The Education System – Fixing the Model

Submitted by the Mahogany Coconut Think Tank/ Watch Dog Group.

Hon Ronald Jones, Minister of Education

The problems in education do not spring from a lack of resources; in fact, while a considerable portion of our money is indeed spent on education, it is certainly wasted on the model /approach.

It is most convenient to: blame the teachers for the decline in discipline; police for the increase in crime; nurses for the problems at the QEH and civil servants for the inability of successive governments to restructure or reform our economy. We protect the new black elite managerial class and turn a blind eye to their transgressions. We submit that the problems we now confront in our society, are to a great degree hatched within an education system, that has not seen any serious reforms for the last forty or so years.

The education system has failed because while it writes off thousands of our children, it guarantees very small elite all the comforts. Failure will continue, once the “eleven plus” remains the corner stone of our education system.

We at Mahogany Coconut therefore submit the following for your readers’ further discussion and consideration.

1. Current System: Enter Primary School Age 5 Enter Secondary School Age 12 (Period Covered 7 years)

Proposed System: Enter Primary School Age 5 Enter Junior College Age 14 (Period Covered 9 years)

Abolition of Common Entrance: replaced by continuous assessment

Abolition of Secondary Schools: replaced by Junior Colleges

Extra two years at Primary school spent on better assessment and preparation for junior college eliminating cost of having high schools. Giving society more time to plan for effective use of human resources; better conditioning of Labour market etc. Resources saved from abolition of High Schools will go toward upgrading of Primary Schools and broadening of curriculum.

Junior Colleges will be zoned thereby allowing students to reach college with minimum difficulty. Teachers will better allocated/ balanced in terms of academic and technical skills. This will break down the lop-sided academic approach. Academically inclined students will enter university direct from Junior College while technically inclined and other students will enter trade schools and or polytechnics.

2. The following New educational institutions will be introduced:

College of the Environment, Emphasis: Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, Botany, Energy, Landscaping etc.

Sports and Recreational College, Emphasis: Coaching, Sports Management, Sports Medicine etc.

College of Culture, Emphasis: Music, Writing, Acting, Drama, Folk Culture Calypso, Steel Pan etc.

These changes will benefit both the academically and technically inclined students and will create greater employment and better management of our resources.

Please note these recommendations were made since 1987 and submitted to the then Task Force on Unemployment. This is an extremely edited portion of that submission/paper.

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No Comments on “The Education System – Fixing the Model”

  1. Zoe August 22, 2012 at 8:18 PM #

    Genocide looms for white farmers
    South Africa’s black president sings killing songs as thousands massacred
    Published: 4 days ago

    STOCKHOLM, Sweden – The eyes of the world were on South Africa two decades ago as the apartheid era came to an end and Western governments helped bring the communist-backed African National Congress to power.

    When Genocide Watch chief Gregory Stanton declared that white South African farmers were facing a genocidal onslaught and that communist forces were taking over the nation, virtually nobody noticed.

    Few outside of South Africa paid attention either when, earlier this year, the president of South Africa began publicly singing songs advocating the murder of whites.

    The silence is so deafening that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton didn’t even publicly mention the problems when she was there last week. Instead, she was busy dancing, pledging billions of dollars and praising the ruling government.

    “I find that quite disturbing, as if Afrikaner lives do not count for the Obama administration,” Dan Roodt of the Pro-Afrikaans Action Group, PRAAG, told WND.

    He says the situation is rapidly deteriorating.

    The tyranny of political correctness is out of control. Read Ilana Mercer’s “Into The Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa.”

    Genocide Watch, a highly respected U.S.-based nonprofit organization led by arguably the world’s foremost expert on genocide, has been sounding the alarm on the genocidal onslaught facing South Africa for a decade. The world media, however, has barely uttered a word about it.

    Over those 10 years, thousands of white South African farmers, known as Boers, have been massacred in the most horrific ways imaginable.

    Experts say the ongoing slaughter constitutes a clear effort to exterminate the whites or at least drive the remaining ones – now less than 10 percent of the population – out of the country. In other words, South Africa is facing a genocide based on the United Nations’ own definition.

    More than 3,000 farm murders have been documented in that time period, representing a significant number considering the number of commercial white farmers is now estimated at less than 40,000.

    Tens of thousands of whites have been murdered throughout South Africa, too, according to estimates.

    Disemboweled, drowned in boiling water

    Many more victims have been savagely tortured, raped, disemboweled, drowned in boiling water or worse. The horrifying evidence is available for the world to see on countless sites throughout the Internet: pictures of brutalized dead women and children – even babies.

    “We don’t know exactly who is planning them yet, but what we are calling for is an international investigation that will try and determine who is planning these murders,” Stanton said.

    The ANC government downplays the problem, claiming it is mostly just “regular” crime. Experts, however, know that is not true.

    “Things of this sort are what I have seen before in other genocides,” Stanton, who also worked against apartheid, said of the murdered white farmers after a fact-finding mission to the “Rainbow Nation” in June.

    “This is what has happened in Burundi, it’s what happened in Rwanda,” he continued in a speech to the Transvaal Agricultural Union in Pretoria. “It has happened in many other places in the world.”

    The true scope of the problem is almost impossible to determine, because the ruling ANC refuses to properly track the figures.

    Regular citizens are now working to compile the statistics and document the savagery themselves.

    The government often classifies the brutal farm murders as simple “robberies,” for example. Sometimes the crimes are not even reported.

    South African exiles and family members of victims who spoke with WND said reporting the atrocities is often useless or even counter-productive.

    In some cases, experts also say, authorities are actually involved in the brutal crimes. Police oftentimes participate in cover-ups, too.

    The non-stop wave of grisly, racist murders in the Rainbow Nation – new incidents are reported almost daily now – has led Genocide Watch to conclude that South Africa is close to the final phases of the genocidal onslaught.

    When ANC Youth League boss Julius Malema began singing “Kill the Boer,” Genocide Watch moved up South Africa to stage six out of eight on the road to genocide – the preparation and planning. The seventh phase is extermination of the target group. The final stage is denial.

    “It became clear to us that the [(ANC) Youth League was this kind of organization – it was planning this kind of genocidal massacre and also the forced displacement of whites from South Africa,” Stanton explained.

    When a court declared the racist song “hate speech” for inciting genocide against whites, the self-styled communist president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, began singing it too.


  2. islandgal246 August 22, 2012 at 8:22 PM #

    Zoe you would love to put the clock back 300 years where you kind felt that you were the GOD for the African Race and we are still waiting for your kind to save our sorry black souls. Ain’t gonna happen to this Negress.


  3. David August 22, 2012 at 8:38 PM #

    Is it not ironic, maybe comical, at a time we should be rigorously debating how to make the education system better we have all elected to rub our hands in glee to watch the lynching about to take place at AX. Remember if and when the dust settles the systemic issues remain.


  4. Zoe August 22, 2012 at 8:41 PM #

    @Negress, IGNORANCE has nothing to do with your COLOUR, its your ENDARKENED MIND* therefore, “…If the light that be in YOU is DARKNESS, Oh, how great is that DARKNESS?!”


  5. Enuff August 22, 2012 at 9:06 PM #

    If we want to see real elitism, introduce continuous assessment. No college of IT? Those three ‘colleges’ are so predictable. College of Culture…lmao!


  6. David August 22, 2012 at 9:13 PM #


    Are you suggesting to leave the system as is?


  7. Reginald August 22, 2012 at 9:29 PM #

    David, these aren’t the only colleges you are suggesting, are they?


  8. David August 22, 2012 at 9:31 PM #


    BU is not the author of this piece.


  9. Bush Tea August 22, 2012 at 10:29 PM #

    Bushie agrees with Enuff’s brief but pointed assessment of this plan.


  10. Observing (...) August 23, 2012 at 12:03 AM #

    “these recommendations were made since 1987”

    yup, and they are now 25 years outdated and would not work in the present context. Good attempt at change, but change must match current reality if it is to even stand a chance.


  11. ready done August 23, 2012 at 12:22 AM #

    One thing is right for sure the system needs a change, but it has to be done slowly, other wise a politician will not touch it. I for one think that the 11 plus should be worth 50% of your mark to get into a secondary school. the other 50% should be from contiguous assessment. That way there is less pressure on the students. I think allot more should be done to promote team work amounts the students, with older tutoring younger, secondary schools should teach 2 subjects a year to the students and they should be doing two cxc a year. and the most important is the easiest to change that is the view of information technology in the class room.

    this gets me peeved every time.

    TOO MUCH of tax payers money was spent on edutec putting computers rooms in all the schools, this was never a good idea computers become outdated every year and the students get to use them for 1/2 hour a week. that money would have been WAY better spent on projectors and laptop for every teacher that way the students would be seeing this stuff used every second of the day and seeing is learning.


    A SMART PHONE IS NO DIFFERENT THAN A CALCULATOR a tool for the student use. So by banning them we are collectively saying to our youths, Look we want you to learn about this wonderful thing call technology but not by actually using it, only by reading about it in books, it has no place in our schools and all you can do with it is go on facebook and bb @ lunch and on the way too/from school.

    I think using smart phones in school could create a marked difference in 2 years, @ no cost to tax payers, the children have the phones already and they pay that internet bill already and they charge them up at home, so it is no extra cost to the government even if every student does not have one a good teacher should be able to control the class and utilize it effectively. WHAT IS WRONG WITH A SMART PHONE IN A CLASS??????????????????????


  12. Observing (...) August 23, 2012 at 12:32 AM #


    A lack of responsibility and care on the part of most users.

    Re. continuous assessment: this only works if
    a) there is a reasonable level of standardisation across the board
    b) all ,/b> assessors(teachers) are fully aware of the parameters and have been sensitised to what is required
    c) there is adequate tracking, calculation and storage of marks for each student (technology kicks in here) and
    d) there is a quality assurance/evaluation stage that ensures that what has been continuously assessed is indeed valid and equitable with other similar assessments locally and nationally.

    In the absence of (most of) these all that we will have is a system that is as flawed as we deem common entrance to be.

    If we want to reform education, two major questions need to be asked

    1) what do we want as a country? and
    2) why?

    everything else flows from there….

    just observing.


  13. Yardbroom August 23, 2012 at 4:27 AM #

    Hi Observing (…) August 23, 2012, @12:32AM
    Bang On Target!
    If we are going to change the existing system we must have good reasons to change it and know what type of students we need to drive Barbados into a prosperous future.


  14. David August 23, 2012 at 4:33 AM #

    A big part of the problem with the sacred cow is that there is no silver bullet argument. We have to encourage discussion in a climate which ensures any nugget of relevant importance is recognised.


  15. David August 23, 2012 at 4:37 AM #


    As you know Bush Tea has led a few blogs on BU about education. One of the issues you may recall which came up was accepting the reality that education is education. There in lies the challenge.


  16. kiki August 23, 2012 at 8:01 AM #

    @BU Help Desk

    There is a problem with youtube videos being displayed properly


  17. kiki August 23, 2012 at 8:02 AM #

    Please disregard above comment, problem seems fixed now, many thanks


  18. islandgal246 August 23, 2012 at 8:13 AM #

    Human beings love to have someone to look down and spit on. Bajans love to believe that they are the BEST and BETTER than others. Just listen to our PM, he has the best this and the best that. He promotes this superiority behaviour every time he opens his mouth. He spends more time peeping over the fence than looking at his own unkempt backyard. Tell me how will that change our education system when some schools will always be deemed better than others.


  19. Junior August 23, 2012 at 9:28 AM #

    Just to TEST you all….Change the name of HARRISON COLLEGE to ERROL BARROW SECONDARY SCHOOL….


  20. ac August 23, 2012 at 9:36 AM #

    If we are going to change the system it must be with clarity and full understanding that academics does not only mean a childs abilty to be good at the fundmental that is acceptable academic wise but also necessary skills and programs thatwill enhanced the childs chances for success as he/she enters a competive job market


  21. millertheanunnaki August 23, 2012 at 9:57 AM #

    @ Junior | August 23, 2012 at 9:28 AM |

    What about the James Cameron Tudor (JCT) Memorial Secondary School? After all he was a past student and scholar and a very effective Minister of Education and an idol and mentor to the present PM.
    No DLP or BLP supporter can go against such a proposal. Why keep the name of a slave owner and exploiter on our prestigious college of learning and intellectual enlightenment and liberation?
    These fields and hills beyond recall are now our very own.

    Oh what about renaming it the Louis Lynch “Modern” Secondary? A new college specializing in both athletic and scholastic abilities for export to US & Canadian universities to become future Usain Bolts and Kirani Jameses.


  22. Ping Pong August 23, 2012 at 10:21 AM #

    I quite like the name, The King Dyal School. it has a certain ring about it and given Dyal’s reported admiration for things British it would a fit nicely with the historic mission and work of HC. I, originally thought of the Gearbox School of Arts and Sciences but felt that Gearbox deserved better.


  23. Yardbroom August 23, 2012 at 11:49 AM #

    @ David
    The question to be asked, is education for what purpose?
    We have bought into a system which suggest that a successful outcome is being a Doctor or Lawyer both professions of great merit but everyone for a variety of reasons cannot be doctors or lawyers.

    We must devise an Education model that factors in an objective of employment for young people. We have too many youths who are unemployed and it has become the norm under successive Governments, not to give that issue the attention it deserves.

    We have to look at educating people for other areas than those I have mentioned. Education in Barbados often means being more successful at the older established schools and going into specific professions. . . . that must change.

    I fear if we do not tackle this problem; we will store up issues that could fracture the fabric of society we have. . . or what remains of it.


  24. David August 23, 2012 at 12:03 PM #


    Agree that while Barbadians should feel free to pursue whatever educational avenues they desire non traditional avenues must be catered for with prominent weight in the education model.


  25. millertheanunnaki August 23, 2012 at 12:29 PM #

    @ David | August 23, 2012 at 12:03 PM |

    So where is the money going to come from to pay for all of this diversification and restructuring of the present educational system?
    Don’t expect the prevailing economic challenges to disappear. The international economic system is undergoing permanent adjustments and the old avenues of earning our foreign income are narrowing and eliminating the inefficient and weak from its bumpy lanes. Tourism and international business will not be the future golden goose or lifesavers for Barbados to generate enough income to carry out massive reformation to our failing educational system.

    Why not be more realistic and start with the way we finance tertiary education?
    Why not suggest that all students pursuing studies at the university MUST take out student loans to finance at least 50% of the cost of studies. Why give away national scholarships to study overseas in areas that that are already saturated like medicine or in areas which will never in hell be of relevance to the future development of this little island. Let the be beneficiaries of tertiary education “buy in” into their education as see it as a personal investment on which a return is expected.
    To whom much is given, much is expected (Noblesse oblige).


  26. ac August 23, 2012 at 1:00 PM #

    The money will from from those who had benifted from the new and much improved sytem which in the past had only boasted but was unable to produce a generations of self reliant people but now has been able to produce peopl who are skillful and self reliant and not duty bound dependant on govt for a job but have the skills and necessary toools in order to enter a job market confident eniough to know that they can be self employed and at the same can manage and create aviable workforce through entrepreuship


  27. David August 23, 2012 at 1:04 PM #


    There is the option to reallocate resources. The graduates we are producing have to resort to clerical positions anyway. Can’t fathom how they are actualizing!


  28. millertheanunnaki August 23, 2012 at 1:22 PM #

    @ David | August 23, 2012 at 1:04 PM |

    Clerical positions that will soon disappear. The future job markets are not of a clerical nature. ICT will see to that.
    Many of the clerical jobs in the Civil Service and in the statutory boards are redundant with many hands duplicating duties and on the payroll purely through partisan political expediency.
    We really have a real economic Greek tragedy on our hands.


  29. islandgal246 August 23, 2012 at 1:33 PM #

    Websites to be forced to identify trolls under new measures


  30. millertheanunnaki August 23, 2012 at 1:35 PM #

    @ ac | August 23, 2012 at 1:00 PM |
    “.. but now has been able to produce peopl who are skillful and self reliant and not duty bound dependant on govt for a job but have the skills and necessary toools in order to enter a job market confident eniough to know that they can be self employed and at the same can manage and create aviable workforce through entrepreuship”

    Please explain what you are arguing here!
    What entrepreneurship? Selling on the streets trinkets made in China?

    I see more entrepreneurship in the fellas selling ackees, coconuts and other locally grown or made items that those selling imported trinkets.
    The local environment would really do with some entrepreneurial attention.
    What about cleaning up our dirty little island and using our entrepreneurial skills to keep it that way. The NCC is certainly ripe to act as a catalyst for self employment.


  31. Enuff August 23, 2012 at 2:09 PM #

    Peoples all, the education system is a reflection of our society. Change to the system, i.e. respect for the non-academic disciplines, is dependent on SOCIETY changing its perception of what being ‘educated’ or ‘getting an education’ entail.


  32. Observing August 23, 2012 at 2:58 PM #

    Great posts by all.
    Yardbroom, you’re right. For what purpose?

    Miller, we’re still working wiht a 70’s-80’s based education system in a 21st century world. Talking the talk but not putting the money where our mouth is.

    David, reallocation of resources calls for rationale, reason and an appreciation of the political fallout.

    Enuff, many people overlook that fact. Much of the time the 1/2 billion dollars we pump into education is eroded by the negative societal values and norms that creep into the system.

    An overhaul is necessary yes, but it needs to be comprehensive and in sync with sociological issues as well as a vision for economic and national development. Education serves one of two purposes.. to drive a country forward(whatever that may mean at the time, or to maintain the status quo. Barbados seems to have sat on the fence and dilly dallied with deciding which it is that it wants as priority.

    – A vision for national/people development drives economic/financial diversification…

    – economic diversification drives industry creation/enhancement
    – industry creation drives labour market needs…
    – labour market needs drive educational/HR requirements…
    – educational /HR requirements drive curriculum development, infrastructure and implementation at all levels.

    – infrastructure and implementation drives policy and employment within education (local and national) that should tie back in with the vision for national development.

    The cycle begins again.

    We then take all the above and wrap it in the blanket of social mores, desired values and preferred principles along with shaping perceptions and striving for equality and social justice. Only then would we have made a start towards where we want to go.

    But what am I saying, we’re still struggling with basic Public Sector Reform and sitting down on at least 4-5 policy documents on this and other issues. Who am I to dream.

    Just observing.


  33. David August 23, 2012 at 3:41 PM #

    So then it begs the question if we are educated why would we allow perception to interrupt what is required to constantly align/calibrate the education model to satisfy individual aspirations AND national imperatives.


  34. Bush Tea August 23, 2012 at 4:16 PM #

    LOL @David
    “So then it begs the question if we are educated why would we allow perception to interrupt what is required to constantly align/calibrate the education model to satisfy individual aspirations AND national imperatives.”
    It does not beg any question David. It tells us what we are NOT really educated, and that in fact we are clearly missing the very meaning of what “being educated” is.
    We are actually spending half billion scarce dollars every year to push outdated academic programs at our young people….with the appropriate results.

    ….what is the relationship between this process and EDUCATION? Very little !!

    If we start by defining what education is, – it will become even VERY much clearer that we are on the wrong path…..
    …and when you start wrong….


  35. David August 23, 2012 at 5:17 PM #

    @Bush Tea

    We must be in bad shape if we have to define what is education.

    About the Ministry

    The Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development (MEHR) is the Government agency responsible for the formulation of educational and human resource development policies and for the administration and regulation of education and human resource development programmes. The education system caters to approximately 59 500 students annually – 28 000 at the primary level 22 000 at the secondary level and 11,459+ at tertiary level including those enrolled at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill campus. Within the education system there are presently 71 public primary schools, 1 infant school, 4 public nursery schools, 23 public secondary schools, 7 assisted private secondary schools, 2 assisted special schools, 1 public senior school, 20 registered private schools, 3 tertiary-level institutions (namely UWI Cave Hill, Barbados Community College – BCC and Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic – SJPP), 1 teachers’ training institution and 1 central administrative agency. In addition, there are 3 departments, namely Media Resource Department, School Meals Department, and the Education Project Implementation Unit.

    In the context of globalisation and continued changes in information and communication technologies, the national philosophy will be to use education as a tool for national development by ensuring that society develops social, cultural, economic and political viability. Education will therefore be promoted as a lifelong process, which seeks to produce outcomes that are culturally-based, technologically-driven, diverse and dynamic. It will also seek to inculcate in citizens an understanding of, and appreciation for the rule of law. It is through education that individuals will be equipped with the tools necessary to build an all-embracing, cohesive society.

    The various strategies employed by the Ministry will:

    promote learning as a collaborative experience;
    be responsive to, and influenced by, the needs of all beneficiaries;
    recognise the existence of multiple intelligences and abilities, and ensure that these are addressed in the classroom;
    accommodate and address the different learning styles of our students;
    allow each student to develop at his/her own pace;
    promote the creativity of students and the youth, and the building of self-esteem and confidence;
    reinforce the cultural and spiritual values and those behaviours necessary for a productive and wholesome life;
    adopt a research-driven and consultative approach to the development of programmes; and
    promote the holistic development of young people through the creation of an enabling environment that facilitates the self-actualisation of the youth.

    The Ministry in conjunction with other governmental and non-governmental agencies, will continue to offer a multi-sectoral approach to the delivery of social services to young people. The emphasis will continue to be placed on the identification of the needs of young people and the addressing of these needs through relevant programmes.


  36. ac August 23, 2012 at 7:35 PM #

    ac @mille@ ac | August 23, 2012 at 1:00 PM |
    “.. but now has been able to produce people who are skillful and self reliant and not duty bound dependant on govt for a job but have the skills and necessary tools in order to enter a job market confident enough to know that they can be self employed and at the same can manage and create a viable workforce through entrepreneurship”

    miler the case i am making is that short term advantage is not good enough an d that is the way the education is set up and being driven by a mindset that in order for one to be successful and look upon one must be a professional or having high status while ignoring the necessary and more relevant factors that education is comprehensive and the bottom line is those who can contribute the most to a n economy from the education there have achieved i would argue the point however that the more skilled a person is the more benefits a country derives there is a vast amount of knowledge which goes untapped and remains dormant by our educationalist and for lack of better words rob the country of its natural resource through its people because of a refusal of those who believes that the only way a country can obtained a certain amount of superiority and sucess is by having doctors and lawyers with degrees to spoltlight on which the country can be proud of.the failure to recognise that a circle is not complete until its whole would see our education system always struggling to catch up with the rest of the world and out maneuvering itself


  37. Bush Tea August 24, 2012 at 7:24 PM #

    @ David
    “We must be in bad shape if we have to define what is education.”
    It is very good practice to define even basic terms – at the start of any discussion, debate or analysis.
    This ensures that everyone is speaking from the same understanding of the term.
    it may surprise you how many long term arguments, fights, wars (and even marriages 🙂 ) have been caused by different persons having completely different undstanding of the same identical basic terms.


  38. millertheanunnaki August 24, 2012 at 7:40 PM #

    @ Bush Tea | August 24, 2012 at 7:24 PM |
    “it may surprise you how many long term arguments, fights, wars (and even marriages) have been caused by different persons having completely different undstanding of the same identical basic terms.”

    So let us be more like our bonobo cousins and have more sex to settle our differences instead of war like Israel gunning for Iran.

    Maybe if Jeff had used his b(r)oom to straighten out those old sexually frustrated hags things would have panned out differently with them fighting one anther over him instead of ganging up against him.


  39. ac August 24, 2012 at 8:15 PM #

    i can’t envision any body in their right mind having sex with jeff brooomes the guy looks befuddle doesn’t look like he can” rise” to the ocassion.


  40. Bush Tea August 24, 2012 at 9:34 PM #

    Oh quiet now ac! Enuff of your sour grapes.
    Any man who can have such a cute daughter can’t be a bad fella 🙂

    @ miller
    YOU are a gallows bait!


  41. GEORGIE PORGIE August 24, 2012 at 10:22 PM #

    @ miller


  42. 2dbone August 25, 2012 at 8:35 AM #

    You remember Hartley Henry eulogised Thompson saying that he wanted someone from Combermere on the Board at every institution. That is the man who led the DLP with that type of elitist cult-like thinking. some things happen for a good reaosn. Never question the master. Peter Wickham who is teh most vocal about our Education System never said a word about that comment. We too hypocritical!


  43. Ping Pong August 27, 2012 at 1:32 PM #

    Are the storm clouds gathering?

    Two recent news items have caused me to ponder on the future of young Barbadians. The first is the Minister of Education’s musing that future scholarship winners may not be bonded to return and work in Barbados on completion of their studies. Is this tacit acknowledgement that Barbados may not be reasonably able to employ these graduates? The second item of news is the reported level of indebtedness of Barbados to UWI. Apparently, jobs as well as student admissions are threatened.

    While we enjoy the charade that is the Alexandra inquiry and pontificate on the definition of education etc, is it unreasonable to worry that the future development and employment prospects of our young people is growing dim? It appears that as the CSME experiment has been shelved (or was still born) I must ask what other plans are there to expand the opportunities of our many well certified graduates?


  44. millertheanunnaki August 27, 2012 at 2:43 PM #

    @ David:
    The recent news about the financial difficulties at the tertiary education level is just the tip of the iceberg heading our way.
    The miller’s earlier warnings about a new fee payment regime at the UWI in the coming were never taken on board.
    By September 2013 there will a fee structure at UWI for Bajans in which students will be required to pay at least 50% of their tuition costs. So parents, be prepared for this inevitability even if it means you will not be able to buy the next SUV or go on the next cruise in Europe or America.


  45. David September 2, 2012 at 2:36 PM #

    Who listened to the talk show about our education system today?

    What was interesting was the observation by a panelist that we are good at policy formulation but poor on education. Can’t the conclusion be drawn therefore that there is crying need to revamp the education system? What good is policy if we cannot implement?


  46. Observing (...) September 2, 2012 at 6:19 PM #

    Implementation has always been our issue.

    The panellist were “ok” but didn’t dig to the heart of our matters or bring outside the box, progressive thinking to the table.

    Was disappointed at Robinson’s devaluing of the importance of technology in education as well.

    If we’re going to get serious about education reform we have to accept that it has to take a multi-sectoral approach, be vision based, be viewed as an ongoing cyclical continuum, be created for adaptibility and quick reactivity, be willing to leverage technologies and place the best (human and other)resources to achieve the short to long term objectives at the point or place in time.

    Btw, does anyone has any idea how government will finance the “uwi rescue?”



  47. millertheanunnaki September 2, 2012 at 6:31 PM #

    @ Observing (…) | September 2, 2012 at 6:19 PM |
    “Was disappointed at Robinson’s devaluing of the importance of technology in education as well.”

    I too was taken aback by that response by a person stuck in the past with Luddite tendencies where ‘chalk and talk’ don’t mean a boring thing to kids born in a technologically savvy World.


  48. David September 2, 2012 at 7:01 PM #


    They were happy to be defensive it seems. Of concern was when a caller asked about what process is there to penalize errant (non perforiming) teachers and the question remains unanswered after a 10 minute diatribe.


  49. Observing (...) September 2, 2012 at 8:29 PM #

    A coach once said “the best defense is offense.” Playing defensive is the reason our education system is developing so slowly…if at all.

    Crichlow said parents should be able to sue “non performing teachers” lol. Interesting coming from the head of BAPPSS.

    Being against technology was one thing but the reason(s) she gave were pedantic at best an unworthy of a general secretary of a major teacher’s union in the 21st century.
    Ironically Farley was the only one to rush to a half- defense.


  50. Bush Tea September 2, 2012 at 8:29 PM #

    What do you expect if you ask a group of teachers who have built their whole lives around the existing paradigm to discuss their profession?
    It would be like expecting politicians to lead political reform or the judiciary to reform itself in a meaningful way. ( we still waiting on the CJ – right David…? 🙂 )

    Farley should never have been ask to chair such a discussion, and it needed some out of the box thinking to be meaningful.

    ….it was a waste of time.


  51. Observing (...) September 2, 2012 at 8:43 PM #

    “It needed some out of the box thinking”

    What’s worrying is that we had the leaders of 3 of the 4 teachers’ unions. If unions can’t be progressive I don’t know who will


  52. David September 2, 2012 at 9:12 PM #

    Actually worrying is what is generally known, a phone call can still get teachers in the service as recent as 2012, school budgets not utilized by school principals and on we can go.


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