Friday , March 1 2024

Kingdom Youth Parliament presents solutions

Members of the first ever, three-day-long Kingdom Youth Parliament (KYP) presented the conclusions of debates, as well as their plan of action to Her Royal Highness (HRH) Princess Beatrix in the presence of her entourage and various Kingdom Government officials at the University of St. Maarten on Thursday. “You can still feel the temperature from the heated debates,” joked host Roderik van Grieken. Proposals presented were the launching of a “Kingdom Youth Channel,” pushing collaboration between Dutch and Dutch-Caribbean institutions of higher education, and facilitating studies in the Netherlands for Caribbean students. These were presented by Dwayne Griffith, Jibbe Verhave and Mahamed Xasan respectively.
The Kingdom Youth Channel would be a means of establishing a sense of Kingdom identity and unity, by providing engaging information. The aim would be to publish five to 10 minute videos weekly on various topics throughout the Kingdom.
Members plan to organise a board by the end of June, and launch a promotional video on Kingdom Day 2014. Pushing collaboration between Dutch and Dutch- Caribbean institutions of higher education is meant to address the issue of “braindrain” in the Caribbean, partially caused by lack of job opportunities and low wages upon return. “Everyone has a right to highly educated students,” said Verhave.
The KYP plans to lobby institutions of higher education to expand and offer programmes in the Caribbean, and to encourage students to aim for subjects relevant to their respective areas. “Let’s stop the brain-drain and start the brain-gain” he concluded. A clear plan of action is expected to be finalised in November.
The third proposal, also about higher education, addressed barriers to Caribbean students studying in the Netherlands which included culture shock, unrealistic expectations pushed by university marketing, and financing. A “Kingdom Career Website” was proposed, which would serve as an information “platform to several solutions.” The KYP also aspire to set up a country-wide network of Dutch and Caribbean Alumni that would be available to potential students at all universities in the Netherlands. Hopes are to finalise these plans and launch the website by November 2015.

KYP President Trumane Trotman described the first sessions of debates as very competitive, while the second day brought about more collaboration and a solutions-based orientation. She added that the solutions proposed would not centre on organising meeting after meeting about the same topic.

The KYP closing ceremony, which was also Princess Beatrix’ last public event, was streamed on live television. It concluded with the official hitting of the gavel by Trotman after the audience was addressed by select KYP members, and the first copy of the results were given to Princess Beatrix. A second round of copies was handed to various delegation leaders by the youngest members of each KYP team. The 50 KYP members ranged in ages from 14-24 and had been chosen from a group of over 150.


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