Are Our Key Professions In Crisis?
All professions are important to ensure the productive capacity of the country is firing away on all cylinders. Is is true to say however that some professions can be viewed as being more important than others? BU subscribes to the view in the Barbados context teachers, policemen and nurses represent core professions which are key to building and sustaining a productive society.
It is interesting to observe in recent years how the three professions named have declined if measured by their ability to attract and retain human resources.
Many of our teachers can’t wait to retire. This is an indicator which can be used to judge the state of teaching in Barbados. Many of our teachers are also being recruited by several countries around the globe. BU recalls in the last 3 years several of our best teachers were raided by school boards from Kentucky and New York. Importantly is the fact few men are being attracted to the teaching profession in Barbados. Some statistician worth their salt maybe able to do some analysis to show cause and effect as far as tracking the lack of male relationships in the school system and the boys (men) in crisis syndrome which has appeared.
In recent weeks concern has been expressed by some of the possibility in the near future the need to source police recruits outside of Barbados. This reality like teaching, exposes how another key profession in Barbados is under threat. Although it is accepted our policemen have been sought after over the years by Bermuda and Cayman to name a few countries, we have always been able to satisfy the manpower needs of the Royal Barbados Police Force from the local labour pool. If the current trend continues Barbados will join other countries very soon by having to source recruits from external labour markets.
We could easily write ditto for the nursing profession. Of the three professions named nursing has been forced already to source labour in Nigeria, Philippines, St. Vincent and other external markets. To compound the problem the transition to a Board at the QEH has seen some nurses falling through the crack. What a waste! Our nursing profession is known to be working overtime to keep our healthcare system working.
About each of the problem professions quoted above BU could have detailed many more issues. The focus of this blog is to discuss how the current trends affecting the three professions will impact the kind of Barbados we all love. Picture being stopped on the highway by a Jamaican speed cop. How about Guyanese teachers in our primary schools? Barbadians have already vented on the perceived deterioration of nursing at our primary healthcare institution given by some who struggle to string together coherent sentences. The idea of a good nurse by a patient is the comfort the patient feels from the bedside manner of the nurse, Florence Nightingale style!
Yes nothing under the sun remains the same but …