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The real challenge we face! articles from the guardian ,and the journal
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Page 1 of 1Total of 4 messages
Posted by:Feb 13th 2007, 03:45:11 pm
speechwell it depends, who is reading the board?...just a thought cuase I dont really know. But regardless i think that discussion is always good, I want to know what people think, about this stuff or if they even ever thought about it. These articles are obviously taking the Bahamas as a whole and probably reflect nassau, more than Harbour island, but it is a trend briland seems to be following. if brilanders are using the board the discussion should help us find ways to resolve the problems before they become unsolvable. Vistors and homeowners could write to politicians expressing concern, use their contacts to bring artists,educators,athletes or other people to the island, donate books to the library, contibute to EEO, donate a scholarship,...isn't there a section of this website about getting involved in the community out island development fund or something? and isn't Briland modem involved in computer centers in eleuthera? i dont know I have loads of ideas we all do, the discussion should bring ideas together.forums like this and the small islands voice one on the UNESCO website, help ppl to organise themselves... I think. Im not trying to make people feel bad reading this stuff, but these problems shouldnt be seen as unsolvable. Its up to all of us to try to improve the situation,If we dont talk about it we cant.
Posted by:Feb 13th 2007, 12:43:20 pm
KimberlyHow can people reading the board best assist?
Posted by:Feb 13th 2007, 11:30:30 am
speechThe board is quiet...i hope that this discussion isn't over, i think we need to keep raising adressing and discussing these issues.maybe im wrong, but i think complacency in this situation is self destruction.
Posted by:Feb 13th 2007, 11:27:08 am
speechi hope this will be a wake up call for some of us, who think we can continue to sweep this boiling mess under the rug. the articale is based on a study done by the inter american development bank, the priciple agency that the bahamas and other latin american countries borrow money from to finance infrastructure and social programmes. In harbour island they built the sea wall after hurricane floyd, They finance projects all other thirdworld countries in latin america and the caribbean from the bahamas to bolivia. google them for more info.

Youth Report "Troubling"
By Tameka Lundy

Details of a crucial report on the socioeconomic situation of youth in The
Bahamas emerged yesterday with Youth Minister Neville Wisdom drawing
attention to certain troubling revelations contained in the document
compiled by the Inter American Development.
For instance, the January 2005 report - called The Situation of Youth in The
Bahamas - which was tabled in the House of Assembly yesterday, showed that
almost half of all male secondary school students and 20 percent of all
female students are sexually active by the time they are 15.
Seventy percent of male students and 41 percent of female students 16 and
older are sexually active, according to the report, which added that at the
same time over half of all sexually active adolescents report that they
never use birth control.
"Initiation of sexual activity begins early and a pattern of young people
engaging in unprotected sex with multiple partners is evident," stated the
The average age for first intercourse was 12 years for boys and 14 years for
females, the report said. Additionally, approximately 45 percent of sexually
active adolescent girls reported that their first sexual encounter was
pressured or forced.
It was also reported that boys are also at risk as one out of every four
sexually active boys reported the same thing.
Serious concerns about reproductive health and even substance abuse were not
the only areas of concern to which researcher Dr. Lorraine Blank referred.
"There are a number of interrelated factors that interfere with optimal
youth development including poverty; low levels of academic achievement;
poor labour market outcomes; unhealthy lifestyles; unstable home
environments; delinquency, crime and violence," the report said.
When he tabled the report, Minister Wisdom drew attention to certain
troubling references and called for revised and innovative approaches to
dealing with youth oriented challenges.
The IDB report said teenage pregnancy continues to be a matter of concern in
The Bahamas. Six percent of adolescent girls between the ages of 10 and 19
reported being pregnant at least once.
"Teenage pregnancy can have serious consequences for the long term economic
prospects of both mother and child. Teenage pregnancy decreases the
likelihood that the mother will complete her education," stated the report.
"As a result labour market prospects for teen mothers are poor and their
risk of poverty high. The limited education of mothers also has implications
for their ability to parent effectively and consequently for the development
of their child."
The analysts also conceded that a troubling number of secondary students
show evidence of serious substance abuse although the report said that the
vast majority of secondary students abstain from alcohol and illegal drugs.
The research found that male students drink significantly more than females.
Seven percent of males in contrast to three percent of females reported that
they consumed four or more drinks per occasion. The usual number of drinks
per occasion increases with age.
The report also found that among the students who drink, only two percent in
the 10 to 12 year-old range in contrast to almost 11 percent of those 16
years and older report that they usually consume four or more drinks.
The bigger concern here is that there is a correlation between alcohol use
and becoming violent. Students who consume four to five drinks per occasion
are five times more likely to carry a gun than students who never drink,
according to experts.
Equally as significant identified in the report was that 17 percent of the
students reported that one or both parents had a drinking problem, five
percent said that one or both parents had a drug problem and 13 percent had
parents who experienced problems due to violent behaviour.
Minister Wisdom said the alarming statistics cannot be ignored.
"We can't deny the role that the family plays in the positive development of
youth and we cannot entirely blame and government, the church the police or
any other external group for some of the prices that we are now paying In
our society as they relate to youth behaviour," said Minister Neville
"Some of the blame must rest at the door of the home. It is understandable
that it is not easy to raise this modern child of today. But parents must
also be willing to change those older methods of child rearing that are
obviously not working with today's youth. Parents must also abandon the
negative behaviours that they are displaying for their children to see."
He said his ministry intends to develop a national youth development
strategy in collaborated wit the IDB to address the concerns and the
capacity nationally to address them.
The IDB team is already meeting with technical youth officers, with the
focus being on institutional strengthening; exploring the establishment of a
youth development fund; increasing focus on research and establishing a
proper monitoring and evaluation system.

Nat'l youth strategy now being discussed

By TAMARA McKENZIE, Guardian Political Editor
While highlighting some "gripping" stats about Bahamian youth and the
existing state of education in The Bahamas, Youth Minister Neville Wisdom
said his Ministry intends to develop a national youth development strategy
in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank to address various
issues that affect Bahamian youth, such as teenage pregnancy, juvenile
delinquency and illiteracy.
"A team from IDB headquarters in Washington, DC, is presently in New
Providence meeting with a technical team of youth officers to charge the way
forward," Mr Wisdom told Parliamentarians in the House of Assembly on
The Youth Minister revealed that one in five youths between the ages of 15
and 24 live in poor households, while 40 percent of male youths and 23
percent of female youths have completed school but did not receive a passing
grade on any Ministry of Education external examination. He added that
according to data obtained by the Dept of Statistics and the Ministry of
Health Survey (PAHO), 34 percent of poor youths and 22 percent of non-poor
youths are out of school and unemployed, half of all boys and 20 percent of
girls are sexually active by age 15, and 13 percent of live births are by
teen mothers.
But that's not all.
Twenty percent of female youths and five percent of male youths report
sexual abuse. Fifteen percent of adolescent girls and eight percent of boys
have attempted suicide at least once. Sixty six percent of girls and 57
percent of boys feel like hurting or killing someone, and 33 percent of
males and 13 percent of females carry a weapon outside of the school, while
six percent of females carry a weapon to school.
Also referring to a report prepared by Dr Lorriane Blank in 2005, entitled
"The situation of youth in The Bahamas," Mr Wisdom noted that 21 percent of
boys report having trouble reading, which causes them not to be able to keep
up in class and in turn causes disruptive behavior. He also revealed that
one in four students reported that a teacher had either emotionally or
verbally abused them, or one in five reports state that a teacher had
physically abused them.
"Fifty seven percent of students worry about the fighting and violence they
see in school," Mr Wisdom said. "Students also report that they are more
likely to have negative feelings about school if a teacher does not reach
out to them and appreciate when teachers get to know them well during the
school year."
Mr Wisdom said the government must make youth its priority, as their
well-being and the well-being of the nation are at stake. He therefore noted
that the proposed national youth development strategy would focus on
institutional strengthening of the Youth Division and non-government
organizations that work with youth through restructuring, training, policy
development and staffing. His Ministry will also explore the establishment
of a Youth Development Fund to accommodate private sector contributions
toward youth development initiatives.

Poverty Named As Youth Risk Factor

By Tameka Lundy
Poverty continues to be one of the crucial factors that affects Bahamian
youth making them vulnerable to risks that threaten their human capital
development and increasing their chances of becoming poor adults, a newly
released report has found.
The Situation Of Youth In The Bahamas, compiled by researcher Dr. Lorraine
Blank at the Inter American Development Bank [IDB], was designed to update
and integrate existing background information regarding the socio-economic
situations affecting the youngest citizens of the country.
Poverty, low levels of academic achievement and poor labour market outcomes
were classified among the interrelated factors that interfere with optimal
youth development.
One in five persons between the ages of 15 and 24 is poor and over 7,200
youth are living in poverty, according to the latest statistics available.
The report conceded that the burden of poverty is a difficult one for young
"Students from poor households are also at a disadvantage," it said. "Poor
children do not do as well in primary school as their wealthier counterparts
and are two times more likely to have repeated a primary school grade than
the non-poor - 22 percent among the poor as compared to 11 percent for the
It was also said that poor children drop out of school earlier than their
wealthier counterparts.
In 2002, researchers determined that 9.3 percent of the population was
living below the poverty line. Persons up to age 14 accounted for 50 percent
of them.
Dr. Blank's report contended that The Bahamas has made significant strides
in the provision of primary education and universal enrollment, however
there is evidence of school attrition among poor children by the time they
are in late primary school. The gradual erosion of school enrollment by
children who are not poor, according to the report, begins in the upper
secondary school.
Among poor children enrolled in school there is also the issue of
educational outcomes which are often disappointing. Based on Department of
Statistics data thirty five percent of students who sat the Bahamas Junior
Certification exam in 2003 scored below average in Mathematics. Thirty eight
percent scored below average in English Language.
"Performance on the General Certificate of Secondary Education [BGCSE] which
students sit at the end of grade 12 is also worrying," the report said
indicating that in 2003, 59 percent of students scored below average in
Mathematics and 74 percent scored below average in Language Arts.

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