Prime Minister, Dr the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell has reiterated his concern about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the nation’s youth.
In his Independence Day message, Dr Mitchell stated that children have been the hardest hit by the pandemic, with their lives being unimaginably usurped by the changes made necessary to fight Covid-19.
Dr Mitchell also noted that despite “the advances in modern technology and the provision of electronic devices by Government to facilitate online learning, there’s really nothing to adequately replace valuable face to face instructional time for young, impressionable minds.”
In fact, UNESCO has warned of a possible generational catastrophe, given the level of disruption in schooling caused by closures necessitated by the pandemic.
The Prime Minister is also concerned about the pandemic’s impact on socialisation. He said, “In addition to the significant learning loss, our young boys and girls have been deprived of the social interaction that is so necessary to foster good human relations. We just need to reflect on our own childhood and how we valued meeting our friends at school and participating in various sporting and leisure activities, to immediately understand how much of a disadvantage this pandemic has created for them.”
Dr Mitchell made an impassioned appeal on behalf of the nation’s youth saying, “Today, I ask that you join me in praying for our young brothers and sisters, that they may recover from this immeasurable loss. Let us also recommit ourselves, as adults, to being more empathetic, rather than judgmental.”
The Prime Minister also referenced the impact on youth in his message delivered as part of the flag-raising ceremony at the OECS Commission on the occasion of Grenada’s 48th anniversary of independence. In that message, Dr Mitchell, who is the current Chairman of the OECS Authority, encouraged a silent prayer that young people, the leaders of tomorrow, are able to recover from the immense loss they are experiencing.
He said, “I must for a moment focus on the children of the region, who have suffered immeasurably from this pandemic and are likely to continue experiencing its impact many years from now.”