Government Can't Do It Alone!
Barbadians for the most part have given high marks to the government for introducing free bus rides to school children under 18 years old. The only requirement is that the child is wearing a school uniform or show a school pass to benefit. The Democratic Labour Party is no stranger to introducing bold initiatives of the social variety; free education and school meals are other pioneering social initiatives which come to mind. It should be noted that history has been positive about the impact which free education has had on the Barbados society. Our high educational standards have been linked to the political stability of Barbados, export of labour and the enfranchisement of our people in a post-independence era.
It is obvious that the introduction of free bus rides to school children is a public good which has been designed to target the mushrooming deviant behaviour among our youth population. While the government has been quick to deny that the initiative targets negative behaviour associated with the ZR culture, the BU household is not convinced. For too long, and certainly under the reign of the former government the PSV’s were allowed to terrorize Barbados. The culture had become so embedded that it easily nullified the attempt by the Royal Barbados Police Force to bring order. Don’t we remember Operation Road Traffic Maintenance? The time has come to fight back. Until the PSVs start a program to efficiently self-regulate they will continue to feel the brunt of public policy. No amount of talk about poor black man and people losing jobs will stop the process. The time for talk is done.
Having stated the above we believe that more still needs to be done to protect this future generation from itself. Too often we rely on government to do it all, but what can other stakeholders in the country do to assist in the fight against deviant behaviour among our youth and wider society?
We believe that the David Thompson government is leading by example by rolling out the policy of free bus rides which seeks to push the value bar upwards. Other stakeholders in the country need to follow his lead. One business sector which can assist are the radio stations. We know that our favourite moderator Dennis Johnson visits BU and hopefully maybe provoked to contribute directly or indirectly. For too long Voice of Barbados and other radio stations have been recruiting DJ’s on their popular 95.3 FM, 98.1 and other stations who are known associates of the dancehall underground. These DJ’s who are enormously popular on the radio stations, and whose programs generate huge revenues for the station are known for their recordings of filth and mixes which they pass as music. This music is lapped-up by our PSVs and is a big drawing card not only among school children but a wider audience.
The big question we have for VOB 92.9 and Dennis Johnson, who we understand is in charge of radio, why do you recruit DJs who are known to be involved in creating some of the filth played as music on the PSVs and in the dancehalls around Barbados? Don’t you have some kind of moral responsibility as a good corporate citizen in Barbados? Please do not tell us that you are not aware of some of the unsavoury activities of your DJs.
We suggest that the answer maybe found if your discuss with your Chief Operating Officer Vic Fernandes, it is called MONEY!