running by mid-year.?? They are intended "to bring Government closer to the people, and in so doing meet the needs of the public more effectively and efficiently."


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