Make youth service mandatory – Hinkson

Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) Edmund Hinkson wants teaching of soft skills introduced into the school curriculum and is suggesting the establishment of a mandatory youth service across Barbados.

The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) shadow minister for education made the calls on Saturday at the launch of a training programme designed to sharpen the life skills of young men in his St James North constituency.

The programme, being run at the Sion Hill Community Centre over six weekends,  is a collaborative effort of Hinkson’s non-profit organization, Clarkson Foundation, and the National Initiative of Service Excellence.

Noting that Barbados’ education system focuses on academics, technical and vocational skills, he said “I certainly believe that our educational system does not do as well as it should to train our young people in the soft skills of life.

“Skills that will equip you for the world of work, the world of life; how to deal with persons in personal relationships, how to relate to your boss on the job, your fellow employees.”

Member of Parliament for St James North Edmund Hinkson

The BLP MP pointed out that soft skills training also tutors young people in preparing job applications and personal presentation for job interviews.

Added to these he said are matters of respect for self and others, punctuality and development of self-confidence.

“I don’t believe that our educational systems cater enough or train us enough for these kinds of characteristics that are so important in life,” he said.

Hinkson added, “the time has come for our policymakers to look at some kind of mandatory youth service for young people”.

He said such compulsory programmes are needed to bring back among school children and school leavers a sense of community and a willingness to serve.

“We at some stage had a policy – I don’t think it has been followed through well enough – of voluntary activities in schools,” he said and recalled the years gone by when students had to join school society organizations ranging from the Scouts and Guides, to participating in sports, and becoming involved in junior service organizations such as the Leos and Key Club.

“This is a vital aspect of life, and the expansion of the youth service would be just a continuation of what I am speaking about, volunteerism starting from secondary schools among young people and continuing into adulthood.

“This develops your characteristics, helps to make you a better individual. It prepares you better for the world of work and the wider world of life,” he said. (GA)


42 Responses to Make youth service mandatory – Hinkson

  1. Kelly Scantlebury
    Kelly Scantlebury March 26, 2017 at 8:46 am

    I’m all in for this to happen. It’s not too late. It’s needed

  2. Cherylann Bourne-Hayes
    Cherylann Bourne-Hayes March 26, 2017 at 8:50 am

    Yup a minimum number of volunteer hours in community service activites should be mandatory for graduation.

    • Tessa Trotman
      Tessa Trotman March 26, 2017 at 8:58 am

      Already happens rspca has plenty children there on weekend and it for school leaving certificate. Ark . And so on .

    • Cherylann Bourne-Hayes
      Cherylann Bourne-Hayes March 26, 2017 at 9:27 am

      Is it mandatory in all schools? That is what my statement is saying

  3. Tessa Trotman
    Tessa Trotman March 26, 2017 at 8:56 am

    When during school hours and why everyone is not cut out for this . And what about children who have other commitments pathfinders scouts cadets swimming football karate an so on . Before wanna focus on rewriting the crappy syllabi wanna got . … long stuspe

  4. Ras Unjay
    Ras Unjay March 26, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Ah real jackass thought.

  5. Lennox Hewitt
    Lennox Hewitt March 26, 2017 at 9:05 am

    No man u cannot make it it a choice ever hear bout freedom of association that’s likeu parent want u to be a lawyer but u like cars so u end up a mechanic or body man cause all u gine do as a lawyer make nuff people get lock up but if u end up a mechanic all garageswill want u work fa dum so u rong Hinkson .

  6. Advent Divers
    Advent Divers March 26, 2017 at 9:16 am

    He that is forced against his will,keep the same ideas still…..and as a good old friend of mine (Now deceased) would have said ” Force medicine only good fuh mad cow”

  7. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce March 26, 2017 at 9:27 am

    Life Skills for the youth (14 to 19 yr olds). Brilliant idea. This can be done one or two evenings weekly at the end of academic day.

  8. Trident Black
    Trident Black March 26, 2017 at 9:29 am

    Make it attractive first, then you wont have to worry about mandatory.

  9. Sharon Taylor
    Sharon Taylor March 26, 2017 at 9:30 am

    Blah blah blah every single time I look around! Mandatory for who? We have a lot of well rounded children! Polite, plenty of common sense, goes cadets, could by and sell this “edeat” Hickson, but he want to force these children to go to youth service! What for? They need jobs available to them not youth service! Elections got wunna drunk!

    • Marlissa Matthias
      Marlissa Matthias March 26, 2017 at 9:57 pm

      If u actually read and understand your opinion would come over much much better. …

    • Sharon Taylor
      Sharon Taylor March 27, 2017 at 9:32 am

      Lol at read and understand…. Wunna really like to put down ppl… Why would I send my well rounded children to a mandatory youth service? Tek dat money and continue to supplement free buss rides!

  10. Dave Person
    Dave Person March 26, 2017 at 9:38 am

    Why not just teach relevant stuff at school like basic budgeting and communication. ….

  11. Robin John
    Robin John March 26, 2017 at 9:53 am

    I wouldn’t say mandatory but an option that when looking at a students record in school it gives them a competitive edge when applying to higher level institutions or jobs. Therefore it becomes an incentive. Volunteer experience or community service should be part of a a student’s resume and can be counted especially when you leave school with no experience. There is value in this kind of service as it teaches young people responsibility, team work, service and real world experience. Schools can develop partnerships with local businesses, nursing homes, child care programs, etc where students can volunteer 1 to 2 hours per week after school.

  12. Eddy Murray
    Eddy Murray March 26, 2017 at 10:11 am

    Making Youth Service Mandatory would only help the youth to be more militant.

    • Sade Euzebe
      Sade Euzebe March 26, 2017 at 1:06 pm

      He didn’t say paramilitary service.

    • Eddy Murray
      Eddy Murray March 26, 2017 at 3:29 pm

      You know that, the youth service does do army training.

  13. Randy Bridgeman March 26, 2017 at 10:24 am

    This is a good idea which should be pursued in my opinion. Obviously if it’s ever established on a nationwide basis, there will be need for tweaking/fine-tuning to make it totally accessible and to be efficiently implemented. I’d prefer “Life Skills” as opposed to “Soft Skills” for the title of such a program.

  14. Darren Garrett
    Darren Garrett March 26, 2017 at 10:38 am


  15. Ernesta Catlyn March 26, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Tessa Trotman – the bearer of cold water.

  16. Peter March 26, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Jennifer would say they’re creating more slaves or as her favorite phrase… “More crabs in the barrel.” Tell them Jennifer…,,.

  17. Jennifer March 26, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    I do not know whom this youth service is for, but I know whom it ISN’T for.
    Where you when the CHILD fell off the bed??? And how far did it drop???? No one checked for a concussion and now the children have fainted loosing consciousness. Well to get started with the treatment you can start to put away the effeminate tendencies to raise boys into men.

  18. Jennifer March 26, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Peter – are you trying to be a fly in my ointment??? Well I have a lot of baygon and I am not afraid to use it.

  19. Annette P Carter
    Annette P Carter March 26, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    I thought “soft skills” were the parents’ responsibility

  20. Peter March 26, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Jennifer… Ha Ha ha ha., Baygon nor Bop for that matter Kills flies any longer. Soooo You were that little (black) monkey that was jumping on the ( white man made ) bed. You fell off and bumped your head. Momma (black gorilla) called the (village) doctor and the doctor said…Give her a banana and she’ll That bump on her head knocked out her brain now she’s stupid instead. Be careful with your threats. I know exactly who you are. Just to think I was here sitting by my pool sipping a glass of wine and read your racist sheet.

    • Jennifer March 26, 2017 at 6:48 pm

      Why don’t you peter go and lie in the sun and burn.

    • Jennifer March 26, 2017 at 6:51 pm

      Your people were saying that shyte/rhetoric to our people for years, so this means nothing to me. You start the problems then give the solutions. Strangulate, damage water, poison food, gm crops etc. But you will get your day in the holy court – fu*kers.

    • Jennifer March 26, 2017 at 6:52 pm

      Yes a BANANA not a pinky.

      • Jennifer March 26, 2017 at 6:55 pm

        This is why Trump speaks for ALL of you. All the same ba*tard*.

  21. gsmiley March 26, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    A mandatory program would do a lot of good. Some of you are talking now but when the day comes that one of these lawless youngsters stick you up and rob or shoot you or one of your relatives like a child then you will be begging for it.

    Eddie I agree with you whole heartedly.

    Once you come out of school with no sort of certification and no chance of gainful employment I say enroll such youth in a mandatory program before they gravitate towards the blocks and waste their lives becoming thugs and gangsters and drug dealers with no future depending on their mothers for food and shelter till age 40 and beyond because they have no life skills.

  22. Leon March 26, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    As per jennifer,
    “I do not know whom this youth service is for, but I know whom it ISN’T for”.
    Let’s hear who it is not for. Maybe those who attend(ed) the private secondary schools in Barbados.

  23. Jennifer March 26, 2017 at 7:04 pm


  24. Jennifer March 26, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    Now you can see why these governments, don’t matter who sits in parliament will be able to do anything for you. Because when that beast comes out they will buckle like the old days.

  25. Peter March 26, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    Shucks J. Jennifer girl, I really got you vex. I must have touched a raw nerve. It’s a pitty you’re too old or I would have lay with you in the sun and show you how blacK I am. But alas you’re too ugly too.

    • Jennifer March 26, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      Peter – You touch the same nerve with me that I touch with you. You will never know pig. F*ck off and enjoy your luxury while it last. San Andreas for you all a$$e$. Starting with the pan handle.

  26. Jennifer March 26, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    Peter while you are at it stop stalking me WANKER.

  27. Daniel A Boxill
    Daniel A Boxill March 27, 2017 at 3:16 am

    didn’t we already have this debate 6 years ago?

  28. freeagent March 27, 2017 at 6:18 am

    We had this debate longer than six years ago; we had this debate when the late prime minister Tom Adams was alive and we behaved then how we are behaving now, hence the deviant behaviour will continue.
    Many young people have gone through this training and one can tell the difference in their behaviour and conduct. We Barbadians are too reactive especially when it comes to disciplining our children.

  29. greengiant March 27, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    This will only work if it is applied to all students. I said for years there should be a break for a year between third and fourth form and that year should be spent in the national youth service. When they return to the class room a year later they will be the most disciplined, attentive, and team oriented young people we could hope for. They would be truly equipped to build this littel nation of Barbados sector by sector.


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