Young Girls at an early age are said to be engaged in sexual activity resulting in them contracting Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s).
Education Minister, Anthony Boatswain who made the disclosure during a recent sitting of Parliament said the high incidents of girls between the ages of 10 to 14 who have STI’s are of major concern to the entire nation.
The senior government minister who provided statistics to the House said that in 2009, a total of 26 girls between the age of 10 to 14 were STI infected
The statistics show that in 2010, six female students were infected, in 2011 a further 18 of the 19 infected students were girls, while in 2012 15 of the 16 infected were girls.
The Education Minister stopped short of disclosing the forms of STI’s that the young girls are contracting.
In the age 24 and over category, the incidents of infection among the men are much higher than women, Boatswain said.
“It speaks to some unnatural correlation between the young girls and the older boys, and therefore… this is something that we must address otherwise we will lose an entire generation if we do not address what is happening in our schools especially among our young girls 10 to 14,” he added.
The Education Minister who also touched on a number of issues told the Lower House of Parliament that the level of literacy in the primary school system was cause for concern.
He said that several students who are entering the secondary schools cannot do basic reading and writing.
Minister Boatswain feared that if certain benchmarks or criteria are not imposed for the students moving forward the secondary schools will be transformed into primary schools.
There is currently a programme of Universal Secondary Education where each primary school student is given an opportunity to receive secondary school education.
However, Minister Boatswain said Universal Secondary Education which first started for the primary school students in Carriacou cannot be a free for all.
“There must be standards that must be adhered to before we can allow the students to move forward,” he told Parliament.
The senior government minister suggested that appropriate arrangements would have to be made at the lower level of the secondary schools to accommodate students who are not academically inclined.