Information Officer II
Department of Information & Public Relations
Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley will be seeking assistance from the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to assist with further teacher training.
The Minister is attending the organisation’s 40th General Conference in Paris, France.
Minister Wheatley in a statement to his colleagues said that the Government of the Virgin Islands believes that continuous training of the Territory’s educators is paramount for students to obtain optimal achievements.
Honourable Wheatley stated, “We have successfully embarked on teacher training programmes and we aim to have teachers qualified with Bachelors’ degrees in Education. For our teaching staff we continue to facilitate professional development, and for our students our quest is to implement programmes to ensure that their reading skills reach an exceptional level.”
The Minister also stated that Government is actively working on restoring schools to enable students who were displaced in the 2017 hurricanes to continue their education. He further added that the devastating category 5 hurricanes experienced in 2017 have proven that Caribbean Small Island Developing States are among those states which are most vulnerable to climate change.
“The damage done to the British Virgin Islands in recent times as a result of unprecedented climate impacts do not just erode the Caribbean way of life, it also derails Caribbean development,” Minister Wheatley said.
Representatives of UNESCO's member states, associate members and observers for non-member states along with intergovernmental organisations and non-governmental organisations meet for a General Conference every two years. The conference determines the policies and the main lines of work of the organisation and sets the programmes and the budget of UNESCO. Each country has one vote, irrespective of its size or the extent of its contribution to the budget.
Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley’s full address at UNESCO’s 40th General Conference can be viewed on YouTube https://youtu.be/Su_pNVeQYHw at 1:20:34.