Published On: Wed, Jul 5th, 2017

“Multi-lingual education creates a strong community”

JFC_0980GREAT BAY – The Sint Maarten Youth Parliament and the Youth Territorial Council of Saint Martin held a debate session yesterday about multi-lingual education in Parliament.

The St. Maarten Youth Parliament consists of Astra White, Mhakeda Shillingford, Jemila Holaman, Ki-mani Olivacce, and Dwayne Griffith; the Youth territorial council members are Christopher Rodriguez, Rashida Alexander, Shanelle Jeanne, Manual Felix, and Sebastien Lake.

The Youth Territorial Council argued that a multi-lingual education creates a strong community. According to Christopher Rodriguez “I can already say that St. Maarten is a perfect example for this. Our high tolerance for foreign cultures, customs, and people makes it easier for us to have said multi-lingual education. I am fluent in three languages. I can assure you that being multi-lingual is a plus, not only for my future with open doors to job opportunities, but also with communicating with others.”

However, the Sint Maarten Youth Parliament argued that multi-lingual education will cause a separation. “Multi-lingual educational leads to a loss of dominant language, and imposes difficulty for foreign students to assimilate easily, and it will not strengthen the community – it will weaken it” according to Dwayne Griffith, “We firmly believe that promoting multi-lingual education will not only cause immigrants to refuse to learn official languages of the island, but will also cause St. Maarten to lose its dominant language. When multi-lingual education is offered, it’s serves to widen the cultural gap as oppose to bridging it.”

After the debate, the judges (Kamilah Gumbs, Aarin White, Kadar Gumbs, Mathia Rogers, Cindy Carrenan, Kristye Apatout, and Wilky Guillaune) made their decision. Five of the six judges voted for the position of the Youth Territorial Council of Saint Martin, and agreed that multi-lingual education does indeed build strong communities.