Our Readers' Opinions
November 23, 2012
Youth Affairs Division disappointing

Fri, Nov 23, 2012

Editor: Congratulations are in order to the youths who received awards on Tuesday, 6th November from the Youth Affairs Division. Though late, the division was able to bring off the awards if nothing else, in November rather than the scheduled month of October.{{more}}

We like to brag and boast in this time of things happening for the first, under this administration, creating history. Well history was created by the division this year for hosting only a watered down version of youth week/month to just the youth awards. This has never happened since the celebration began in the eighties, and we say “things nice”.

We find it hypocritical, however, that a number of the speakers at the event, including the Minister, were just uttering words to sound nice, rather than calling a spade a spade. Youths are fed up of these utterances from government officials without action.

The acting youth officer sounded as if she did not have a welcome speech prepared, for instead of fumbling around with words to explain the competency standards, it would have been more appropriate to explain why the division was unable to do anything meaningful for the year. Hypocritical.

The remark from the NYC president, representing us as affiliates, was null. How could a president of the organisation which was partly responsible for the establishment of the Youth Division in 1985 make a remark of one minute, congratulating the awardees, without noting the fact that the NYC had not been officially informed of the awards, for submission of community group nominations; and knowing fully well that the community organisations were omitted from the 2012 awards? It is either that the president is lacking youth development knowledge or just hypocritical.

What happened to organisations which continue to work with youth annually? We note the work of South East Development, Sion Hill, Green Hill, ASCO, CHLP, CYEN, Environmental Attackers, ROBDA, Rose Hall, Diamonites, Barrouallie Sports Assn, GEMS, Richmond Vale, Urban Youths, among others. Are none of these groups worthy of recognition by the youth Division for 2012, or is it just hypocrisy?

The featured speaker did well, even though she is somewhat divorced from actually sharing some of the experiences she has gained with other youths and organisations. She must be encouraged to do so instead of just preaching to the youths. Action speaks louder than words, Miss Diamond, and all others who think that after their qualifications from university, community and youth development work is below them.

Hon. Frederick Stevenson should be ashamed of what he had to read out as work of the youth division for the year, with the main words being “relations with”. Nothing practical was accomplished by the division which is often faced with a change of Minister every two years, and to make matters worse, the youth officers of eleven years were assigned to another Ministry. We find the Minister to be just hypocritical, knowing fully well that youth work and youth development are not given the priority they deserve. Why was he stating that he was awaiting a visit from the NYC executive, when he could request one through the youth office. The office, however, has other agendas through the YES programme, as directed by his cabinet. How hypocritical.

The 30 plus persons who are now doing the BS in youth work must not do so because they need another qualification to their name. They must want to do such to continue youth development work in the country without fear or favour, now that the NYC is struggling. The youths need your serious, dedicated involvement and advocacy. This could be further enhanced if only the Public Service Commission acknowledges from the youth work certificate to the BA/AS as entry level qualifications to the service.

Finally, to the minister, as a former youth activist, stop being a hypocrite and ensure that the youth division does what is to be done for the nation’s youth.

Disappointed Youth