Barbados Entrepreneurial Foundation Think Tank, Outcomes

Dr Ronnie Yearwood

The Barbados Entrepreneurial Foundation recently held a think tank session to critique the need for a new Barbados governance model. One of the key players behind the initiative is Dr. Ronnie Yearwood. Last week BU posted ‘An Open Letter to Barbados on Forty Five Years of Independence: We Are the Change’.

Here is some more from Dr. Yearwood:

Some will not agree with Dr. Yearwood and this is good if the commentary is constructive.

0 thoughts on “Barbados Entrepreneurial Foundation Think Tank, Outcomes


  1. CAN I ever ask a question and get an answer please ??
    WHY do you believe that I am making a statement or that the question does not deserve an answer ??
    AM I wrong in saying that when individuals are introduced in particular settings , the person introducing usually does a little bio ??
    WHY in heavens name am I always mis-understood ???


    • It is obvious you are being mischievous because if you read the blog and follow the links you would have read the gentleman you seem interested his Bio.


    • Here is a suggestion in his ideas document which catches the eye:

      What are the ideas to drive change in our Governance?
      I will suggest three institutions that I think will be key to drive change in our
      governance system: the Independent Implementation and Innovation Office,
      Budgetary and Fiscal Management Office and a legalized Social Partnership. These
      will make our governance process more open, accessible, transparent, accountable
      and democratic, which in turn can create the groundwork for a more competitive and
      prosperous economy.


  2. Happy to see more people coming to the realization that no change, meaningful and lasting change to Barbados economic fortunes can be acheived without Governance reform.


  3. Barbados functions according to a plantation economy model, with very little change in its structure since independence. The social, political and economic divisions have changed only relative to time. The peaceful “governance” revolution that Dr Yearwood appears to be advocating cannot come about with a peripheral participation from the private sector, which holds on stoically to its traditional business ethos but one that is concerned for the good of all Barbadians. Economics follows politics only when the political hierarchy has the power to control and manage the money managers.

    While Dr Yearwood does not suggest that a new competition policy would essentially mean having indeed politicians assume real power to overthrow the outdated economic model that holds us back, it seems that he is certainly hinting strongly that this is what he means. A truly participatory model of governance as Dr Yearwood seems to be alluding to, cannot take place without the involvement of a strong and vibrant civil society sector.

    I am saying, a top down governance structure would not ring in the new and ring out the old and the old social partnership between government, trade unions and private sector indeed would have to be extended. But then we would need strong civil society organisations and I am not referring to the Barbados Cancer Society.

    Small size is not an excuse for inefficiency! But the paradigm shift Barbados is called on to make at this critical juncture in our history is akin to the land reform project for the country that never was after the 1937 Riots. If the powers that be continue to baulk at the history that needs to be written before them – we will all be loosers not winners. I am not arguing that this is about Land Reform – that opportunity passed us long before I was born. But Governance has many definitions and a Copernican revolution is truly needed to get Barbados to refocus policies and institutions.

    A neo-liberal model to reform the public sector is not the answer. Do not sell off our public assets. I gather politicians already own many anyway. Yes I agree with better management of the public sector, and a depolitisation of the sector. And one other thing, before you do anything, you see those young men and women on the block…. they need to be included. Just ask them what they think . If our children who I often see running around on pastures like chickens without heads can be saved and offered a much better future, any governance reform would be well worth it.

    If you continue to manage from the top down, with the levels of nepotism and “hero worship” that exists, the salt and corn beef politics will continue. Many people want to leave because we see Barbados choking on its own vomit. The success of Barbados also means a degree of freedom to do and to be that currently does not exist. At the end of the day, people will always be at the center of development.


  4. “If you continue to manage from the top down, with the levels of nepotism and “hero worship” that exists, the salt and corn beef politics will continue. Many people want to leave because we see Barbados choking on its own vomit. The success of Barbados also means a degree of freedom to do and to be that currently does not exist. At the end of the day, people will always be at the center of development.”

    Excellent point, however this continually happens in small societies and countries. How can we shift from this sick way of doing business in a country where almost everyone is related? The leadership we have now is a result of scraping the bottom of the barrel. The old bureaucrats have resisted change and if there is any, it is so miniscule has been lost amongst the the pile of garbage that exists.

    We keep trying to get old trees that have come to the end of their days to bear fruit instead of planting new trees and new varieties. We are happy to continually eat the same food even though there is very little nutrient value in it for us. When will we wake up? Can we wake up? Is it too late for us? Are we waiting on the whip to make us change?


  5. heard Winston Cox … That F*cker is impressive. And to think he only held office for two years (i believe the shortest term of any GoCB).

    I am with the island chick. Old trees cannot bear new fruit and all of the reforms that the good PhD requests requires new fruit (including the institutions that cough up these political nitwits and have us believe that they must only be referred to as “Honorable”).

    “reform of Government procurement system through a Contractor General” My god man, having NO Contractor General is the basis of the political party’s business model …


  6. @ David
    “How do we to borrow the term from the doctor, disrupt the status quo.”

    Find out who are the legal owners of the properties on Geoarge Street and Reubuck Street and sue their collective asses for gross negligence, accepting illegal bribes and breaking of implied contracts with the people of Barbados either through incompetence or deceit …!


  7. If Dr. Ronnie R. F. Yearwood woke up and realized that the relationship between the political party and the private providers of products and services is a business (big business) then he would know that he has wasted his time and ink on ideas that just do not fit. There is no genuine desire to help Barbados … there is only the need to make money, as much of it, while you can. Why do you think there are so many lawyers actively involved in politics ..?


  8. @ islandgal246 | November 21, 2011 at 6:28 AM |
    “We keep trying to get old trees that have come to the end of their days to bear fruit instead of planting new trees and new varieties. We are happy to continually eat the same food even though there is very little nutrient value in it for us”.

    I like your use of analogy to nature. This is teaching at its highest (parabolic) level! It’s like putting new wine in old “skin” bottles.
    This piece philosophical advice is most appropriate to the existing socio-economic decay afflicting this country.
    We have heard the likes of Winston Cox & the Courtney Blackmans ad nauseam. Now there are some johnnies-come-lately in the shape of armchair entrepreneur Boos & PhD Yearwood. Persaud has caught on to the game that Bajans like sweet talk with loads of big words to massage their so called educated egos. $20,000 per ½ hour talk brings the highest return only ex-politicians like Blair can dream of!
    Unless we get some real root and branch reform as suggested by BAFBFP we will continue to spin tot in mud and remain constant in this NATO (no action talk only) land.


  9. What I really think: Dr Yearwood has to come better than that. The proposal is wishy-washy to say the least. The Barbadian public is far more informed than Dr Yearwood seems to think. His ideas are not well put together and we wish to see evidence. As good intentioned as he is, we don’t like being preached at. When I saw the list of persons included for this important forum in the media, it seemed almost exclusive. I shuddered that here we are with all the ingredients to promote the idea of a great governance model not for Barbados alone but the world and the message being sent is that men and women in the street have no intuitive or other opinion about the future transformation of this country. I could be very mistaken so correct me if I am wrong, who were the other citizens present, who have an equal share in the right to determine how this country moves forward? Ans remember, a sustainable development model of governance cannot copy the EU model being discussed. It has to be created from within by ALL OF WE.


  10. I also blame the media for only mentioning those leaders they consider most “important” and critical to the debate. Barbados is a good democratic model to date but is declining on all levels. If there is one thing you cannot chide Mr Arthur for and that is the inclusive approach to governance – as distorted as that came to be , fodder as it was to feed his political ambitions. This foolishness has to come to an end. Now is the time to implement Dr Yearwood – But what indeed shall we implement, if we cant indeed see the woods for the trees?


    • @Wordsong

      You are on song with your last comments. Ideas can spring from anywhere not only from the cadre of the academics and intellectuals. As you alluded in your first post we have to do this thing together.


  11. “The scenario you have painted cannot be orchestrated.”

    David, CAN”T is a man who has never tried. It is better to try and fail than fail to try!


    • @islandgal

      We can design the best infrastructure and governance system but we need quality people to operate within that system exist or what it evolves to.

      There should be a correlation between the quality education we fund to make the environment in which we operate a fertile one and the quality and volume of leadership which is available.

      Do you agree?


  12. Political change must come from the very institution which is in need of reform. The members of that chamber and those who aspire to become a member must be forced to make the changes needed to benefit all of us.

    -We must agree on major reformation changes and initiatives, put these demands in writing and insist on a commitment -in writing- from all candidates bofore us in an election, and be prepared to recind the contract of the governing party -in the very next election- should they be unable to impliment into law said reforms.


  13. @ Adrian Hinds | November 21, 2011 at 11:45 AM |

    “….. and be prepared to rescind the contract of the governing party -in the very next election- should they be unable to implement into law said reforms.”

    Sounds you are making a very good case why Bajans should not return the DLP to power. Enact FoI & Integrity now and we would have a change of heart and mind! Fair enough? And don’t come with any excuse about the BLP promised them too but did not do anything. We dealing with the present!


    • Actually it sounds like a good case why we need to find out from the government in waiting what is their position on FOI and integrity legislation.


  14. We can’t hear a word the the leader of that BLP!
    At least when MAM was holding the position she was very vocal on numerous matters some of them warning bells that turn out to be correct.
    I mean he and FS so “sweet” they can talk?


  15. I agree David that ……”There should be a correlation between the quality education we fund to make the environment in which we operate a fertile one and the quality and volume of leadership which is available. ”

    The quality is not there and hasn’t been for a long time. Yet we keep fooling ourselves that we are “educated” and that we have a “University” that is not meeting the needs of this country only producing “Graduates” who cannot function, are not innovative and lack real leadership qualities. We have to get away from concentrating on producing Doctors, Lawyers, Sociologists and fully develop the Science and technical areas that will benefit the country here and abroad.

    There was a recent competition in the USA among University students from all over the world building solar powered homes. Where was the UWI in all this? How can we expose our own to think outside the box by remaining here and doing the same old same old. It is clear that UWI is not capable of growing these students to another level. http://www.solardecathlon.gov/gallery_houses.htm

    We were forerunners in solar energy and have never taken it further than heating water. How come all these engineers and architects haven’t come up with novel designs for our chattel houses? How come they haven’t come up with solutions for inexpensive housing and portable housing that would help those people whose homes were destroyed by hurricanes.

    We can be innovators but we lack the passion for it and many of the bigger businesses here need to provide incentive for programs like these.

    http://www.solardecathlon.gov/index.html


    • @islandgal

      Two things we can conclude from your post:

      1.National priorities need to be reordered
      2.Our education system needs a revamp to ensure relevance i.e. to be partly synced with the national strategy


  16. @ islandgal246 | November 21, 2011 at 1:36 PM |
    “There was a recent competition in the USA among University students from all over the world building solar powered homes. Where was the UWI in all this? How can we expose our own to think outside the box by remaining here and doing the same old same old. It is clear that UWI is not capable of growing these students to another level. ”

    Because the people with the money and the academically educated politicians (same doctors and lawyers etc) are just waiting on the bandwagon to import the finished product in knockdown form for re-assembly and call it an industry fit for fiscal and other incentives. Easy profit margins! No creativity, no risk of failure, no real competition! But bang! Big returns on little investment! That is what Boos and the like call entrepreneurship.

    Don’t worry you will soon see a Chinese owned and managed factory set up to import the solar energy products from China and installed in Bajan homes and business houses.
    Since it is a foregone conclusion that the NIS money will be used to help finance the 4 Seasons project one of the conditions of that investment should be that the hotel and later on the villas should be principally “energised’ using solar based technologies. Now that would be thinking outside the box with an entrepreneurial spirit to boot!


    • enuff

      Some good discussion has taken place here so far. What kind of suggestions are you looking for? Have you put one?


  17. @ enuff | November 21, 2011 at 3:32 PM |
    “All talk, not a fella can’t put a real suggestion on the table.”

    What about you? Put one then!
    I put one in regard to inviting the local money barons to put some money.
    The Trini owned merchandise businesses along with Sagicor, C& W , BL&P can also put a few millions each.
    What about the suggestion of the NIS tying its investment in the 4 Seasons project with the use of alternative energy (use of solar technology to save forex on imported fuel oil).

    Come on, “enough criticism of others’ contributions without a workable alternative.
    Step to the plate (wicket), enuff!


    • &PZZ US: ‘BBB /A 3’ Rating On Barbados Affirmed, Outlook Negati
      2011-11-21 19:52:28.211 GMT
      STANDARD & POOR’S FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC (“S&PZZ-L”)
      – ‘BBB-/A-3’ Rating On Barbados Affirmed, Outlook Negative
      We are affirming our ‘BBB-/A-3′ local and foreign currency ratings on Barbados.
      Global events are weakening Barbados’ economic recovery. We believe that the high fiscal pressures may hinder Barbados’ medium-term growth.
      Barbados’ recent revenue measures and expenditure constraints will help to narrow its fiscal deficits, but the pace of fiscal consolidation is slower than expected, which has led to a continuous rise in the government’s debt, with general government gross debt expected to remain above 70% of GDP this year before edging downward.
      We are revising the outlook to negative; this reflects the rising risk of a downgrade should the combination of lackluster growth and insufficient fiscal adjustment within the next twelve months indicate a higher debt burden or a rising debt service burden that impairs fiscal flexibility.
      NEW YORK Nov. 21, 2011–Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services affirmed its ‘BBB-/A-3’ local- and foreign-currency sovereign credit ratings on Barbados. We revised the outlook to negative from stable. Standard & Poor’s transfer and convertibility assessment on Barbados is unchanged at ‘BBB’.
      “We base our ratings on Barbados on the country’s stable, predictable, and mature political system, which benefits from consensus on major economic and social issues, including support from the private sector and trade unions for the government’s ongoing adjustment program”, said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Olga Kalinina. “The government’s large fiscal deficits and a rising debt burden, which are not sustainable in the long-term and present an increasing risk to the government’s credit profile, especially in the context of the small, open, and vulnerable economic structure, constrain the ratings.”
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      Given Barbados’s fixed exchange regime, the onus of macroeconomic adjustment rests on fiscal policies. The government has introduced a number of revenue measures and focuses on containing spending, which has improved the fiscal performance in the first six months of the current fiscal year.
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      “Despite some recent improvements, the deficits are projected to continue to be large. We estimate that the change in the general government debt will be 3.7% of GDP on average between 2011-2014. We project that interest expense will consume 13% of general government revenues on average during the same time period. Absent more aggressive fiscal adjustment, we believe that net general government debt will likely stay at 52% of GDP in
      2011-2013 before subsiding slightly in 2014,” concluded Ms. Kalinina.
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      Sovereign Government Rating Methodology and Assumptions, June 30, 2011
      Methodology: Criteria For Determining Transfer And Convertibility Assessments, May 18, 2009
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  18. @ David
    The National Strategic Plan 2006 – 2025 covers all these issues being bandied about. Having refused to contribute to the debate in Parliament, has this government adopted this plan?
    Talk is one thing!


  19. @ Islandgal246
    Yuh mek muh laugh!! I maintain our future is in CSME. The key component is, however, still missing from the framework.


  20. @Enuff
    The current government, on the recommendation of a former Governor of the Central Bank, scrapped that National Strategic Plan that so many civil servants across the board worked tirelessly on. The truth is, with the right policies in place, and had this government been willing to listen, Barbados would have been better off than it is now. A failing grade to this dismal DLP.


  21. @ enuff | November 21, 2011 at 3:58 PM |

    Yes they (DLP administration) have accepted it lock, stock, barrel and smoking guns too! From marina to hospital. From foreign borrowing to BOLT! From selling land to foreigners to the concreting of the East Coast.
    Even the Jada projects are following the Private/Public Investment model.

    Only thing different is the killing and distribution of the largesse (fatted calf) t(h)rough the constituency councils !


  22. @ David
    Does it not talk about a Green Economy, Cultural Industries, new governance etc. You just spoke of ‘revamping education’ to meet the ‘national strategy’? To what strategy you refer?
    @ millertheanunnaki
    Ok, but I thought they even refused to participate in the parliamentary debate?


    • @enuff

      But were you not pursuing a ‘drill baby drill’ policy?

      What cultural industry and the Empire Theatre left to go derelict?

      New governance strategy and the BLP’s constitution itself goes contrary?

      It is all a sham by the politicos.


  23. @ enuff:

    “New governance strategy and the BLP’s constitution itself goes contrary?”

    That upper cut from David hurt real bad. Take a compulsory 10 count before getting off your knees!


  24. I am telling you what the document addressed, I am not involved in or questioning its implementation. After all the people that supported it in Opposition.

    Aren’t we drilling all now? What is wrong with drilling, solar panels, natural gas, wind altogether?

    Nobody can deny that Crop Over expanded significantly under the BLP, and a wider cross section of the society became involved. They also rejuvenated NIFCA and Independence celebrations with the Spirit of the Nation show. Under which government did the BFA at BCC started? Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Arts? Where is the end of year fashion show for local designers started in 2007? Any young designers sent to Italy since the first in 2007?

    Did the lack of a refurbished Empire stopped Rihanna, Hal, Shontelle, Livvi, Malissa Alanna, Vita Chambers, Allison, Cover Drive, Buggy, David Kirton, Rupee, Indra et al? Will the refurbishment of the theatre alone mean instant superstars and a booming cultural industry? Will it mean better production, songwriting etc for Crop Over? How many young people are willing to pursue a career in culture? I keep telling you that we are 270, 000 people.
    What facilities the West Indian teams of yore had?


  25. @George C. Brathwaite
    The National Strategic Plan you mentioned is dated. It needed scrapping. I wouldn’t fault the government for that at all. They were right.


  26. @ WordSong | November 22, 2011 at 9:36 AM |

    At least there was a plan to follow!
    Is the current administration following a plan or playing it by ear?
    But then again blind men can’t read a plan unless it is written in IMF braille!


    • Is there a discussion to be had about an irrelevant plan and no plan? Let us stay on point here. Building out Barbados on services and real estate FDI is not a plan.


  27. @ Wordsong @ David

    “The National Strategic Plan you mentioned is dated. It needed scrapping. I wouldn’t fault the government for that at all. They were right”
    —————————————
    Here are but a few strategies from that ‘dated’ and ‘needed scrapping’ document:

    1. Facilitate evidence-based policy development and programme development through expanded research and development.

    2. Facilitate and promote the development of cultural expertise and culture as a genuine career choice.

    3. Promote at all educational levels, the development of critical-thinking skills and an entrepreneurial outlook.

    4. Promote the improvement and strengthening of technical and vocational education and training.

    5. Promote a judicious mix of private and public sector involvement in the provision of education and training.

    6. Develop programmes to expand the supply of renewable energy from wind, sun and biomass

    @ millertheanunnaki

    The DLP’s ‘strategy’ was the ‘Medium Term Fiscal Strategy’ you forget?


  28. enuff

    You should have been at the Springer Memorial Lecture at the Frank Collymore Hall on Monday delivered by a prominent Bajan Professor at MIT. He also presented a development plan that focused on developing the young human capital of the region into PRODUCERS of GOODS (as opposed to services). He said Barbados is guilty of producing too many Lawyers and economists. Courtney Blackman said they were too many finance people.Everyone in the room clapped. They were all hypocrites of course after all most of them were of the same service provider elk … He also was opposed to the eleven plus.

    Entrepreneurship is not just about working for yourself, it is about producing something tangible as the means of doing so …! These people at the think tank are concerned with too much government and given the opportunity would privatize the Water Authority (for example) and stand by as this asset is sold like so many others, to Trinidadians. (Who owns Tall Ships enterprises now)


  29. David

    Signing a pledge is not good enough. I need political organizations that have sufficient legal personalities to allow for them to be sued in a court of law.


  30. Should I have therefore said the plan is too vague and filled with too much rhetoric and jargon to be meaningful? A strategic plan however – dated 2005 to 2025 – is too old school and can never be good in my humble opinion, not in today’s rapidly changing economic and social environment. Far better are shorter more targeted plans not these multi-year ones that do not stand the test of time and are far too broad with too many platitudes and clichés. The seas are rough – and sailors cannot afford to take the long nap that this plan offers. So the destination and strategies must of necessity be re-assessed constantly.

    Prof. Warde had some informed, detailed, sensible and clear proposals for retooling Barbados in Science and Technology. The picture he painted had implications for other sectors of the society and also pointed out some of the flaws in a post colonial educational system that has changed little at the primary level.( Should Prof. Warde write the plan?) I was definitely there at the Frank Collymore Hall and I took a few notes.

    Paraphrasing Prof. Warde:

    There is a need to eliminate the 11 Plus examination. It contributes to feelings of inferiority among people taking it who did not pass. Children should not be made to feel inferior. St Kitts has eliminated the 11 Plus and are doing well. The guiding principles of the CXC need re-examining.

    There is a reason for redefining education: we need a new vehicle of human empowerment and social transformation. The system no longer works. We have to study the implications of internationalization of education in a globalised world given factors such as the rapid obsolescence of knowledge in the information revolution.

    The ideal CARICOM person lives by five basic principles according to CARICOM 1997 IDEAL:
    1. Live together
    2. Learn to Be
    3. Learn to Do
    4. Learn to Learn

    Barbados must adopt an inquisitive approach to education and learning. In the current system, a large fraction of children will lose interest in Science and Technology when they go into school. Low coast approaches should be adopted for inquiry based methods of teaching. This has been done in Chile, Venezuela and other countries. Creativity is fostered in this way i.e through inquiry. Entrepreneurship cannot be taught from a book in a classroom. So that the present system fails because it does not expose children to sufficient inquiry.

    Re: Science Trinidad and Tobago and some other countries have a more advanced system of teaching through inquiry methods. In general Barbados has to create more Math Olympics, Science Fairs, Science Museums, new mentor incubators and internships, special summer programmes. Teachers need to be retrained.

    I did not miss the great intervention by the outstanding Professor’s village school-teacher (?) either – a poetic, humorous, intelligent and dignified ode to the traditional Barbadian sustainable development model, when social education was an essential part of good parenting and work ( feeding pigs etc) was not considered beneath one’s dignity but a part of what we now call community development. Why should we have to raise funds for community development when our communities intuitively had models of development that people now pay handsomely to learn?


  31. David

    as word WordSong would attest, the good MIT professor claimed that it was necessary to understand the effects of the change and prepare for them, and he did speak of “revolutionary ” change and not “evolutionary” change, which is a clear indication of how critical the change process is for there to be any hope of success for these small economies going forward.


  32. As you might be aware, there was a Barbadian who at sixteen reached the semi finals of the junior US Open Grand Slam tennis event. He was regularly beating the likes of Michael Chang, Jim Courier, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras (all now tennis legends) who were his peers at the time, but was forced to give up the sport to pursue academics at Stanford by his parents….! He is Martin Blackman, son of the past GoCB who clapped so enthusiastically at the end of the lecture …! Hypocrites …


  33. @BAFBFP

    Agree with you that many of our models have to be transformed but dismantling ‘our way’ which has been ensconced for eons will not happen unless there is a compelling reason. One would have thought the need for Barbados to survive in a the current changing global dynamic would have acted as a catalyst.


  34. Wordsong …..Thank you for such an enlightening post. You have hit the nail on the head and I totally agree with you. We have to start with training our teachers first in order to implement such a model. Our society despises an inquiring mind especially coming from those that are deemed less “educated”. Our system does not allow open discussion between teacher and student. We still have that Massa approach to teaching. Science is taught only from books and not as a living subject. We have a long way to go but we have to start ASAP.


  35. BAFBFP | November 23, 2011 at 7:21 AM |
    ” who were his peers at the time, but was forced to give up the sport to pursue academics at Stanford by his parents….! He is Martin Blackman, son of the past GoCB who clapped so enthusiastically at the end of the lecture …! Hypocrites …”

    Right on, there! Bunch of fakes! What you said about Martin is undeniably true. “Do as I say and not as I do” hypocrisy. Boos same type of person! Now where is Martin today after such heavy academic investment?


  36. BAFBFP

    Martin Blackman had to go back to school at age 30 because he was getting his backside regularly beaten in tennis. He was an early bloomer at age 12 but was surpassed by the others later on despite the support (you claim he did not receive) from his father.

    Prof Ward is an eminent scientist and educator. The institution at which he works, MIT, labels itself a most highly selective institution. One must be in the top 5% to get in. It does NOT admit a broad range of abilities. Please google the Bronx High School of Science or Stuyvesant High School or the Brooklyn Technical High School for a look at the admission practices of the three top PUBLIC high schools in New York if not the USA. What about your beloved Singapore? What practices do they have? Trinidad is the top performing country at CXC and CAPE and they have an 11 plus system of selection and transfer from primary to secondary school. Barbados’s performance in the regional CXC examinations objectively surpasses that of St.Kitts. I do not care if we retain the “11 plus” or not, I just hope that people do not believe that the removal of the 11 plus ALONE (or even in part) will be the solution to our school problems. I believe it is the introduction of the other changes suggested by Prof Ward (curriculum content, assessment methods and management of schools etc) that will make the difference. Removal of the 11 plus is easy, the other suggested changes are difficult to implement.

    I believe that along with the removal of the common entrance exam, we should get rid of the separation of primary and secondary schools. There should be one type of school for ages 7 to 16 and then specialised institutions there after. Before age 7, children should be allowed to play, get dirty, have fun and be loved.


  37. “There should be one type of school for ages 7 to 16 and then specialised institutions there after. Before age 7, children should be allowed to play, get dirty, have fun and be loved.”

    Well said!


  38. It is also my fervent belief that the single problem with our school system is that we (Barbados) will not admit that the present system was designed to address concerns and situations existing 200 or more years ago. The world has changed. Not even the Anglican Church supports slavery anymore (LOL).


  39. Ping Pong

    Ja ja … 7 – 16 is fine. And I say drop the title “College” from the two St Michael High schools, cosmetic change yes, but damn it, it’s time enough! Either refer to them all as colleges or refer to none of them at all!

    Martin dropped out of Standford after two years, was forced to seek cheap ATP points in the sub Continent, got seriously ill, and was never quite the player again. Sampras and the others just focused on what the were good at, at the time when it mattered most in an athletic career.


  40. @ David, miller

    There will be NO change. The design of the system works very well for those who finance the political parties and the University of the West Indies. For the people, it ain’t broke …!

    @ IslandChick

    Wordsong was only regurgitating what he heard at a lecture on Monday …


    • @BAFBFP

      Be nice and keep the discussion going.

      BU thanks Wordsong for sharing her notes and providing insight on what the MIT Professor delivered.


  41. @BAFBFP – You had better read what I wrote. Clearly you did not the first time.
    ” You should have been at the Springer Memorial Lecture at the Frank Collymore Hall on Monday delivered by a prominent Bajan Professor at MIT. He also presented a development plan that focused on developing the young human capital of the region into PRODUCERS of GOODS (as opposed to services). He said Barbados is guilty of producing too many Lawyers and economists. Courtney Blackman said they were too many finance people.Everyone in the room clapped. They were all hypocrites of course after all most of them were of the same service provider elk … He also was opposed to the eleven plus.”

    Talk about regurgitation! Or was it because you suspected I was a male?

    @ David and IslandGal, thank you. This fora offers me an opportunity to get some of my ideas and feelings about a number of topics out. I enjoy participating, especially when the comments are reasonable and balanced. I like to draw on my own experience of work to inform the issues I write about. I believe I have a contribution to make and that is why I am here.

    @ BAFBFP : About Prof Warde’s address, I stated VERY CLEARLY that I was paraphrasing: What exactly is your point besides some sort of strange hostility for no apparent reason? You do a great discredit to yourself. Before now I had some measure of respect for you.

    Again let me repeat:

    “Paraphrasing Prof. Warde:

    There is a need to eliminate the 11 Plus examination. It contributes to feelings of inferiority among people taking it who did not pass. Children should not be made to feel inferior. St Kitts has eliminated the 11 Plus and are doing well. The guiding principles of the CXC need re-examining.

    There is a reason for redefining education: we need a new vehicle of human empowerment and social transformation. The system no longer works. We have to study the implications of internationalization of education in a globalised world given factors such as the rapid obsolescence of knowledge in the information revolution.

    The ideal CARICOM person lives by five basic principles according to CARICOM 1997 IDEAL:
    1. Live together
    2. Learn to Be
    3. Learn to Do
    4. Learn to Learn

    Barbados must adopt an inquisitive approach to education and learning. In the current system, a large fraction of children will lose interest in Science and Technology when they go into school. Low coast approaches should be adopted for inquiry based methods of teaching. This has been done in Chile, Venezuela and other countries. Creativity is fostered in this way i.e through inquiry. Entrepreneurship cannot be taught from a book in a classroom. So that the present system fails because it does not expose children to sufficient inquiry.

    Re: Science Trinidad and Tobago and some other countries have a more advanced system of teaching through inquiry methods. In general Barbados has to create more Math Olympics, Science Fairs, Science Museums, new mentor incubators and internships, special summer programmes. Teachers need to be retrained.”

    There endeth my paraphrase of Prof. Warde’s statement, which if you had read carefully, I would not have had to be forced to repeat. Moreover, you have caused a very good discussion to deteriorate.


  42. … attempted to butter-up Sir Charles and now attempting to butter-up Sir Kyffin, and all on radio – this woman has no shame.

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