August 14, 2022

Rethinking Caribbean Education

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destinations-567x384By Ryan Peterson From Caribbean Journal

Consider going on an adventure towards a new destination in which you don’t trust the pilot, the flight attendant does not understand that you are thirsty, and she keeps telling you to put on your seatbelt – never mind that you were just informed that there will be a deviation in your itinerary. How is that for an adventure?

For over two decades, and increasingly so with the rise of the new millennials, or the “missing generation” as they have been coined in the Caribbean, the scholastic achievements of the youth have become an annually recurring theme.

Declining high school graduation rates, increasing numbers of school dropouts, low mobilization into tertiary education, and the all too well known “brain drain” are by no means new phenomena in the Caribbean.

These debates have raged on for quite some time — as I recall that my generation was also “underachieving” — based on the belief that something must be “wrong” or “amiss” with the youth if they can’t get with “the system”.

As we celebrate International Youth Day this week, calling for the engagement of youth in the sustainable development of the Caribbean, it is quite ironic and regretful that still too often the visions and voices, and the passions and perspectives of the youth are not systematically integrated and intimately involved in national and regional development programs.

Despite several attempts and initiatives across the region, engaging the youth in and for their development still seems like an exotic, far-away destination.

Explorations across the Caribbean for well over a decade have shown that our systems for youth development and education are o

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