As the Virgin Islands continues its recovery and development efforts following the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, Honourable Myron V. Walwyn, has sought to actively engage secondary school students of the Territory in the recovery process by launching an initiative that provides young people with the opportunity to lend their voices to the proposed development process of the Territory over the next seven to ten years.
The initiative is open to grades 11 and 12 students in public secondary schools and forms 4 and 5 students in private secondary schools of the Territory. Each school should be represented by a team of 5 students from the grades and forms mentioned above to study the Government’s proposed recovery and development plan for the Virgin Islands that is in circulation and use it as a template to then create a recovery plan that they think would properly represent the way in which the young people of this Territory will like to see the Territory redeveloped.
Each team will be required to submit a summary or synopsis of their plan to the Ministry of Education by February 5, 2018. The teams will then be required to present their overall plan to an audience and panel of judges that will comprise of key stakeholders in the recovery effort on February 8, 2018.
The winning team will be selected and their plan will be used as the model document that will see all participants of the competition coming together to further perfect the winning plan before it is presented to the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, Hon Myron V. Walwyn, who will then present it to Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Dr D. Orlando Smith for its consideration in the final recovery plan for the Territory.
Students will be judged on:
Innovation, demonstrated creativity and originality of their plan/idea
Viability of their plan
Quality of their presentation and clarity of ideas, and
The winning school will receive $10,000 that will go towards any project that the students deem essential to the further enhancement of their school.
Hon Myron V. Walwyn believes that this initiative will give the young people an active voice in the redevelopment of the Virgin Islands in a meaningful way.
“ Our young people are very important stakeholders in the redevelopment process and their views must be taken into consideration in the overall redevelopment plan,” Walwyn stated. “Whatever we do at this juncture will either be a benefit or a detriment to them and so we must keep them engaged.”
Persons wishing to view the Recovery and Development Plan can do so by visiting the Government’s website at www.bvi.gov.vg.