Minister of Education and Culture Myron Walwyn has questioned whether the British Virgin Islands (BVI) has been getting value for its investment in the education system, and whether people have been using their education to build or to destroy the territory.
The minister, who urged residents to help improve the value of education locally, also stated that it sometimes appears the BVI was doing better when it had less in areas such as academic qualifications.
“During this week, I ask that we take some time to critically look at our education system and ask ourselves the question: How do we get more out of our investments in education? Without a doubt, we have more educated people than we have ever had in the history of the Virgin Islands. But I must ask if we are better equipped to solve our problems.”
“At times it appears as though, when we had less, we were more intuitive, courageous, industrious and were somehow able to engineer the impossible with the hopes of making the Virgin Islands better than it was at that moment. And somehow we prevailed; and today we are here,” the minister said during the launch of Education Week at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park on Sunday, March 12.
He further asked: “Are we as adults teaching our young ones to accumulate degrees in search of higher pay scales and not higher morals? Are we using our education to solve our problems or create more problems? Is the Virgin Islands indeed being served by all of us? Are we using our education to build up or tear down our country?”
Walwyn, in the meantime, acknowledged that the education system alone cannot fix all of the territory’s social ills. But he expressed hope that his ministry’s policies and plans will help provide solutions.
“I believe a fundamental part of education is to teach all of us about shared experiences, to connect us to the lives and times of others. I believe we have to get over the concept of teaching our children dates and formulas to remember, but go behind those dates and formulas, and to get our young people to question more and understand how those dates and formulas relate to their lives in the present day.”
“I believe that we should continue on our quest to make education more relevant to the times that we are living in. And our curriculum must deliver to our students, information that will actually help them throughout their lives,” added Walwyn.
He also touted the National Citizen Service as one of the initiatives that teaches students that their time and talent should be used for the good of their society.
“Our communities also play a role in ensuring that our education system adequately serves our youth. A strong community is characterized by resilience, discipline and continued successes. Strong communities share stories of success, and growth and development are evident. Shared stories teach us as a society that everyone is an important part of the community,” Walwyn further said while he made a special appeal to the various communities.
“As we reach out to the community this week, we anticipate that there can be more awareness of the important role and value that our communities play in the development of our young people. We ask for your continued support in helping to raise well-educated young people with good moral constitutions.”
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