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Kenan Bryan, Lions Young Ambassador: Five things I'd change about Jersey

Kenan Bryan, Lions Young Ambassador: Five things I'd change about Jersey

Friday 12 February 2021

Kenan Bryan, Lions Young Ambassador: Five things I'd change about Jersey

Friday 12 February 2021


Only 17, but his mind is older...Kenan Bryan is a young force to be reckoned with, and has a variety of ideas to shape the island for the better, ranging from scrapping GCSEs to lowering house prices.

He was recently name Young Ambassador for the Lions’ District 105SC, representing 58 Lions Clubs across the south of England and the south Midlands.

As well as helping at two youth clubs three nights a week, the 17-year-old Politics, History and Sociology student is also a prolific fundraiser for children's charities.

An adventurer, Kenan has nearly achieved all three Duke of Edinburgh Awards, and has over 30 hours' flying experience and hopes to gain a private pilot's licence.

He has also taken part in several government consultations linked to the new Children’s Policy in the Island and sat on the interview panel to appoint the new Head of Children’s Services.

Stepping away from his studies and community work, Kenan took some time out to reflect on his life in Jersey, and give Express five things he would change about the island...

1. Get young people involved in politics 

For political systems to be representative, all parts of society must be included. When young people are disengaged from the political process, it means that a significant proportion of the population has little/no voice or influence in decisions.

States_Assembly_states_chamber_debate_members-2.jpg

Pictured: "When young people are disengaged from the political process, it means that a significant proportion of the population has little/no voice or influence in decisions."

Adults need to listen to young people more often, and not only when it is convenient. Politics directly affects young people and the decisions made now will affect us later in life. 

From the age of sixteen, people can vote, but how are young adults meant to start taking part in this process if they don’t know how to register and vote? More importantly, how are the young people going to know what they are voting for when they aren’t taught about it and manifestos are long-winded and boring. 

To engage more young people in politics, we need to help build up this participation and help introduce young people into the political world. 

2. Better mental health facilities

Although mental health has come a long way since the Mental Health Act of 1959, we still have a long way to go. In Jersey, our mental health services are far from brilliant. 

depressionmentalhealthsupport.jpg

Pictured: "Mental health services need easier access, better facilities, more qualified staff and take people seriously."

Mental health services need easier access, better facilities, more qualified staff and to take people seriously. 

From family and friends’ experiences, I know how appalling our mental health services are. The government need to open their eyes, provide more funding, get more people working in this sector and help the people of our community. 

3. Let’s go green!

The main aspect of going eco-friendly is about sustainability. Since the world is corrupted with pollution and a toxic number of materials, making it sustainable is essential. 

Going green will improve all our lives. As seen from our recently, we are seeing more extreme weathers. While we may be enjoying the hotter summers and snowy winters, this is only going to get more intense. 

climate environment earth

Pictured: "Let’s face reality and start making this world a better place!"

Let’s not be selfish, this might not affect everyone in their lifetime, but it will affect those who will walk the planet after us. 

Since 1950, our cardon dioxide levels have increased from 300 parts per million to 420, which is constantly rising at a higher level.

The government are expecting the temperatures to rise by 2C by 2050. 

Let’s face reality and start making this world a better place!

4. Scrap GCSEs

GCSEs should be scrapped, and A-levels should be replaced by a mix of academic and vocational subjects.

We need an education system which is designed to give young people a much broader range of skills for their working lives. 

School_Exams.jpg

Pictured: "More stress, anxiety, panic etc..."

The GCSE scheme is now pointless. It was first introduced to stop people leaving education without any qualifications, but since the coalition in 2010 when the government introduced compulsory education until 18, what’s the point? More stress, anxiety, panic etc. Just look at Scandinavia and their education system and then you will understand my point. 

5. Reduce house prices in Jersey 

stheliertownhousingpropertymortgage.jpg

Pictured: "There are adults here who cannot afford to buy a house and will spend the rest of their lives renting."

House prices in Jersey are ridiculous. On average, for a two-bed house you will be paying £465,000. Is Jersey intentionally putting house prices so high that the young people of the island don’t want to stay?

I asked 20 people at my school. 2 said they they would stay in Jersey. 15 of the 18 people who want to leave said because it is “too expensive” and, "how are we meant to get onto the property ladder?"

But this isn’t even just the situation for young people. There are adults here who cannot afford to buy a house and will spend the rest of their lives renting. Then, when they receive their ‘joke’ of a pension, will be forced to move away for cheaper housing or live-in social housing. 

To me, it seems as if the government wants to push all the Jersey-born citizens out and bring in all the rich families from abroad. 

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