Are The Storm Clouds Gathering?

Submitted by Ping Pong (as a comment)

Hon Ronald Jones, Minister of Education

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?

0 thoughts on “Are The Storm Clouds Gathering?


  1. @Ping Pong

    A concern worthy of prominence.

    What has puzzled BU is when Professor Howard made the point early in the debate that we need to look at a cost effective strategy targeting tertiary education and he was crucified. Yes the UWI can determine content of syllabus BUT can we afford for them to expand head count to the beat of their own drum? They have double enrollment in quick order.


  2. @ 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.


    • @miller

      As DJ said this morning, nothing was ever free. We have a nation of people who believe they are entitled to everything even in hard times. Nobody wants to tighten the belt. The scene is plating out as predicted by bloggers 4-5 years ago.


    • It was interesting to hear a UWI employee who is studying post graduate call the talk show today to share a recent experience: when the UWI office called the ministry of finance to enquire about outstanding funding, it was directed to the education ministry. Yet another matter about to be aired in public. Well bring it on. Now is the time to wash in all in public because it is probably the only time the public will get an appreciation as a result of the debate that adjustments have to be made.


  3. All scholars should be bonded and should field the need to return to serve the folk who paid for their education.
    A difficulty here is that some scholars might not find suitable work at home on completion of their studies.

    But we can not only give scholarships to those who study subjects for which their is a need in Barbados.
    I wonder if BU could put up a link of the Nation article on Rhaj Paul, who is now begging for money -some $50,000 to go to train in the UK. I wonder if his parents cant help him, and who else he plans to fleece.
    Rhaj Paul may be talented, BUT HE IS EXTREMELY LAZY, and he has had tremendous support from one of his friends, and his friend”s father at the beginning of this decade. This included the use of several used industrial sewing machines bought by his friend”s father , and the use of a building where he lived and worked and left owing thousands of dollars in rent, which his friend is still paying. Rhaj Paul then sold bits of furniture that was not his that he found in the house.
    Rhaj Paul just does not have the necessary drive. Over the last 10 years, he ought to have earned and saved the money he needs for his studies. Who else is he going to fleece and depend on now?


  4. We are in deep $hit and most of us are not even remotely aware of the gravity of the situation. The non-partisan “experts” predict that the true storm will begin between June and Dec 2013 and likely to last 4 to 5 years. Our educational system, health care, civil service, transport board and possibly even the value of our dollar will take the greatest pounding. Our country is in for a very rude awakening. Even our so called rich will not escape the beating from this most violent of economic storms. While everyone will be affected, our most vulnerable will be our young and our elderly. We all need to start growing more of our own food, replace the concrete and lawns around our homes with vegetable and herb gardens. We need to do this at the family and community levels. We need to introduce a bartering system (i.e. exchange of services) within our communities. We need to recycle more of our garbage. Essentially we need to start thinking and acting outside of the box if we, our family and our country are going to successfully get through the economic storm whose feeder bands we are experiencing currently. Sad but true, the worst is yet to come.


  5. “Are the storm clouds gathering?”

    Have been for a while now!
    Most of us have been too busy with petty political games to look up at the sky. What is imminent now is not the clouds, but the approaching “Eye of the storm” that will catch most off guard ….having ignored the ominous clouds until too late.

    ….and Ping Pong only threw in that CSME red herring to get Bushie vex!! He knows very well that CSME has been the single largest and most wasteful smokescreen thrown up by any government in its wild grabbing at straws to avoid drowning….
    It was ill-conceived, wasteful, and idiotic. ….as Bushie has been saying from time immemorial…..

    WE ARE DOOMED….but it has been mostly suicide 🙂


  6. @ One Sound | August 27, 2012 at 3:41 PM |

    Welcome aboard the rudderless ship SS Barbados.
    You have seen the storm clouds ahead and have issued a warning and more aptly ‘sounded the one alarm bell’ to the mostly drunk crew and big living credit card passengers behaving like those on board the Titanic.
    Expect them to call you a prophet of doom and gloom. The senior crews are telling the credit card customers everything is stable just a little choppy caused by high winds in the North Atlantic. The cruise ship is heading south so we will soon be out of the turbulence. Just relax, eat, sleep, gamble and be merry for tomorrow will take of itself.
    Expect to be ignored and even condemned by the likes of ac and! After all, the ship is now in safe hands.


  7. @millertheanunnaki: “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.

    Wow. What an amazing idea! If the students actually have to pay for their education then maybe they (and/or their underwriters) will take it a little more seriously.

    At the same time, if attending “UWI” costs money, then maybe people will question if the money (and time) spent there is worth it. What is a piece of paper from UWI worth these days?


  8. Georgie Porgie I must say that you know quite a bit of the plight of many local fashion designers. You are correct and he is not the only lazy one BUT MANY if not most of them are. They expect someone to give them their training for free, give them their materials for free, give them their machinery for free and their business places for free. That is one of the many reasons they cannot move forward and are still in the the 80’s.

    One would think that a plan would have been in place to raise the money before before applying. The clothing industry in Barbados lacks skilled people and will never be a big Industry. There are many fashion courses available at the University of Trinidad and Tobago. Why doesn’t he try out other avenues? What about Project Runway? Anya Ayoung-Chee from Trinidad and Tobago won the last one. She won enough money to start her collection and business.

    The problem is that many feel that someone owes them and that mindset MUST change. Storm clouds have been hovering on the horizon for some time BUT many failed to see them. Now they are overhead and dripping some are saying that it is just a passing cloud and that it is just sprinkle. The deluge will soon be here.


  9. OK the ship is in danger of crashing into the iceberg but are there any “lifeboats”?

    I have young people (of university age) to face. What advice can I give them as they face an increasingly bleak economy? With little extra cash available, parents living from paycheck to paycheck, the only land available is the 4000 sq ft house spot their families are living on compliments of a mortgage, little work experience and few marketable skills, what do these young people do in an economy that is faltering?

    Are the “national leaders” considering the problem and if not trying to steer the ship away from the iceberg at least making sure the lifeboats are ready?

    There are about 8000 students at Cave Hill. What is on offer for them? Halsall raises the question that a UWI degree may not be worth much. UWI fees may seem reasonable but when I read that the Salvation Army is receiving more requests from citizens for help with school uniforms then UWI seems to be out of the question.

    We can’t throw our hands in the air and do nothing but what do we do? I don’t want any fancy philosophical posts about education reform (leave that for the cocktail parties). I am in search of practical actions that the average Kingsland, Grazettes, Kendal Hill etc residing individuals can do which can help them to weather the advancing storm.


  10. @Ping Pong: “I have young people (of university age) to face. What advice can I give them as they face an increasingly bleak economy?

    IMHO, the best advice you can give them is to get *really* good at something that truly interests them. Or, even better, get really good at more than one thing which interests them. The rest will usually take care of itself.

    “Getting paper” (read: getting a degree) can automatically open some doors. But often those doors lead to places where the student won’t be happy, and they’ll end up leaving after a number of years. Or else they’ll spend the rest of their lives being unhappy.


  11. @BU.David: “We need to change the current system which regales the top 5% performers of the academic variety.

    I would argue it somewhat differently.

    We need to change the current system to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to achieve what they want to, but only if they’re able and are driven.

    Some want to go to University. Great. Why?

    Some want to do a vocation. Great. Why?

    In all cases, the “Why?” is the most important question.


  12. @ Ping Pong | August 27, 2012 at 5:04 PM |

    Let them eat cake! LOL!!)
    Seriously though there is a future for some in agribusiness, alternative energy solutions and environmental protection and sustainability enterprises. They would just have to change their materialistic excessive consumption ways of living and operate in more environmentally sustainable ways.
    The Minister and his Cabinet Colleagues have been apprised of the coming food shortage that would be with us on a long term basis like NCDs; if we could even afford the expected larger import bill.
    What are they doing? Like Smokey Burke just “WAITING” to see what happens.

    Seems like LIFE is just one circle. The young people might just be the reincarnation of the great grand parents who depended on the land to survive. Back to the land, we say! By the sweat of their brows they shall eat food.


  13. “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.”

    “Wow. What an amazing idea! If the students actually have to pay for their education then maybe they (and/or their underwriters) will take it a little more seriously.”

    What about the poor ones who still achieve good grades?

    How about raising the minimum GPA one must be above to avoid being placed on warning, and if a student remains below for a second semester, forced to withdraw. It is currently set at 1.00 which is a D average (40-42%). I can assure you if it was set at a 2.00 minimum, or C average, a lot of money would be saved from time wasters being removed. Some students currently at UWI only seem to be following friends, avoiding work and do not even try. I know a few personally.


  14. it is going to take somebody or somebodies to take on that “sacred cow” UWI , not going to be easy . i for one belives the time has come for all to pull the load, good times don’t last forever,


  15. @Enuff: “I maintain CSME is what could save us from doom because it is a gold mine!!

    I know you’re joking, but let us please recognize the elephant in the room.

    The CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) is a stillborn idealistic idea.

    It’s never going to happen. Particularly not after the EU and Greece.


  16. @JRB: “What about the poor ones who still achieve good grades?

    If they have access to the internet, there are many resources available to them which can teach them a lot.

    Just one example is https://www.edx.org/ — free courses from MIT, Harvard and Berkeley. Not easy, but worth the effort.

    UWI has a lot of competition. It just doesn’t realize it yet….


  17. The problem with that is that those courses are few and rather limited, E.G. the lack practical sessions for the natural sciences or hands on experience for the social sciences and humanities. Also, there is the problem of being accredited. If you have not noticed, most of those free courses are computer science.


  18. @ Enuff
    @ Bushie
    “I maintain CSME is what could save us from doom because it is a gold mine!”
    **************
    LOL ….YUh gallows- bait! If you think you going make Bushie sin he soul here cussing O$A again yuh wrong… 🙂

    @ Ping Pong
    What to tell the youths…?

    You Should tell them…
    “….hard luck, wunna born 40 years too late to enjoy the materialistic goodies that dad did….
    HOWEVER, if they can instead change their focus to the REAL IMPORTANT THINGS in life, then they may well reap where we jokers from our “well- to – do” generation have so far failed.

    ….They may yet come to know of BBE and of the unbelievable good news (gospel) that was brought to us by his son.

    …but you will probably instead encourage them to chase after the same shadow that our generation has allowed to distract us from the proper bone….no matter how far and elusive that shadow has become…POOR SOULS 🙂


  19. JRB said….
    “Some students currently at UWI only seem to be following friends, avoiding work and do not even try. I know a few personally.”
    *************
    Bushie knows of some lecturers in an identical situation too…. 🙂


  20. In times of plenty we focused on raising the living standard to “First world”.

    Nouveau riche Bajans had to have Bimmas, Benzes and 3 car Garages.
    I remember seeing board and shingle houses with satellite dish on the roof and new car park outside.

    Car and a University graduate at every house was the mantra of a short man from st.Peter.

    That very simplistic concept of saving for a rainy day eluded us and now all we have is debt and very little prospects for an economic recovery.

    Is there a leader who can motivate Bajans to work to save the country from ruin.
    Who has the testicular fortitude to turn the Golf courses into vegetable farms when the time comes?


  21. @JRB: “The problem with that is that those courses are few and rather limited, E.G. the lack practical sessions for the natural sciences or hands on experience for the social sciences and humanities. Also, there is the problem of being accredited. If you have not noticed, most of those free courses are computer science.

    What you might not have noticed is that “paper” is not really that important any more — it is what the student can do when faced with challenges.

    I present to you et al these four questions:

    1. What is the total of 1 through 100 inclusive? Show me how you derived the answer. (Hint: optimally you fold the set, and only have to do a single simple multiplication to get the answer.)

    2. What is the sound of one hand clapping? (Hint: This is a Buddhist question — some students spend years on this one.)

    3. What is the last digit of pi? (Hint: You might spend forever answering this.)

    4. Prove that God exists / doesn’t exist. (Hint: An understanding of quantum mechanics helps here.)

    At the end of the day the employer doesn’t really care what courses the employee took — they only care if the employee can do the job the employee are tasked with.


  22. @Hants: “Car and a University graduate at every house was the mantra of a short man from st.Peter.

    Here’s a question just for you Hants.

    Is everything about politics here in Bimshire? Or might some actually be acting solely for the good of Barbados?


  23. The BIGGEST joke in all of this is that the legal council for the UWI advised the principal not to accept the offer given by the Min of Fin to repay the indebtedness “because of its origin, might not be binding on a returning or new administration.” Well I never hear more truthful shite in all my life … This alone exposes the SHAM that is West Minister styled Government. Barat you see how much shite you in … Oh loss Miller wah you say … HA HA HA MURRDAAA !


  24. Look wunna leff Raj Paul alone hear. Look at the spend on overseas travel on senior public servants EVERY year, and tell me that they ain’ even more lazy than any being around, with absolutely NO chance on a return on investment NONE. Leff Paul be, he at least has a chance at being productive. 50,000 is trivial.


  25. “At the end of the day the employer doesn’t really care what courses the employee took — they only care if the employee can do the job the employee are tasked with.”

    What would be the point of bring up online courses then? Note that I’m not saying they are useless, I even check out a few myself and other online material (Khan Academy is very useful). I just think we shouldn’t put more dependence on overseas resources. What happens if these universities then decide that these courses aren’t overall financially feasible and focus on physically taught course which would bring in more money? Alot of these initiatives are pilot projects to determine that feasibility.

    “I present to you et al these four questions:”

    I’m am not sure what is the point of these random questions. What university or job would particularly focus on the four of these. If the paper is not really important anymore shouldn’t we work on turning that around? Usually the “paper” indicates that you at least have some basic capacity academically. Not every task needs a degree or certificate but not every task can be done with CSECs only and while some employers do extensive training, some expect to only build on already acquired knowledge; theoretical, practical, or both. Therefore there may be issues with no accreditation whatsoever where anyone can say; they have these skills, they did this and that on their own, on applications and in interviews, and when employed turn out to be a totally different story and a waste of time.

    I say we should work on optimizing UWI not abandoning it all together. I think the problem is too many individuals are applying for university without any specific goal, just because the government pays (used to pay?) the economic and tuition fees for a first degree. Therefore I suggest that in order to qualify for this, students should achieve a certain grade standard each academic year and failure to meet this standard would result in them either self financing their degree, or dropping out. Not everyone is academical inclined and nothing is wrong with vocational jobs, and we should also focus on removing the stigma against them in the country.


  26. @ Hallsall
    The EU and the Caribbean are two different kettle of fish. If we can’t see our future lie in a CSME I am sorry for us.


  27. @JRB: “I’m am not sure what is the point of these random questions. What university or job would particularly focus on the four of these.

    They are “out of the ball-park” questions. The thing as an interviewer is to see how the candidate responds. Most do badly — as you did — and refuse to answer rather than taking on the questions.

    @JRB: “Usually the “paper” indicates that you at least have some basic capacity academically.

    Ah, no. Not always.

    What it often means is the candidate was able to sit through classes (possibly while sleeping) long enough to “get the paper”.

    Have you heard about “Grade Inflation”? Please let me make it easy for you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grade_inflation


  28. @Enuff: “The EU and the Caribbean are two different kettle of fish. If we can’t see our future lie in a CSME I am sorry for us.

    Bovine excrement.

    Please tell me when Jamacia and Trinidad et al are going to sit at the table with Barbados as equal partners.


  29. @ Christopher Halsall | August 27, 2012 at 7:09 PM |
    “1. What is the total of 1 through 100 inclusive? Show me how you derived the answer. (Hint: optimally you fold the set, and only have to do a single simple multiplication to get the answer.)”

    Bossman, am I allowed to use a spreadsheet package like Excel?
    Then I will just fill a series with a step value of one to a stop value of 100; then sum the series; and Bingo! 50: 50!
    Heads I win tails you lose! Now give me the job, boss.


  30. @ Christopher Halsall | August 27, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    But Bossman, I already told you that six is half-dozen. Isn’t that a 50:50 deal?


  31. @millertheanunnaki: “But Bossman, I already told you that six is half-dozen. Isn’t that a 50:50 deal?

    Don’t call me “bossman”. I’m not your boss (yet).

    And you didn’t get the answer correct — and you’re taking pleasure in doing so.


  32. @Halsall

    1. Pair off the numbers:
    1+100=101
    2+99=101
    3+98=101
    etc; so the total in this case is 101, 50 times=5050
    (In general (n*(n+1)/2))

    2. Hmmm

    3. Pi is irrational and irrationals have no terminating decimals.

    4. A working knowledge of quantum mechanics is absolutely not going to allow you to prove the existence or otherwise of “God” but we can discuss further.

    If successful I’m available to start work with you tomorrow ; Java, C#, Drupal, some Python. Let me know. Thanks


  33. @ BAFBFP | August 27, 2012 at 8:21 PM |

    Truthful shite indeed! And to think that this shite is being excreted by lawyers who are presumably graduates from the same shitty law school on the Hill.

    Poor Barrack! He should have sold the debt to a factor long time ago thereby saving the taxpayers a few million in interest payments. The government would have pissed itself before giving short shrift to a foreign factoring house as it is doing to Al Barrack. Both BA and Virgin would have been advised to suspend flights until the debt is paid.
    Now we have OSA promising CLICO policyholders another pie-in-the-sky dream. Let them first levy on the property and chattels of Leroy and we would take these politicians a bit serious


  34. @ Christopher Halsall | August 27, 2012 at 9:06 PM |
    The not yet bossman, you like you is a nerd or something else? I told you 5050. You can’t read between the lines? Ya want me put in a semicolon (;) or leave it out altogether or a comma after the first 5? Which one, boss pretender?
    If you ever give da job to Bus Driver I gine let ya wife know because she is the one dat gi me the 5050 answer when we was in bed while you was at wuk yesterday.


  35. “Are The Storm Clouds Gathering?” Abso-polutely! And way BEYOND the silly details here discussed; we ain’t SEE nothing yet!


  36. There were two issues raised but most people have ignored the issue of finding jobs for young graduates and focused on tuition cost and level of indebtedness of UWI. Even if a solution is found which addresses the tuition cost we are still going to be faced with finding suitable jobs for young people.

    As the advice columnist used to write, “it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee”. In North America many young people who have graduated are either unemployed or under employed which means that they are doing what is euphemistically termed a “Mc Job”. Many of them have postponed dreams of family and home and returned to live with their parents after the promising job was down sized or outsized. In the past the Barbados avoided the impact of severe unemployment through large scale immigration to Britain, Canada and the USA, unfortunately those welcoming mats have all but disappeared.

    I don’t have a solution but I am in good? company, neither do the politicians.


    • @enuff

      How can we have a vibrant common market and only focus on immigration?

      What about trade and settlement (monetary market).


  37. THE DEMOCRATIC LABOUR PARTY -(DLP) IS A BLIGHT ON THIS COUNTRY

    GET RID OF THE DLP NOW !!!

    NEXT ELECTION RESULTS
    BLP = 29 SEATS
    DLP = 0 SEATS
    INDEPENDENT = 1 SEAT

    1999
    BLP = 28 SEATS
    DLP = 2 SEATS
    INDEPENDENT = 0 SEATS

    DO WE WANT BARBADOS TO RISE AND SHINE ?
    GET RID OF THIS BLIGHTED GOVERNMENT

    WUNNA GWINE LET IT DESTROY THE UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES ????

    JUST ASKING


  38. @ Sargeant | August 27, 2012 at 11:21 PM |
    ” I don’t have a solution but I am in good? company, neither do the politicians.”

    Do what humans have done through the ages. Destroy and rebuild.
    Start wars as happened in the 1930/40’s era to cull the excess numbers and find work for the unemployed as happened in Germany, England and USA. Therefore making room to make your observation a reality: “In the past the Barbados avoided the impact of severe unemployment through large scale immigration to Britain, Canada and the USA”

    If man does not do it to himself, Nature will.


  39. @Miller
    You are overlooking the fact that in a major war someone may push the nuclear button and only a few stragglers will survive along with cockroaches and rats.

    In the new reality Bajans will have to do something that has been anathema to them they will have to become entrepreneurs, they will have to create their own jobs, they will have to be inventive and industrious and invest in themselves. I don’t mean become vendors distributing the plastic junk that comes from the far East.

    How do they achieve that? The Education system will have to be revamped, O Lord here we go again….


  40. And FWI there are at least twelve, TWELVE new lawyers queuing up for a place in the Lower House … LAWD HHHHHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLP WE!


  41. @ Sargeant | August 28, 2012 at 8:05 AM |
    “You are overlooking the fact that in a major war someone may push the nuclear button and only a few stragglers will survive along with cockroaches and rats.”

    Sarge, we humanoids (as a species) have been this way of mass extinction before. At least this time the number remain from such an unprecedented world population level would be sufficient to ensure a faster rate of recovery than existed when previous cataclysmic culling took place.
    Mother Nature is getting tired and upset with so many human parasites demanding and extracting too much for their own good and survival.

    There is no such thing as “Entrepreneurship” in modern Barbados unless it is manifested in importing and selling trinkets and other junk made in China or somewhere in the Far East.
    The word ‘entrepreneurship’ is used by the ‘mis-educated’ Bajans as media sound bites and as conversation pieces among the chattering class on the cocktail circuit. Black Bajans are educated to be glorified servants to serve the new mercantile owners of a different ethnicity and foreign owned larger corporations. Why do you think the local “Civil Service” is so overloaded with unproductive servants? A small 2×3 country should not have such a large public sector. This not a communist dictatorship with a ‘State capitalist’ economy.
    When the forex runs out rather soon and there is no more money to borrow the true meaning of entrepreneurship would manifest itself. It’s called “Survival”!


  42. Having read the submissions of other bloggers here are some of my nascent thoughts on the way forward.

    Entrepreneurship… It is the flavour of the month! “Barbadians will have to become entrepreneurs” is the call all around but to whom will Barbadians sell? Is Barbados sufficient as a market or do we have to access other markets? If we have to go outside, are we competitive? Maybe entrepreneurship alone isn’t “the” answer. I am beginning to think that the answer lies in not just entrepreneurship or trade arrangements or technology transfer but in:

    (a) the development of the capacity of individuals to be active participants in the provision of their own day by day sustenance,

    AND

    (b) the establishment and defense of a matrix of commonly held values and mores which validate the efforts of sustainable living.

    Now these words need to be translated into actions at the individual level and the community level.


    • @milller

      This is part of our problem in Barbados, we always have to distill issues with a political frame. On Sunday there was a panel discussion on VOB to discuss the status of sports in Barbados and guess who was quoted in the news arising from the program.


  43. Just a few short months ago, the Minister of Finance on the floor of the House, with all the charm he could muster said……we have collected the most money ever in the history of VAT collection to loud thumps from the front bench. He said so much so, the increase with remain at 17.5%.

    My question there is why is the government in so much trouble if it has been collecting so much money? Why cant it pay the UWI’s share?

    Can we ask the PM then since we cannot get a comment from neither Minister? Oh no we cant ask the PM, he could even answer the child yesterday who ask him when is the general election…..the PM said….I dont even know!

    Lord please help Barbados!


  44. @ping pong
    We can’t even seem to get past entrepreneurship and industry diversification and you’re calling for mores, values and capacity develop for individual sustenance. Great ideas…but clearly above the talent and skill of our current policy makers. Good luck!


  45. I see huis royal Mpain in the arsss have devise a brilliant plan designed on ” ;BORROWING” to bail out the CLICO policyholders . never one to disappoint ,keep up the good work . but i wish some one would maybe onions or miller whisper in your ear that the country is reeling in high debt accumulated over the past 14years By your administration.


  46. @ ac | August 28, 2012 at 12:53 PM |

    At least OSA has a plan he has put on the table which I have some reservation on.

    What or where is the DLP plan for CLICO? Awaiting the engagement of a consultant to do a report? Leroy is the recommended person for such a job.


    • @miller and ac

      Is it possible that many of the problems we confront as a nation like many other countries has nothing to do with Arthur?

      For godsakes!


  47. @miller

    your comments about the source of your answer cant be right. Halsall is a kept man – he stays home while wife goes to work. That’s how he has time to research silly questions on google.


  48. @ David

    How can we have a vibrant common market and only focus on immigration? What about trade and settlement (monetary market).

    Thank you. Unfortunately too many of us think CSME is just about Guyanese moving to Barbados rather than envisioning a cohesive strategic development framework for the region that focuses on the strengths/advantages of each island to the overall ‘plan’.

    @ Halsall
    When I say WE I mean the member states not just Barbados, and if Trinidad and especially Jamaica want to stay away from the table let us forget about them. Do you think Trinidad have more oil and gas than what lies in the territorial waters of the other islands combined? What does Jamaica have to offer…..sprinters?


  49. In answer to the articled quesiton, I would say yes, storm clouds are gathering.

    We have missed one crucial point in education, that of practicality and implementation.

    There is nothing wrong, indeed much right, for intellectual discourse and development for its own sake.

    However, in the context of education for economic and social development, education must be focused on output i.e. what will be the career paths of the graduates.

    Every year we have many emanating from UWI with management degrees.

    What are they going to ‘manage’?

    Where are our mechanical engineers, who can solve design and implementaiton issues, our civil engineers, our textile manufacturers, our product developers, our computer software specialists?

    Yes, there are some such programmes, but those should not be the minority, those should be the majority, not ‘management’, what the xxx, is that?

    Further, this is tied to our ‘import eveything’ lifestyle, instead of ‘produce’ for ourselves.

    The real point is that our local economy, built for so long on distribution and retail, has imploded, because our ‘import lifestyle’ cannot be supported by our foreign exchange earnings, any longer.

    Yes, storm clouds indeed, more like a tsunami.


  50. And David, I am extremely worried that Government will, shortly not be in a position to pay either salaries or pensions.

    Indeed, I now have flitting thoughts as to whether I need to relocate before things change further, to move now would be for my family’s future, that is all.


    • A comment posted to a blog on UWI which BU monitors:
      Anonymous has left a new comment on the post “Lawsuit for UWI“:
      Contrary to what I heard about UWI , Cave Hill, I would not advise anyone to pursue studies there. Can you imagine students getting 1/50 and 2/50 on their Math final examinations? MATHEMATICS??? Have we stopped giving points for steps and only awarding points for correct answers? It’s about time we wake up and realise what these people are after…MAKING MONEY!!!!
      Earlier this year, In St.Vincent, a situation arose during an exam at the Teachers’ College. Students’ papers were collected ahead of the time preventing students from finishing the exam. The majority of students got “F” on that exam! No explanation from anyone was given. Come on, people! UWI needs to be exposed!
      Requesting a discussion or a remark of your papers…USELESS. Don’t waste your money, there’s no such thing as “changing grades” with UWI. They accept your remark fee (BDS$125) and they don’t even respond to you. Come on people, UWI needs to be exposed!
      Our Caribbean governments are investing heavily into UWI, therefore, there needs to be some form of accountability. Too many students have been complaining about UWI. Why is it that no one is looking into the matter?
      Why is it that everyone seems to be so afraid of challenging them? Come on people,why stand aside and allow UWI to take advantage of people? Time to wake up. UWI is a MONEY SUCKING MONSTER!!!!!


  51. I see a lotta fancy buildings going up around Cave Hill, including a fancy Cricket pitch for which there can be NO demonstrated return on investment. Basically HIllary Beckles’ ego and that of his charge are being fed to the tune of millions of dollars per year and there is NO accounting. I am one that believes in design. but design has to be within reason and has to be measured against the true medium term viability of the institution on present offerings. There is a mismatch. What we have is a Suzuki engine in a Mercedes frame costing that is BM’er money to run …


  52. @ BAFBFP | August 28, 2012 at 8:46 PM |

    I bet you haven’t seen the new palatial building being erected west south west of the main campus called the “KEITH HUNTE HALL” . One wonders what will go on in there? Certainly not teaching of West Indian history? If it is earmarked to accommodate foreign students to bring in foreign money I have no problem with that.


  53. David @ Ac is it possible that many of the problems we confront as a nation like many other countries has nothing to do with Arthur?
    ac
    i would be lying if i say yes /fuh godness sake.


  54. mash Up

    Can’ remember the last time I hear you …

    Miller

    Foreign student accommodation, as exploitative as it is, should be necessary as a result of a market response to quality competitive offerings from the University. Now with respect, do you see that happening?


  55. “but i wish some one would maybe onions or miller whisper in your ear that the country is reeling in high debt accumulated over the past 14years By your administration.”

    The below figures are extracted from Table 5: Public Debt outstanding, produced by the Central Bank of Barbados in its June 2012 press release.

    Gross Gov. Debt (BDS $Million)
    2005 – 3,840.0
    2006 – 4,147.2
    2007 – 4,773.9
    2008 – 4,960.5
    2009 – 5,813.3
    2010 – 6,314.0
    2011 – 6,832.6

    What these figures show is that Barbados’ Gross debt went from $3.8billion at the end of fiscal 2005 to $4.7billion at the end of fiscal 2007, an increase of $.9billiion with substantial new infrastructure to show for it and previous years’ debt accumulation, but went from $4.7billiion at the end of fiscal 2007 to $6.8billion at the end of fiscal 2011, an increase of $2.1billion, with little in the way of infrastructural improvement to show for it. Those are the facts.

    Perhaps the reality of the import of these stats will shut up the idiot quoted above who incessantly tries to ascribe current debt levels to the former administration, but I doubt it.


  56. @ Inkwell
    Pull up a chair….and enjoy dis here classic, might as well as we await the bell…..Uwi educ rot., IBC’s going, justice system amuk,tourism f3kd…..times NOT TO LOSE SLEEP …watching fantasy movies are real a charm nowadays,in contrast to listening to some other espoused hallowed xalls. About men larger than life and buildings in need of a fife….Not Alice in Wonderland anymore, mate…cause some just “don’t know” how…. School boys being the men of the moment, talk of the class room is Monster House and Bridge to Terabithia….let your imagination roll .. by chance we can see our future.


  57. @ Inkwell | August 29, 2012 at 6:52 AM |

    Thanks for dipping your pen in the inkwell and reproducing in written format the facts on this country’s debt level history.
    Talking to ac about facts is like shouting in a very large cave or underground chamber with you being the only person inside; just an empty echo. Ac, although constantly being told the truth about the rising debt since 2007, is purposely death and will now play blind to these statistics. She will dismiss these figures and even blame OSA and his plants for massaging and fiddling with the statistics. She will argue until your inkwell runs dry that the increases in debt was to pay off the debt that OSA incurred in the first place. What circulatory nonsense!
    Be careful, “inkwell” you will now be accused of being a BLP yardfowl and plant in the CBoB.

    Thanks Sir or Madam for bringing the facts to light. And take heart in the proverb: “the faintest ink is greater than the sharpest mind”.
    BTW, inkwell, do you know where one can find similar statistics for the country’s foreign reserves, the lifeblood of this country’s economy?


    • The rising debt profile is a fact (off balance sheet item and all). The issue here is whether the government’s policy is sustainable given its commitment to supporting social services and public sector. This is where the discussion needs to be. Economic performance must be debates based on current state, to look at pre-2008 is irrelevant.


  58. thuis guy OSA seems to take people for an idiot in his political opportunistic selfserving style he concotes this ridiculous plan of borowing billions of dollars to appease the Clico policyholders who will in turn along with all of us have to repay the loan with interset .another one of his high wire gymnatics tricks with a definte cat spraddle landing


  59. The plan by the multinationals who dictate US foreign policy for all open economies is to have these countries so indebted that they will be forced to sell off national assets, including their populations (as markets) to the highest bidder. The debt that Barbados is accumulating will never be repaid, and economists are employed to have you believe that debt is a good thing.


    • What is worrying and should be to ALL Barbadians is the report posted by Green Money on another blog that countries who have the ignominy of achieving the ratio of 90% debt to gdp will default on debt.


  60. I do NOT feel confident about the truthfulness of any report that comes from that institution … and that is a pity, because I believe I have good reason to be doubtful


  61. @ ac | August 29, 2012 at 8:48 AM |

    Why don’t you stop being so lying, dishonest and deceitful to yourself? Can’t you take a page out of inkwell’s book and deal with facts? The JM’s report does not call for any billions of dollars to resolve the CLICO matter. Can’t you for once be truthful and fair when it comes to financial matters? The same way you preach and promulgate the fair treatment of people with homosexual orientation why not promulgate a similar treatment of facts and not lies?


  62. @ Inkwell
    Is not your analysis simplistic to the point of being misleading and useless?
    Everyone and their pets can recall that the BLP administration executed many of it’s major projects through BOLT arrangements. You must know that this was simply a mechanism for deferring government capital debt so that the “booked” debt ratios would not reflect the true indebtedness of the country.

    When the DLP came to office did they not decide to “bring to book” these BOLT liabilities?
    Would that not have had the effect of quickly reflecting the TRUE indebtedness of the country WITHOUT any additional infrastructural development (since we were then actually only CORRECTLY showing what debts we had previously incurred)…?

    In such a scenario, how could a simple timeline of national debt lead to the kind of conclusions that you have attempted to draw….?


  63. @David
    “Economic performance must be debated based on current state, to look at pre-2008 is irrelevant”

    Let’s try telling that to DLP supporters.


  64. Bush Tea | August 29, 2012 at 9:39 AM |

    @ inkwell:
    Do not allow Bush Tea to impugn your reputation for technical competence.
    In which year was the so-called off balance sheet financing arrangements brought to book?

    Since BT knows about these matters he needs to tell us what are these BOLT debts that caused the Debt to rise by approx. $1.9 billion from 2008 to 2011.


  65. Ball Miller …Ball….
    Sum jokers are to quick to jump on the bandwagon of which they know little….off balance sheet indeed !


  66. @old onion bags | August 29, 2012 at 10:49 AM |

    Man onions, you left the blog for an unusually long period and a man called GG the blog police cuss me to high heavens and accuse me of taking over from you. Poor me was just holding the fort and the GG let go a barrage of verbal stink bombs at me threatening to curtail my freedom and even threaten the blog master if my contributions are not limited, monitored and censored. Must be a DLP enforcer because I was not attacking the party only questioning the governor’s technical and professional integrity. Because you know, Onions, that the miller knows his onions when it comes to matters of a financial and economic flavour.


  67. @ Miller
    Why my dear friend I am most sorry to have caused you to endure such a distastefully measure and pique from this presumptuous harangue.Why if this shyster could but make good hisher degrade to the ole man in person I would hector the meretricious termagant and garner all pertinacious literally justice possible to make amends….. But this I am sure is certainly unnecessary, as we all know of your competencies..and that you have already demeaned the imbecile and his her reincarnate. Pray tell me more of the epithet.( date etc.)….as I chose to hibernate but for a short while.


  68. @bushie / miller

    were the BOLT debts brought to book under the DLP??

    and can anyone remember which year the accrual system of accounting kicked in?

    and do these debt figures include indebtedness to the NIS?


  69. Miller @acwhy don,t you stop being so lying and dishonestand decitful miller are you making me an honuary member of your infamous BPLparty,well wonders never cease.i think i “ll pass


    • We are getting pedantic about the debt burden of Barbados. It is a fact our debt has risen at a higher rate under the DLP. What is also a fact is that it has been rising even in the boom years. We talk about capacity created in the boom years to explain the debt but BU questions if we really created capacity, another debate for another day. A read of the Article IV Consultation p7 is useful to inform the discussion about our debt profile.

      http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2010/cr10363.pdf


  70. Internet troubles.

    @ Halsall

    “Ah, no. Not always.

    What it often means is the candidate was able to sit through classes (possibly while sleeping) long enough to “get the paper”.

    I said “basic” capacity, key word is BASIC. Typically some second year and usually all third year courses have components like presentations and research projects you cannot sit through although this varies course to course and program to program. Have you seen the course handbooks recently?

    “Have you heard about “Grade Inflation”? Please let me make it easy for you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grade_inflation”

    Not sure what this has to do with the discussion either but yes, I even made a few points on it previously on another blog post. The questions are interesting Caswell, but for all the jobs I have had so far the interview questions tended to be more relevant towards the work expected, out of the ball park or not. As you say “they only care if the employee can do the job the employee are tasked with”.

    “he has time to research silly questions on google.”

    As I said before, my opinion is we should work on optimizing UWI not abandoning it all together. People argue about food security; what about education security? I do not think relying on overseas institutions is a good idea on the long term.


  71. If anyone wanted to follow along that route, although a bit outdated, you can find the departmental reports of 2009-2010 here;

    http://www.cavehill.uwi.edu/resources/documents/reports/cavehill_departmental_report_2009_2010.pdf

    To summarise, the first class honours rate is under 10% (ranging from 5-9%) for all faculties with most students obtaining lower seconds. The most popular majors by faculty are; computer science (Pure and Applied), psychology (Humanities), and management and accounting (Social Sciences). The grade distribution curve seems about right; it’s the numbers that is the problem.

    Other information can be found here;

    http://www.cavehill.uwi.edu/news/reports/


  72. For example if you are making a children’s line and it consists of 12 dresses, 6 tops and 6 bottoms then they will be able to provide all the samples for each style. When it comes to having a career in fashion, many people wonder exactly what they can do. The First Lady opts a brilliant red-orange Alexander Mc – Queen gown that she teams with a black wrap and keeps her hair in an up-do.

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