Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture Minister Dr. Natalio Wheatley asked the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation for further teacher training last week during the agency’s 40th General Conference in Paris, France, according to government.

In a statement delivered at the event, Dr. Wheatley said the Virgin Islands government believes educators need regular training.

“We have successfully embarked on teacher training programmes and we aim to have teachers qualified with bachelor’s degrees in education,” he said. “For our teaching staff we continue to facilitate professional development, and for our students our quest is to implement programmes to ensure that their reading skills reach an exceptional level.”

The minister added that government is still working on restoring schools to better accommodate students who were displaced in the 2017 hurricanes.

“The damage done to the British Virgin Islands in recent times as a result of unprecedented climate impacts [does] not just erode the Caribbean way of life, it also derails Caribbean development,” he said.

Representatives of UNESCO’s member states and associate members, along with observers for non-member states, intergovernmental agencies and non-governmental organisations, meet for a general conference every two years, according to government.

The session determines the organisation’s policies and main lines of work and sets the programmes and the budget of UNESCO. Each country has one vote, irrespective of its size or the extent of its contribution to the budget.

Dr. Wheatley’s full address can be viewed on YouTube QYHw at 1:20:34.