Submitted by The Mahogany Coconut Think Tank and Watchdog Group
Laurie King, Chief Education Officer
The Mahogany Coconut Group (MCG) is concerned that Barbadian school children, can go to the Ministry of Education and have a legitimate punishment enforced by their school’s principal, overturned by a civil servant! Such a travesty occurred recently, when a group of school children turned up at the Ministry of Education, and succeeded in getting a senior ministry official, to overrule the punishment imposed on them, by their principal, for frequently being late in arriving at school.
What transpired sets a very ugly and dangerous precedent that will most certainly, result in far reaching negative effects on the dispensation, of discipline in our schools. The unbelievable actions of the civil servant, dealt a very low blow, to the principal. We know for a fact that many principals are now contemplating if it is worth their while to discipline students.
This brazen assault on our educators is a trademark of both the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party. It is now very clear to all concerned that when party supporters from either side are placed in powerful positions, their inability to understand their job description becomes a major problem.
Submitted by Anthony Davis
Donville Inniss – Minister of Commerce, and International Business
“The Freundel Stuart administration says it is sticking to its guns to make Barbadian students at the University of the West Indies start pulling their pockets for tuition fees from next year even though welcoming a new private sector fund to bail out those who cannot afford to pay…The firm position was taken today by Minister of Commerce, and International Business, Donville Inniss, while launching a new charity known as Global Education Scholastic Trust…Inniss said the Government had done the right thing in the circumstances of the economic climate, and would carry through with it…It is not easy for me as a politician that would have taken in recent debates to reduce fees at UWI with effect from 2014, but it is one of those things we felt we had to do, and we stand by that decision.”
What else can one expect from an uncaring Government, whose scions – and probably their scions’ scions – have had a free education at the UWI Cave Hill Campus? The motto of this Government is now “after me the deluge”! Is this the same Government that Minister Blackett called people-centred? I guess he means centred around the 16 DLP Government MPs, but night runs till day catches it!
Minister Inniss can spare us his crocodile tears!
You do not have money for our students at UWI Cave Hill, nor for the QEH, but you have millions of dollars in waivers – including one for food and beverage which no hotel has had before – to throw at a multi-millionaire named “Butch” Stewart, although he took over a hotel here and promised to develop and refurbish it so that Barbadians could get work, but absconded leaving it to moulder and the iron in it to rust! This left those who had hopes of getting a job there up the creek without a paddle! “Is that “the right thing in the circumstances of the economic climate”, Minister Inniss?
Submitted by Pachamama
“No recognition of the thief, genocide and character assassination of the Tianos, the Kalinagos and other indigenous peoples” – Photo Credit: Wikipedia
As we approach the season before the silly season we can expect the regular public diatribes from officialdom as they seek to immortalize a constructed past and present an unmeasured guidance for their fairy tale visions of the future. The hard truth has been, is and will be that Barbados since 1627 has never been an independent country and may, never will be. We now know that the most influential factor in Barbados’ independence was the CIA pressure on Britain to relinquish its colonies worldwide, as evidenced by recent Freedom of Information Act disclosures. Right away we have to reassess claims about the ‘fathership’ of this so-called independence project. We also have to ask ourselves some other searching questions.
What kind of an independent country can be properly built on the bones of the indigenous peoples of this region in circumstances where, within the body politic, there is no recognition of the thief, genocide and character assassination of the Tianos, the Kalinagos and other indigenous peoples who lived on this here land for millennium before White people even knew the world was not flat. They descendant are still amongst us.
What kind of an independent country will allow 180 years to past after the most egregious crimes to be committed against African peoples, and indeed all of humanity, and for those crimes to be taken as a normal way of doing business, as though they never occurred. A business which initially ‘globalized’ the functions of corporations.
Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union
Barbadians have proven once again that we live in a society where the vast majority of us prefer to bury our heads in the sand. The furore, created by the publication of a story about two school children having sex at school, has given me the impression that too many people preferred not to find out about this in a public forum. That would have allowed them to continue to delude themselves that all is well in our schools.
I must admit that the Nation could have been a bit more restrained in its delivery of the story. But I believe that it is high time that the decadence that is being nurtured, in our schools, is exposed. When children go to school, they ought not to be exposed to illicit sexual behaviour, either as a participant or spectator. Unfortunately, when instances of serious bad behaviour are discovered, the authorities go into cover up mode ostensibly to protect the good name of the school. It would appear that little thought is given to the welfare of the affected children or the law when they investigate and deal with school-based child sexual abuse and other crimes.
Over the years, there have been many reports of little school girls being introduced to sex far too early by their teachers. The method of dealing with these matters vary, but in most cases, the perpetrators get away with a slap on the wrist, and are allowed to continue their activity until they are caught again or retired.
Hon Ronald Jones, Minister of Education
Coming in the wake of the classroom sex video BU is looking into another matter at Princess Margaret School. It appears a teacher was beaten by a school boy and fainted from the experience. What is alarming is that other teachers who were present were scared shitless to offer assistance to a fallen comrade.
It is not surprising we are told that the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) has been slow to take action and the BSTU as is the norm is being ignored. Can we expect the Ministry of Education to take action? What about the embattled Minister of Education?
Submitted by Guild Watchdog
(L-R) Guild President; Damani Parris, Law Rep; Daniel Davies, Guild Treasurer; Ital Spencer reviewing a student petition against paying tuition fees
While some University Students are worrying about the Governments new policy forcing them to pay tuition fees at The University of the West Indies. It was chaos and turmoil at The Roy Marshall Teaching Complex at The University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus on Thursday night; for the convening of a Guild Council Meeting when once-removed Treasurer of the Guild, Ital Spencer was the centre of contention and disruptive behaviour forcing University Security to end the meeting prematurely.
Mr. Spencer, who was also the Guild Treasurer on the previous Guild Council was accused of manipulating his authority to obtain absolute power and threatening other council officers. These accusations, which offend the Constitution of the Guild and the University’s Code of Ethics warranted him a trial of ‘No Confidence for Recall’ at the hands of the student population resulting in his removal last November.
Sources close to the Cave Hill Guild Council have stated Mr. Spencer dod not submit financial reports, has been accused and proven of using the students’ Guild funds for personal benefit, for example, a first class flight to Jamaica last UWI Games among other aggravated offenses. To this end, the President of the Guild, Mr. Damani Parris, has suspended Mr. Spencer pending another Special Meeting of the Student Body to affect the removal of Mr. Spencer.
On Wednesday, 25th September, 2013 the majority membership of the student executive voted ‘No Confidence’ in Mr. Ital Spencer and have therefore recommended to the student population that he be removed.
Submitted by Politically Correct (to alert the President of the Guild of this vital information)
President of the Student’s Guild, Damani Parris – photo credit:Nation newspaper
This letter is not to slander persons in the Ministry but merely to assist the Guild in fighting the sudden increase in fees for Barbadian students. I will explain how to address this legally below from paragraph 2. The Ministry of Education, Science Technology and Innovation is a puppet Ministry which is suffering at the hands of the International community because of Globalisation. This is a typical encroachment on our sovereignty as a Nation. Changing a name does not mean that you are in alignment with countries that truly have science, technology and innovation based research saving the country money, creating new jobs etc. Minister Ronald Jones is quoted in the advocate as saying “The State does not have money and that citizens must stop being selfish and depending on Government for the State has no money (ADVOCATE 13/9/2013)
Every country listed here in Canada, South Africa, Denmark, Finland and more. I draw to your attention the UWI HANDBOOK and REGULATIONS for each FACULTY, as the first set of evidence and the quality assurance agency in Barbados which promotes quality assurance in higher education for you to use in your arguments. We will now see the power of politics and the role it plays.
Submitted by Looking Glass
Hon Ronald Jones, Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation
We are about the only country in the world where Tertiary Education is free and the cost to the taxpayer is truly excessive not only in terms of finance but in terms of what is taught and how it is taught. This is especially true of the kind of economics we teach and has implications for successful social and economic development.
Countries are not identical. They differ in terms of size, natural resources, social resources, population etc. China population exceeds one million the USA about 275000. Economics is a social science not a physical science. All we have is land, sea, sun and no natural resources. To be truly effective for Barbados it requires knowledge and understanding of the local economy.
Econ growth and development require technological and other growth to increase productivity. It requires structural factors social, economic and political to increase output and efficiency of available resources and investment. The agricultural sector is vital. Much of economic development in Latin America is tied to the land and growth of products for consumption and export. Much of the population is involved in agriculture. They grow every thing from coffee and cocoa, work on the land and have enacted vigorous development policies. In Barbados we are still inclined to avoid working the land and linking it to Slavery.
Submitted by Fair Play
Sir Frank Alleyne
Sir Frank Alleyne’s interview on the People’s Business last night was spot-on. As usual, he was cogent, rational, reasonable and, of course, very ‘frank’, no pun intended. All the while, trying not to be overly critical of the administration at Cave Hill, but tacitly showing up its unreasonableness and excessive spending, nonetheless. He walked the proverbial tightrope (having taught there for decades, so he was somewhat circumspect), but he did it well.
It was very interesting television! Lots of good points were made; but a couple salient ones stand out:
current physical development at the Cave Hill campus is not sustainable;
maintenance and personnel to staff the new structures will be difficult to maintain;
salary levels are very high;
UWI’s operating cost (to central government) has risen exponentially from about $53 million in 2005 to over $126 million in 2012-2013;
Andrew Downes is Professor of Economics and Director of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies. He has degrees in economics from the Universities of the West Indies and Manchester. He is the author of several monographs and articles covering such area as labour economics, macroeconomics, development economics and applied econometrics. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Eastern Caribbean Studies. He is the author of a report for the UNDP on the Millennium Development Goals in the Caribbean.
Submitted by Fair Play
Minister of Education appeared on CBC’s The People’s Business to explain government’s decision to make UWI students pay part of the cost of their degree.
I believe our plan to ask students to contribute a small part of the cost of their tertiary education at UWI has more public support than we think. Talking to people from all walks of life, and ironically, particularly among low income earners, there is much support. Their comments run the gamut from: it makes sense; the country cannot afford 100% funding at this time; other countries that are better off than us don’t do it; and, it should have been implemented long ago; to, they have an attitude after graduation – forgetting who paid for their education; and they do not give back to society, especially the doctors and lawyers who charge the same benefactors (the taxpayers) very exorbitant fees.
Barbadians aren’t stupid.
However, over and above those sentiments, generally, most persons I spoke to agree with the percentage the students will have to pay. Even some, like Dr. Leonard Shorey, (a perennial BLP apologist) believe it should have been higher and was long in coming. And, the Sunday Sun poll surprisingly gave majority support to the Gov’t.
Submitted by William Skinner
Ladies and gentlemen, our educational system has been a beacon in the Caribbean and the developing world. However if we are to cope with the pressures for change which lie ahead, the cost of education will be immense, if we are not to be left behind. In order that we are on the right side of the divide, the new requirements will necessitate that we restructure and find ways to deliver relevant and high quality education which meet the needs of the 21st century without altering the basic social principles which have got us this far.
Dr. Marion Williams former Governor of The Central Bank of Barbados, 14th Rudolph Goodridge Memorial Lecture & Education Awards Ceremony Tuesday, December 7, 2004
Those who support the abolition of what we commonly refer to as our free education system, are quick to defend their position by saying it is not really free because it is underwritten by the taxpayers. At first this appears to be a strong defense of their position but on closer examination, it is fatally flawed.
The whole concept of free education really means that those who are pursuing the education do not have to pay. In other words it is free at the point of delivery. It is based on the principle that no one should be denied an education because they are unable to pay.