Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 10, 2016 (SKNIS): Heads of Department and senior supervisors within the public service weighed in on the draft Federal Youth Policy on Tuesday (February 09) at an inter-ministerial review at the Ocean Terrace Inn.
Vernon Connor, Advisor to the Minister of Youth Empowerment, chaired the three-hour discussion and took the twenty plus participants through the draft document which was produced in 2013. Topics covered included the Rationale for a Youth Policy, Imperatives and Strategic Goals, Policy Implementation, and The Way Forward.
Mr. Connor said Tuesday’s review was important as the Department engages a wide cross section of stakeholders to gather opinion on the goals and plans identified in the proposed document.
“The Minister, Honourable Shawn Richards, has indicated that he wants it to be done right,” he noted. “Not by the Government itself but BY the people. It’s a policy, which he wants the young people of St. Kitts and Nevis to be totally involved in so his first mandate was for us to get the entire nation’s youth involved in [shaping] this document and finalizing it.”
High school students have also been engaged in the revision. Last Friday (February 05), a team from the Department of Youth Empowerment interacted with student council officials at the Verchilds High School and the Charles E. Mills Secondary School. The conversation continued on Monday (February 08) with students at the St. Christopher Preparatory School, Cayon and Saddlers Secondary Schools.
“The sessions were productive and informative,” said Senior Youth Officer, Pierre Liburd. “The students committed to the process and promised to engage their peers and provide feedback by the end of the month.”
The meetings with students continue on Thursday (February 11) at the Washington Archibald High School and on Monday (February 15) at the Basseterre High School. Mr. Connor said forums will also be organized in Nevis to collect the views of the youth there.
An international stakeholder has expressed interest in partnering with the Government to assist in strengthening the draft Federal Youth Policy. Owing to the extensive consultations planned, officials predict that the time lime to complete the review may run into the third quarter of 2016.