In an effort to educate students about the legislative branch of the Virgin Islands government, the Speaker of the House of Assembly has invited schools to attend sittings.
Speaker of the House, Honourable Julian Willock has issued a formal invitation to the Ministry of Education expressing an interest in engaging all schools (public and private), students of Grades Five through Eight to attend sittings at the House of Assembly.
The intention of the Speaker is to have a school represented at each sitting.
On Monday, June 3, 2019 the Speaker welcomed the first school that has taken advantage of this initiative. In attendance were 20 students and class teacher Ms. Bowlin-Brathwaite of the Ebenezer Thomas Primary School.
In his opening statement at the Fourth Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands, Honourable Willock extended a formal welcome to the students.
“The House of Assembly is interested in ensuring that our students are well rounded in our parliamentary procedures, hence, at each sitting we will have a class present, in our ongoing effort to educate, not only school children, but the public as well, about the proceedings of the House of Assembly sittings and the legislative branch of government,” he said.
In response to the invitation, Acting Chief Education Officer, Mrs. Connie George said, “We are always willing to partner with other government departments that show interest in strengthening our students’ learning process in the classroom.
Learning outside the classroom has infinite meaning that manifests in their daily lives and advances their knowledge. In this case, it will be an opportunity to see aspects of their Social Studies classes come alive.
The Honourable Speaker and Members of the House of Assembly were able to interact with the students prior to the sitting and paused for a moment to take a group photo with the class before they left.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Transportation, Works, and Utilities, Honourable Kye M. Rymer also expressed his excitement in having the students present. He said, “I am very happy to welcome the students of the Ebenezer Thomas Primary School to the sitting and I look forward to welcoming more schools to the House. It is a very high possibility that this initiative will help to groom some of our young people in becoming Members of this honourable body.”
As the Territory is close to the end of the school year, a schedule will be developed by the Ministry of Education for other schools to participate in this activity for the upcoming school year 2019-2020.