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Is Hon Walwyn casting high unemployment blame on teachers?

-said the education system is not preparing students for today’s employment realities
Minister for Education and Culture Honourable Myron V. Walwyn said that the high unemployment among youth in the territory is an indictment against the education system. Photo: VINO
A section of the audience comprising high school teachers that the Minister was addressing. Photo: VINO
A section of the audience comprising high school teachers that the Minister was addressing. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Minister for Education and Culture Honourable Myron V. Walwyn said that the high unemployment among youth in the territory is an indictment against the education system.

He made this remark while speaking at the opening ceremony for a one-week training workshop for teachers on the subject of financial services on March 23, 2015 at the Elmore Stoutt High School.

“What we are trying to do in education particularly with the new subjects we are putting in place, we have to look at the world in which we are living now, not just locally but globally,” he said.

“We have to look at the fact that we have high unemployment among young people of the country and when I look at the unemployment in the country it is sort of a referendum on the education system. It says to me that we are not preparing the students in the way we should for the new world,” he said.

“We are essentially in education packaging something for local [and] global consumption. What is your product? Your product is your students. And you have to package them properly so that people can buy them,” he said.

“If you are in manufacturing and you’re producing something and the package isn’t right, doesn’t look attractive, doesn’t look like a good product, [people] won’t buy it,” he said, using an analogy to explain his point. “It is the same thing with the are the persons who are responsible for packaging those students and if the packaging isn’t right then you have a problem,” he said.

The Minister said that if someone is selling an outdated product when the market has moved on, “you’re not going to get your product sold.”

“Our thinking has to change and the way we do education has to change and education now has to be more relevant to what is happening in the economy and that is what we are trying to do,” he said.

Pressure on Hon Walwyn

However, many have seen Hon Walwyn's statement as an excuse for failing to deliver on his campaign promise that he was going to get jobs for youth of the Virgin Islands- a promise that won him the support of the youth population at the 2011 general elections.

Unemployment among youth, however, is up in the territory.

And as election approaches, Hon Walwyn has been begging the support of businesses to help realise his promise to the many disheartened young people especially who had voted for him with the hope that they would be given employment.

"I ask that you give them a fair chance, mentor them and provide them the guidance that someone provided many of us when we first got the opportunity to earn a living," Hon Walwyn had urged participants of the Ministry of Education and Culture's Youth Apprentices Job Fair exhibition, which opened on Monday March 30, 2015 at Maria’s by the Sea.

It was claimed at the opening ceremony that some 108 youths were in the process of being recruited to 'get their feet in the doors' of businesses in the private sector of the Virgin Islands (VI).

39 Responses to “Is Hon Walwyn casting high unemployment blame on teachers?”

  • fact (10/04/2015, 08:15) Like (30) Dislike (6) Reply
    The question is does the young people want it? Most young people want each and everything to be placed in their laps. Give them fast internet,a bed,food cooked,money,and that is what most want. It is not the system that is failing the students education journey. It is home where the children are not being nurtured into having that discipline and hope. Until the home is organized properly there will all time be problems.
    • Really (10/04/2015, 09:48) Like (1) Dislike (9) Reply
      If what you are saying is true then who are the young local people who are turning up looking work. If what you are saying is so then we won't have an unemployment problem because it is people who are looking work and can't find work is who is considered unemployed. I can tell that you are an expat who is trying to poison the minds of business leaders to not give locals jobs so you and your family and other expat friends can hold jobs which rightfully belongs to locals.
      • @Really (06/05/2015, 23:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        some are the same who stepped off their previous job because the supervisor repremanded them re their tardiness
  • 16 year old (10/04/2015, 08:17) Like (10) Dislike (12) Reply
    All them lies for three years to the youths about jobs that never happen coming home to roast.... I feel for you all.
  • yes (10/04/2015, 08:18) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply

    he's right
    • Forgiven (10/04/2015, 12:18) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      What is he right about? He said a lot of things, all of which cannot be blamed on the teachers. How about the system taking blame for a change? Like helping youth gain work experience. One month of 4th form work experience is not enough for most business. Business should be encouraged to help develop our youths. How fair is it to ask for work experience when one has never been given a chance to work? Please help our youth.
  • no jobs (10/04/2015, 08:24) Like (115) Dislike (4) Reply
    Who is the labour mnister? Please 3 plus long years and nothing
    • maybe (10/04/2015, 10:32) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      Maybe he is trying to say we need to study the more popular job opportunities and try to train more people to confidently fit in to those workplaces. It can be a mistake that can be corrected. We are training the majority to work in offices while other vacancies become available. Train more students in other areas.
    • @ no jobs (10/04/2015, 10:53) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
      This article just got uploaded and you already have over 100 likes? We can see that you have a lot of time on your hands by liking your own post.
  • rewrsdffds (10/04/2015, 08:30) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply

    Is he lying? We need politicians to tell it like it is and are willing to address the issues. We don't need good to great £$%^ that fail the kids in the long run.

  • xxxxxxxx (10/04/2015, 08:30) Like (14) Dislike (11) Reply
    We as young people really need to think and stop being led all over the place by this government. The reality is; not much got jobs and Myron restart this programme well knowing that election is in less than 6 months…gimmick
  • i from here (10/04/2015, 08:38) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    No he is not saying that, stop grabbing at straws!
  • A> FAhie (10/04/2015, 08:39) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    All I can say is WOW!
  • PT (10/04/2015, 08:40) Like (13) Dislike (4) Reply
    Change must come and I think that we need to look at the way the Ministry of Education goes about its business as well. Trust me, the minister might make it sound as though it is mainly a 'teaching' problem but he and his Ministry of Education have fallen short in numerous ways as well. My advice is for him to stop pointing fingers and to work along with all the stakeholders in bring improvements to our education system.
  • just asking. (10/04/2015, 09:14) Like (12) Dislike (8) Reply
    Myrun needs to go trust me
  • tell the truth (10/04/2015, 09:26) Like (8) Dislike (5) Reply
    Hon Myron Walwyn been assisting from day one with the youth unemployment. He is a man with his word and a go getter. Stop hating the man. He has also turn around the education system give jack his jacket.
    • @ tell the truth (10/04/2015, 14:47) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply

      go serve your veg food its your shift from on here with crap

  • ooooo (10/04/2015, 09:28) Like (10) Dislike (11) Reply
    so that $100,000 dinner was wasted? is that what he is saying?
    • No Name (10/04/2015, 14:39) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply

      not wasted but could have gone in the teachers pay check.
  • biden (10/04/2015, 09:32) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
    He too is suffering from "foot in mouth" disease.
  • SUSCIE (10/04/2015, 09:40) Like (23) Dislike (0) Reply
    The same teachers he is blaming have to buy their own stationery to work with most of the children is so rude and don't want to do their work plus some parent have to take blame they don't want no one to correct so what the minister expect to get.
  • poor (10/04/2015, 09:41) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Did barnes see that speech?
  • teacher john (10/04/2015, 10:00) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Myrun has done little for the sister island schools we still have to get materias out of pocket
  • ccc (10/04/2015, 10:33) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    This ball head man blame every one else for his 3 year failure except himself....
  • Truthit (10/04/2015, 10:35) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    When each professional job that our young people can start in is given to an ex path from UK, Austrailia, South Africa, Canada and the else, and this continues to be allowed, what do you expect? Labour needs to look at some of the hiring practices in this country and how some job ads are written to detour locals, only to hear the ex pat on the job say: "I didn't know anything when I came here; I learned on the job." Couldn't our young people learn on the job too?

    Seventeen more orientials on their way here to work; couldn't our young people be having some of these jobs too? Stop the crookishness and face reality and speak the truth.... them bringing in their friends to displace us. It shouldn't be tolerated.
  • ABC (10/04/2015, 10:41) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    First je feeds them, then he throws them under the bus. What a man As for the Cuban, he spends all his time issuing work permits and exemptions and then off to Oil Nut Bay for the week end.
  • Local (10/04/2015, 10:59) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    What being an expat has to do with anything? Are you one of the ill-educated locals that make the rest of us seem incorrectly packaged?
  • Expat (10/04/2015, 11:42) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
    I'm gonna get shot down for posting here, but i have to say something. As an expat that employes people, i can assure you me and other people in a similar position would much, much prefer to employ locally and not have to go through the expense and red tape involved with 'bringing people in' but i'm faced with candidates who are badly educated, have a seriously bad attitude and no idea at all how to make someone want to employ them! They are being let down by their schools, their parents and peers but most of all themselves.

    There also seems to be an issue where everyone wants to work in a trust company, yet office work only suits certain people... Boat charters, Diving, hospitality are all major, major employers in the BVI's but there appears to be no training programmes, or desire amongst the local community to get people working in these fields?

    I have interviewed 20+ people for one position because i was determined to employ and train up locals. I've tried to put in place training programes for my existing staff to help them progress, but the majority, i'm afraid to say, just are not interested. They've got their job, they've got their salary and they know that they are well protected by your, frankly Racist, labour laws so they sit back and take the micky knowing how hard it is to get rid of them again.

    And THAT, my friends is why employers bring in staff from abroad. Stop moaning, stop making out you are victims because you are not. Anyone can do whatever they want, if they put the effort in.
    • Too true (10/04/2015, 12:27) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      Could not have put it better myself.

      To that I would add that surely the function of any Labour Department is to track where the jobs are, and to give feed back to and Educational Department to create educational tracks for people to qualify for those jobs. For years, we have imported skilled trades, but we don't really have a vocational school. For years, there have been jobs in the financial and legal sectors, but we don't really educate our people with the rigors those professions require. Instead, we opt to make our education easy, so everyone who goes graduates, when instead it is a disservice to our youth to do so, because, as many find out when they go on with their studies, their scholastic abilities leave something to be desired. As many can attest, few can write a coherent letter or express themselves cogently. These skills need to be taught and learned early. Sure, it is not easy but school should be a challenge not a walk in the park. There is no justifiable reason why a country with money like the BVIs should not be the leader in education in the Caribbean but that does not seem to be on the government's radar. Essentially, society has abdicated its responsibilities towards future generations by not insisting on continually improving its investment in education.

      Flame away now
    • okay (10/04/2015, 14:46) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      I have seen how you expat treat your expat employees, as a matter of fact I refuse to support a certain establishment because I have seen you in action. So tell the truth! You bring in other people because you care only about your profit margins, you can pay these people what you like, you treat them like scum, and the poor people take it because they can do better.
  • Forgiven (10/04/2015, 12:30) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    How do you define racist in this Caribbean territory?
  • We all know (10/04/2015, 12:30) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply

    Putting stress on parents and students more time in the public school system. Yet have long time moved kids into the public school. They are to good for the same public school that um claimed to have fixed. People are watching you. " you can fool some of the people some of the time but you can't fool all the people all the time. time is coming.

  • okay (10/04/2015, 14:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    All I know is that something is wrong some where, I have worked with younger people, for the last couple years, and it's very frustrating sometimes. I often wonder if there is something in the water that's causing our children's intelligence to deteriorate. It would seem that their ability to reason have grown wings and taken to flight. You literally have to take the place of Microsoft Wizzard to supervise them.
  • bull frog (10/04/2015, 14:49) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The education system has gone down under the walwyn man way down ask cherrie and jugo
  • facts (10/04/2015, 17:29) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Buff frog u speaking good its gone from bad to worst under this gang
  • Well Well (10/04/2015, 17:36) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    I really cannot get over what this man is saying MR MINISTER you was moving so fast trying to do things what isn't working that you wasn't addressing the real problem you think you know everything you should be a shame to blame the teachers MR MINISTER blame your self.

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