Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
High school dropouts will from this year be given the opportunity to earn a High School Diploma within months, without having to attend night school for an extensive period of time. This, through an initiative by the Ministry of Education and Culture, which will be launched on October 15.
Making the announcement today, Monday, September 10, Minister for Education and Culture, Hon. Myron Walwyn said this is being undertaken in order reduce unemployment levels, especially among young people. He was addressing a Professional Development Meeting at the Eileen Parsons Auditorium at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC), which was geared towards discussing strategies for the upcoming school year.
The Ministry, he said, has “recognised, particularly through the work done by the Youth Employment Services in the Ministry of Education, that a number of young people who are having difficulties finding jobs do not possess a high school diploma.”
The Education Minister went on to state that the ministry recognised, particularly through the work done by the Youth Employment Services in the Ministry of Education that a number of young people who are having difficulties finding jobs do not possess a high school diploma.
He explained that, many of them where the students who attended the institution at Baughers Bay before it was transformed into the Virgin Islands School of Technical Studies.
“We cannot afford to have so many of our young people without a high school diploma, as it will stunt their growth in so many areas of their lives. While we do have the Alternative Secondary Education Programme, or what we commonly call night school, we need something more. We need a programme that can meet our students where they are and that can provide another pathway to getting their high school certificate, rather than having them complete night school for two or three years,” he affirmed.
As such, the programme—commonly referred to as the GED in the United States—will be facilitated by way of weekly tutorials through the Learning Hub.
“The instructions will be given in the four core subjects of Mathematics, English Language, Social Studies and Science. Examinations will be administered twice a year in February and October, and if those candidates pass the exams in these four areas, they will be awarded a high school certificate. I see this programme as being helpful to persons in the sister islands who could not make it to Tortola to attend night school,” Hon. Walwyn shared.
The opportunity will also be extended to inmates of Her Majesty's Prison as part of the rehabilitation programme among other persons.
"I see this programme as being helpful to persons in the sister islands who could not make it to Tortola to attend night school. I see this programme being helpful to persons who work in the privately owned daycare centres who do not have a high school diploma. I see this programme being helpful to the inmates in Her Majesty's Prison as part of the rehabilitation programme there. I see this programme being a second chance for those persons in our community who did not take high school seriously or had other challenges that deferred their goals," he outlined.
Teachers in the Territory will be executing the weekly tutorials,” Hon. Walwyn further disclosed, saying, “We will be calling on some of you teachers to assist with the weekly tutorials and will be providing an honorarium for your efforts. The more persons we have in the Territory with a high school diploma, the better it is for their personal development and the development of the Virgin Islands.”
Persons desirous of enrolling in the programme are asked to contact Mrs. Connie George, the Chief Education Officer, Dr. Laverne Challwell-Brewley, the Deputy Chief Education Officer or Mrs. Lelia Burke, the Examinations Officer.