Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
When Virgin Islands History is introduced as a subject in the public secondary schools from September, there will be the inclusion of knowledge of African people prior to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, disclosed Hon. Myron Walwyn, Education and Culture Minister.
Speaking at the Freedom March and Emancipation Service ceremony held on Sunday August 5, Minister Walwyn said they have gotten the support from the African Studies Klub (ASK).
"I am also pleased that we have gotten the support from members of our local African Studies Klub and that history will now include the knowledge of African people prior to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade that brought us to these beautiful shores. But it also involves the knowledge of our European ancestors as we must not forget them in the mix...This will give our young people a holistic outlook of our history and I am confident it will teach them more about the resilience of our people and thus encourage them to strive for excellence in all that they do," the Minister stated.
For the past three years, the Afircan Studies Klub led by Mr. Gilbert Trott holds a Tossing of the Wreath ceremony in memory of African ancestors who died along the slave trade route across the Atlantic. The ceremony is religiously held adjacent to the cruise ship dock and is now an annual event in celebration of Black History Month in February.
Meanwhile, Minister Walwyn at Sunday's event said history being taught in school is vital.
"In September Virgin Islands History will be taught in our Secondary Schools, and I anticipate that our young people will now have a structured opportunity to learn about the development of our islands as well as the names of our very own heroes who have made our progress this positive," he said.
The Education and Culture Minister said history tells them that, like persons across the world, their ancestors had strong faiths and called on the name of the Lord throughout their past, during the late nights through early morning prayer meetings.
"It was during these times of fellowships at churches that bonds of our community were strengthened. More importantly the biblical principles taught to us kept our society in harmony. Those are just a few reasons why it is important for us as we develop as a nation to always remember from whence we came, and to whom we should always give the glory," he stated.
Hon. Walwyn expressed the view that reviving their cultural identity is one of the solutions to the current problems they are facing.
"A central part of our heritage as Virgin Islanders is our connection to God. As a Territory we cannot get too big, too advance and too far ahead as who we are as Virgin Islanders to know when to call on God. The challenges that plague our society presently, tells me that as a community we need to call on God, not only in times of need, but also to give him the glory. As we continue to reflect on our freedom, let us remember that our freedom comes with responsibilities," Minister Walwyn advised.