'We did it'
Parliamentary representative for Christ Church South, John Boyce, has argued that the Democratic Labour Party has ensured that the young people of Barbados were the bed rock of the country’s continued development.
Boyce was speaking in the House of Assembly earlier today as that Chamber continued discussion on the National Youth Policy Resolution.
The MP said: “The future of our nation lies squarely in how our young people see our development and the role that they can best play in working in this development framework.
“I am comfortable with the fact that the large majority of our young people are focussed, are organised, look forward to education, look forward to not only primary and secondary education, but tertiary education, look forward to a professional career and then indeed look forward to giving back to this country which we hold so dear.”
Boyce reminded fellow parliamentarians that the Democratic Labour Party has blazed a trail in Barbados in this regard. He further reminded the House of Assembly that the DLP has championed the question of access to education, improvement of that access, as well as to further training with the establishment of free secondary education in 1962.
“This was an important step in terms of Barbados’ development because it unleashed upon the Barbadian economy a new opportunity among young people who would have been otherwise disenfranchised under the existing regime of payment of school fees. This is a cost on the state which we will never resile from as a government,” Boyce said. Boyce said the DLP administration was fully committed to ensuring that primary, secondary and tertiary education were properly funded.
He acknowledged that the family unit was at the centre of the social development of the island’s children, and maintained that the DLP has a proud record in this area.
Boyce pointed out that children only spend about six hours in the educational institutions, but spend most of their time at their homes.
He said: “The DLP as a government has been very clear in pointing out to Barbadians as we deal with this most urgent deep world economic crisis, that we recognise that Barbados is not only an economy, where we have to get our fiscal programmes right, where we have to get our balance of payments right, but we are also a society. In that case, we have to balance what we do on the fiscal side of business with what we do on the social side of our programme.”
Boyce recalled that one of the first actions of the DLP administration was the introduction in 2010 of the free bus rides for all school children. He noted that this facility was extended to tertiary institutions and anyone who is a member of a registered learning institution in Barbados.
The Christ Church South MP noted that with the establishment of the Constituency Councils provision was made for the participation of the island’s youth. He gave the assurance that the councils were impacting on the constituencies and he suggested that Government needed to keep the country’s young people occupied.