The 35th Caribbean Cadet Association Commandments Conference is being held in Guyana and in attendance are leaders from the association from across the region.
The five-day conference commenced on Tuesday, with 16 member countries, eight of which are participating virtually.
According to a recent post on the Guyana Defence Force’s (GDF) page, this forum provides a platform for member countries to work together and share best practices and maintain a unified approach to build character and teach young people vital life skills for tomorrow’s world.
The conference is being hosted by the GDF through the Guyana National Cadet Corps.
Chief-of-Staff (ag), Colonel Omar Khan, on Tuesday, said that the GDF is pleased to host this year’s conference as it comes at a time when youths are yielding to other influences in an evolving and increasingly complex social environment.
In this regard, he noted that efforts to innovate and maintain a unified approach are critical, and as such, he encouraged that the current challenges be discussed to address them.
This year’s conference is themed, “Building Resilience, Fostering Networks and embracing new Norms”. Colonel Khan recommended that delegates focus on decision-making and reading which would be beneficial to youth development.
“We are who we are, based on the decisions we made in our lives, and it will also influence who we will be as we grow old. This forum is an opportunity for us to influence the youths at an early stage in their lives, to make decisions that will have good consequences for them as they develop and thus be better able to positively influence their peers and the environment in which they operate,” he said.
On the issue of reading, Khan said that the association should foster a culture of reading by establishing an electronic portal that will allow youths to access literature.
“Reading gives information and information aids good decision-making,” he stressed.
Chairman of the Caribbean Cadet Association, St. Lucian Lieutenant Colonel, Nathan Hyacinth,, observed that this year’s conference is extremely unique since the world is learning to adapt to new norms following the COVID -19 pandemic which had made the world a smaller place.
He referenced the school system which has adopted a blended learning process and noted that the association must adjust to meet the changing environment.
“Together, we must see ourselves as the solution to the issues facing youths, and work together to meet mandates in promoting good citizens for our countries,” he said.
Assistant Chief Education Officer (Secondary), Tiffany Harvey reassured the Ministry of Education’s commitment to the local Cadet Programme.
“The Ministry of Education stand committed to this programme. We join hands with the Guyana Defence Force as we advance our mission to produce well-rounded students, the ideal Caribbean citizen who can compete in the global arena,” she explained.
The Guyana National Cadet Corps (GNCC) was resuscitated in 2018 and is operational in all 11 educational districts within the country. Some 34 schools, 2,400 students and 337 teachers are participating in the programme.
The GNCC was accepted as a member of the Caribbean Cadet Association at its 2019 meeting in Trinidad and Tobago.