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Gov’t targets youth development, introduces Asian scholarship

Gov’t targets youth development, introduces Asian scholarship

The BVI government is focusing on youth development, especially through educational opportunities, as the territory seeks to recover from the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the two category-five hurricanes that rocked the territory four years ago.

In his budget presentation on Thursday, November 11, Premier and Finance Minister Andrew Fahie said the government will continue to promote scholarship opportunities for local students to pursue their tertiary education here and abroad.

“For the first time, we have introduced the Asia-abroad scholarships which is a three-way partnership between the Virgin Islands Government, elite universities in Asia, and the private sector to provide Virgin Islanders the opportunity to study in Asia,” Fahie said.

“We believe once our people continue to be supported in educational advancements, we will continue to work and improve our economy and be able to reduce and eliminate poverty. The surest way to elevate yourself is by making sure you educate yourself,” the Finance Minister said.

Roughly 50 locals get tertiary scholarship since last year

The Premier said since last year, his government has provided approximately 50 Virgin Islanders with the opportunity to pursue tertiary education through government grants or scholarships.

Also, the Finance Minister said his government will continue programmes through the Be YOUth Centre, launched in March of this year, to help the development of the territory’s youths.

“We endeavour to develop programming and life skills, job preparation, digital literacy, introduction to technical and vocational skills and entrepreneurship,” Fahie said.

Digital literacy and sports

He said a digital literacy programme will be implemented in schools across the territory by March 2022 as the territory seeks to become ‘smarter’ and more modernised.

Another area of development the Finance Minister touched on was youth development through sports. He noted the Ministry of Youth Affairs managed to start several sports leagues in the territory but some were not able to be up and running because of COVID-19. However, he said the government is committed to improving the sporting infrastructure in the Virgin Islands to help the advancement of sports.

“In recent years, our sportsmen and women have reminded us of our potential in sports; $400,000 is allocated for the continued rehabilitation of the multi-sports complex so that our athletes can have quality facilities for talent development,” Fahie said.

The rehabilitation of the sporting complex, according to the Finance Minister, is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.


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