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?
All too often, we see our children in the news. Whether rape, theft or murder, we see too many of our future generation making headlines for all the wrong reasons. We have to now look at ways to reverse the growing trend of youth crime and violence. And, peace education is one of the best ways to resolve and reduce these crimes. Informed learning can provide alternatives to resolve social conflicts within our society. Many young persons may not have the ability to know the difference between crime and its effects on the community, the society and the self. But if clearly demonstrated, they can be taught and in turn, encourage a positive message amongst their peers.
President of the Caribbean Mentorship Institute, Felicia Browne notes that “the past few weeks, and in the last 24 hours we have witnessed a rising trend of violence amongst our youths. There are deep fundamental questions that must be investigated to provide the best solutions to their problems. However, crime-prevention education and conflict interventions can alleviate some of these existing problems. The growing concerns of youth advocates are the age groups and genders of these victims. The victims of violence crimes have little or no social assistance to resolve their problems. For instance, we are observing a trend in young males being victims of violent crimes- some of which are or have been done by either a family member, friend within their circle or someone within their communities.”
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.
You are invited to watch the video delivered by Sir Ken Robinson. He “addresses the fundamental economic, cultural, social and personal purposes of education. He argues that education should be personalized to every student talent, passion, and learning styles, and that creativity should be embedded in the culture of every single school.”
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;
Submitted by Douglas
We only finished paying off our student loans about eight years ago,” Obama told an audience of mostly students – President Obama
Please click on the link to see how President Obama and his wife fared in paying for their college education – in the richest country in the world. Read what he said last year in April.
We in Barbados still have a government committed to continue paying the full cost of our tertiary education over the next year in spite of the continuing recession.
However, even from August 2014, when students are asked to pay only a mere 15% (for example, about bds. $23,000 over a 4-year period – in the arts, humanities or social sciences), they will still be far better off than their US counterparts, who will pay an average of US$104,000 over the same 4 year period. And, that cost increases exponentially once the more sought after colleges come into play; not to mention the tremendously high cost associated with the ivy league colleges.
The immediacy of the financial economic crisis facing Barbados is so important that there is a real danger of this single issue crowding out other equally important social and cultural policy initiatives, many of them far more important to the long-term development of the nation and its people. But, for a variety of reasons, including the routine acceptance of mediocrity, politicians, policymakers, parents and education professionals prefer to remain silent about the acceptance of this new normal rather than bite the bullet. Our nation is the poorer for this.
For all kinds of reasons previously discussed in this blog, including demography, geographical size and economic limitations, the great opportunity for economic growth in Barbados is to develop a knowledge-based skilfully and prudently economy by utilising our limited resources and human capital to meet this collective goal. However, to do this in any objective and scientific way will mean confronting a number of demanding challenges, such as defining what it is we want to achieve as a society and the extent of the deferred gratification we are prepared to endure.
Submitted by Benny
Sir Hilary Beckles, Pro Vice-Chancellor, UWI
It has been repeatedly stated in the Press about the amount of money owed to the UWI by the Government. I would like it explained to the tax payers of Barbados how much the expansion at the University has cost the government in recent years. I am speaking of your philosophy of a graduate in each household. Since the Government pays the tuition for each first degree it is logical to conclude that more of the tax payers dollars are being pumped into your philosophy. Can it be explained to the people of Barbados if this was discussed with the government of the day when you conceptualise this philosophy as to how it will impact on the finances of this country?
I read again recently that you have decided to offer a part-time programme in law to persons with a first degree. This is no doubt an effort to enhance the income of the University because those who pursue this programme will have to pay. However, this programme has the potential to also impact on the finances of this country because the government pays for the tuition at the law schools. Is there really a market for this amount of lawyers? The profession is already under serious challenge with young attorneys starting in some law firms for as little as $1,500.00 per month until they generate their own income. What will be the benefits to the wider society?
Submitted by Looking Glass
UWI, Cave Hilll
Development in any language means change, a break with the past and is people oriented. National Development of which economic development is but a component is personal and qualitative. It depends on our ability to innovate, create and organize and requires an intellectual leap into the future. Resistance to such change is not so much a personal problem but a structural impediment created by the socio-economic system in general and the educational system in particular. In this context our educational system in its current manifestation becomes a repressive developmental factor.
In today’s world the foundation of economic growth and development is the function of human skill not foreign investment. In the world of technology fortunes are made not only in the manufacture off products but by inventing products and processes. Important factors include education and innovation. National development implies the power to create wealth which, in the final analysis depends on our ability to generate new ideas and to turn them into reality.
Here education is crucial. East Asian countries invested huge sums in education designed to facilitate economic growth and industrialisation; their forte product improvement and product creation. The Ivory Coast, a backward country at independence is today a wealthy country. Large sums were invested in education and agriculture rather than industrialisation, and government ensured the implementation and nurturing of programmes needed for development.
Submitted by William Skinner
1920 Model T
As impossible as it is to produce a car for 2013 on a production line of 1960, so is it to produce a citizen for the new emerging world economy from an education system that has been on automatic pilot since the 1960’s. We are still describing an educational system as the building of school plants but we really need to focus on building citizens.
It is common nowadays to describe some people as brilliant without furnishing the slightest evidence. We have reached the stage of accepting mediocrity and dazzle. We have some scribes amongst us, who have mastered the art of regurgitating every idea they have read or heard somewhere else. We have fallen victim to the over worked clichés but the simple truth is that when separated from all the fancy sound bites, we are really shouting loud, writing pretty but saying absolutely nothing.
There are no real thinkers about and the few that we have, who can really make a difference, we are trying to pull down. Everybody seems to be singing for their political supper; hanging on to useless political coat tails in the hope that the next election cycle would benefit them. Apparently we are acting the way we were educated, to be followers not thinkers.