Thu | Oct 22, 2020

MPs chide youth ministry for not informing them about programme for clubs

Published:Wednesday | June 6, 2018 | 12:00 AMEdmond Campbell/ Senior Staff Reporter
Dr Wykeham McNeill

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information Dean-Roy Bernard on Wednesday faced disgruntled members of Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC), who chided the ministry for not engaging the people's representatives on a project aimed at supporting and revitalising youth clubs across the country.

Bernard sought to explain how the ministry earmarked $1.6 million in funding for youth clubs in Westmoreland but was only able to find one club. The sum earmarked for each club under the programme is $30,000.

"There is only one club at the time that responded to our survey in Westmoreland," Bernard told committee members, adding that the ministry went in the parish to "try and get additional clubs".

However, committee chairman Wykeham McNeill, who is the member of parliament for Westmoreland West, said the ministry erred in seeking to introduce a programme without the input of the political representatives.

"You should have asked before you started," said McNeill.

Other committee members said they had no knowledge of the youth programme.

Since September 2017, the ministry has launched the Youth Club Charge Up project at three locations in St Thomas, St Elizabeth and Westmoreland.

Approximately 500 persons participated in all three events.

According to Bernard, the aim of the exercise is to get young people engaged and attached to clubs.