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VI ‘Education System’ in shambles

Jacob E. Edwards sat with his millennial colleagues, Sonniel O. Pickering and Kevon S. Lettsome, on Tuesday July 10, 2018 with Claude O. Skelton Cline, on his radio program Honestly Speaking. Photo: Team of Reporters
Temporary tent structures set up for students in the West End area that uprooted and damaged by strong winds. Photo: CNS
Temporary tent structures set up for students in the West End area that uprooted and damaged by strong winds. Photo: CNS
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Jacob E. Edwards, sat with his millennial colleagues, Sonniel O. Pickering and Kevon S. Lettsome, on Tuesday July 10, 2018, with Claude O. Skelton Cline, on his radio program Honestly Speaking.

The host asked the gentlemen “what would have been their priorities post Hurricanes Irma and Maria?”

In response, all three gentlemen, dialogued about their concerns but the common thread was their focus on Education and that the system, is essentially in shambles at present.


Mr Edwards said, “…our education system is in need of some serious attention.”

He explained that “our children continuing to be under tents, is unacceptable,” picking up on a comment that was made by Pickering.

He had described the current school system as “putting our children in a corner.”

He went on to say, “the children are tired, the teachers are tired and the environment is having a negative impact on our children…The children have not been given the time nor the space to be debriefed post the trauma of the hurricanes.”

According to Pickering, “Some of them are still without proper shelter, food and clothing…Their emotional and mental care have not been adequately attended to.”


He noted too, “…we have simply stuck them in a ‘corner’ and call it school.”

While not assigning blame, he suspects that plans are being worked on but those plans need to come forward.”

Another priority for Mr Edwards, as he explained, was the need to get his generation involved in the recovery process.

He stated that since they will have to be the ones to take over and pay for the recovery, they need to be meaningfully involved.

“The people need to be reminded of their power…Leadership needs to listen,” he expounded.

“They are too quick to give young people solutions when they (the leaders) don’t even understand the cry…Come down to where the young people are,” he said, “that’s humility.”

According to the programme's host, Skelton-Cline, in these very challenging and transitional times for our Territory, all voices should be heard.

After listening to these millennial brothers, in the person(s) of Jacob, Sonniel and Kevon we should all should have reason to be hopeful.


19 Responses to “VI ‘Education System’ in shambles ”

  • wize up (13/07/2018, 12:05) Like (36) Dislike (5) Reply
    talk talk talk and more: what are the solutions to all the concerns we just keep talking and talking about: were are the ideas(some of us live with problems every day; no need to remind us) what steps will be taken to fix issues.....nothing personsonal and nothing political: I want to vote for problem solvers(I know that the elephant is in the room because the elephant is on my foot!!!)
  • Serious (13/07/2018, 13:29) Like (53) Dislike (41) Reply
    this man the wear a big a Gucci chain and ten rings to go around children. What he really want them to aspire to be seeing him coming work dress that way.. some people just need stay in them lane.
    • Totally Agreed (13/07/2018, 17:57) Like (32) Dislike (32) Reply
      @Serious, there you go. Looking like a real fool. He is not so ready. Exactly, who is going to take this man serious with rings on every finger. I agree, he need to stay in his damn lane and don't swerve. Only now he knows the school system is in shambles? Fake A**.
      • Let's see (13/07/2018, 21:12) Like (10) Dislike (10) Reply
        He is talking the talk, now let's see if he is going to walk the walk. Errrr, I highly doubt it.
      • Right. (14/07/2018, 17:08) Like (17) Dislike (8) Reply
        Right! He’s a guidance counselor portraying an image as a “thug”, with his big Gucci link and pendent, rings on each finger. Seriously? There’s a time and place for all that bling. And as a guidance councelor you’re definitely not dressing the part. If you want these children to take you serious you first BE A ROLE MODEL, dress accordingly, “ACT” accordingly etc. stop acting like you grew up in hard times and around the corner when your mom raised you in church and provides for you.
        • AND? (15/07/2018, 17:13) Like (15) Dislike (2) Reply
          It’s funny how he has already achieved being a Role Model without meeting your and others standards of a “typical” Guidance Counselor. Regardless, he’s great at what he does; He’s relatable. The kids love him.
    • SMH (14/07/2018, 19:50) Like (20) Dislike (2) Reply
      @ Serious, and so what if he does? How does that affect his work and his being qualified to speak on evident issues? Can’t his students learn that they too can successfully attain their desired career, while HONESTLY AFFFORDING any luxury life has to offer? Really?

      Thank God the love and respect he receives from THOSE WHO MATTER OUTWEIGHS the negativity JEALOUSY-DRIVEN INDIVIDUALS, like yourself, throw at him.

      P. S. It sounds like you need to be counseled by him. When you’re there, don’t forget to ask him to give you a little wear of the chain ;).
  • Jake the Snake (13/07/2018, 13:39) Like (38) Dislike (2) Reply
    It's good when our youngsters are engaged in the happenings of our country especially young men. My question though, Is our education system in shambles or the infrastructure? Can we have some alternatives to what currently exist? Remember; to criticize is easy but it would've been good to hear some solutions as it pertains to accomodating our students differently.
    • Snakeman (13/07/2018, 20:29) Like (24) Dislike (19) Reply
      Not just infrastructure
      The whole thing buddy
      Pay closer attention
      The tent situation is only a dent
      If education is the key
      Find the lock then check me
      This scene right here is not impressing
      In fact on this path ... it's downright depressing
      A painter makes things look real good on the surface
      We need a leader that leads with a purpose
      Parents and real teachers are the key
      The rest of you players retire now b
  • E. Leonard (13/07/2018, 17:09) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    The VI/BVI is a tiny resource-poor territory. Outside of sand-sea-sun as most sister regional countries have, its key resources is people/human capital. It must investment in human capital by investing in education. Education is a key factor in economic growth and development. Sustainable economic development is a function of a strong educational platform, ie, investing in human capital. Education enhances productivity and creativity, enhances economic and social progress and improves income distribution.

    Moreover, globalization has rolled ashore; strong education is key a factor in Virgin Islanders competiting in the global economy. The VI currently has a service-based economy with tourism and financial services as the twin pillars of the economy. Gazing forwarded, a knowledge-based economy must be on the agenda. A national education plan must be developed; the national education plan must get priority funding and supported with an implementation plan. A plan by itself does nothing; it must be implemented and not allowed to become expensive book ends. Education in the VI must become a national addiction; the BVI must become a learning nation. It must train, educate and recruit the best and brightest to continue to build and sustain growth and development. Encouragingly, the vision of these young Virgin Islanders creates positive hope for our beloved VI.

    • learn (16/07/2018, 09:04) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
      To become a learning nation, you have to want to be one, and you have to commit the necessary resources. Education takes hard work, a concept unfamiliar to many around here, as well as self discipline, even rarer these days of instant gratification.
  • The Speaker (13/07/2018, 18:31) Like (11) Dislike (3) Reply
    None of these guys can be leaders (not saying that they can’t be voted), they only point out the situation where are the ideas for fixing the problems. They come with the same tactics that myran uses. We know the children our the future. They want to be leaders but all they do is talk about what’s wrong with the current government come on you three guys grow up under myran as the head of education and have no solutions or is politics just going to be a easy cash grab?
  • wize up (13/07/2018, 19:27) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    the majority of conversations in today’s BVI is pure political hard talk; our own people continue to speak poorly about each other simply to score political points: some of you might recall the days when our people joined hands and hearts and we had a beautiful community: politics was far different than now, those we voted for shared ideas and soulutions with each other and the focus was the benifit of Virgin Islands people: in today’s Virgin Islands money have made some of us so divisive and our conversation have changed
  • anegada (13/07/2018, 20:22) Like (24) Dislike (3) Reply
    You speak of education system being in a shambles ... indeed you are on to something. However on our end, your sister island to the north we don't join in on your infrastructural bemoaning of the system but more of the entire makeup of the organization if that's what one would call it. On the outside our school is pretty good... strong, ( no drinking water but hey.. you folks in education know that right ? Plus how can we complain ... not only do we have a teacher selling ice cream, ice pops, chubby sodas and chips from her classroom but wait! The principal also sells stuff from her office... oranges and apples?? No... candies and cookies are a go!! Parents! Did you know?

    I'm wondering if someone could help me out here ... teachers and principal are paid to be at school, late, don't send notices home to parents as they should ... can't account for where funds go for fundraising events ( oh wait! Didn't Principal say something last meeting about Educ Dept not sending enough supplies, toilet paper etc and that's where all our money has been going
    • The one (20/07/2018, 09:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ seem to have a problem concerning the school on Anegada. However, I am sure that you are never to a PTA meeting and if you are, you do not voice your opinion, much less visit your child's teacher for updates. When its snack time, what do your child pull out? The same cookies and candies that you say the 'teacher,' is selling. If I am not wrong, I think the article above is referring to the deplorable ways in which our students are forced to learn. Send your child to school with healthy snacks. Visit your child's teacher. Talk to him/her in a descent manner. Stop the bashing of teachers. We are a place where students learn. Not a baby-sitting agency.
  • bbc (14/07/2018, 00:20) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    You know who Skelton need to have on his show ? The two youths who used to have the talk show on cbn now those youths used to point out the problem and give solutions
  • Shambles (14/07/2018, 05:01) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
    All of us in shambles. We have been totally devastated as a people and what we have now are a bunch of schizophrenics hoping that the invisible man that we talk to will make everything perfect soon. Talk Talk Talk clueless inside the box. The few who know what's going on...VI Landers Expats including Whites are too coward to speak out so the elephant in the living room gets bigger and bigger while our psychosis becomes chronic. Why don't we all just scream for ice cream...chill to f..k out and try to get back in touch with reality.
  • Outsider (17/07/2018, 10:02) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The children of the BVI were tramatizd by the hurricanes. The failure of the government to provide them with a safe and healthy learning environment have added to the psychological problems of these children. The children whose parents were able to get them out of the BVI will be the only ones with a healthier mental state of mind. I would consider spear heading a campaign to rebuild a school in First District if government is not involve and all the construction workers and electricians in the district would volunteer their time and talents.
  • Hmm (19/07/2018, 12:04) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    The education system is in shambles. Students are not in the frame of mind for school especially since the school term was dragged out until july 20th the facilities are uncomfortable

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