Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 30, 2017 (SKNIS): Young men should be guided to become productive citizens of the nation, says Former Director of the Department of Gender Affairs, Ingrid Charles-Gumbs, adding that the department’s mentorship programme plays an integral role in helping to socialize men and boys to be wholesome.

Appearing on the show “Working for You”, Ms. Charles-Gumbs made a call for all men, who are role models, to sign up for the programme.

“All the responsible men in the country, I’m asking you to offer your services to the Department of Gender Affairs as a mentor for boys. That is a very critical area because some boys have not seen a man functioning responsibly. If you are a responsible man in this country, you can volunteer your services and the department could assign you someone to mentor and that can help to improve the pool of responsible young men in our country,” she said.

Director of the Department of Gender Affairs, Celia Christopher, said that there have been some success stories out of the programme.

“We had one young man out of that programme who was about to drop out of school and today he has made it to college and he was one of the Remarkable Teens. So, the opportunities are there. We need the mentors as it is a critical part of the programme. We are looking for people who can encourage these boys to stay on the right path,” said Mrs. Christopher.

The director said that no longer should there be the notion that the department only caters for girls.

“When people used to say there are only programmes for women, you now have programmes for men and boys. You have the National Men’s Council that also works along with boys. So, you have the support of boys there as well,” said the director.

Ms. Charles-Gumbs said that besides the programme, schools should be catering to young men so that they are not left behind. She added that the learning style of boys should be taught alongside the learning style of girls.

“I’m a teacher by profession and I do know that boys’ learning style are often different to girls,” she said. “They are not into the didactic learning where you sit down and the teacher is feeding you information. They want to be more hands on. So, a lot of boys are really turned off of school. That can be worked on because we have no shortage of highly educated education professionals who could look at the curriculum and see how they could incorporate the learning style of boys into their programme.