Those who love to generalise and say nothing positive comes from the island’s youngsters nowadays probably don’t read the paper very well. For example, today’s edition includes a report on the Annual Interscholastic Debate Competition (AIDC) organised by St. Maarten Youth Parliament with the Philipsburg Cultural and Community Center, where St. Dominic High beat two-time champ Academy in the final, while Milton Peters College (MPC), Sundial School and Learning Unlimited (LU) participated too.
Coincidentally, the winning school was also in the news on Tuesday about its student exchange programme with the Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Poland and Lithuania. There are closer-to-home options such as this week’s education trip to Saba and, of course, possible online international gatherings that became popular due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although these kinds of activities may not always strictly be part of any curriculum, they usually contribute to the general development of teenagers. Meeting with peers abroad allows them to experience other cultures, ways of thinking and lifestyles that enhance their awareness about humanity, societies elsewhere and the world.
Locally relevant knowledge is good and should obviously get priority. However, it can’t hurt to also broaden one’s horizon.