Is Our Education System Relevant in 2013?

For some time the BU family has been concerned that successive governments have been satisfied with throwing money at education and hoping for the best outcomes. The commonsense view routinely expressed on BU that resources should be optimally allocated by aligning the school curriculum to a national policy appears to be an alien concept to the authorities. How do we transform to a high performance jurisdiction if we continue to grow the existing cadre of graduates? How can Barbados nurture and grow its knowledge and skill pool to ensure that we become competitive and productive if we continue to allow the tail to wag the dog? We should have a national strategy which clearly defines the industry segments we know we can compete based on solid research, and educate our people to become the core workforce within those segments.

After decades of boasting of a superior education system where is the empirical data to support the claim to inform public discourse in 2013? Why is there a veil of secrecy which shrouds the management of the education sector in Barbados? Do we know who our best teachers are in the absence of a robust continuous assessment program?  How do we begin to debate whether we need to make changes to our education system when primary data or any data for that matter is not access not readily accessible by taxpayers?

The video above is worth watching. It explains in 20 minutes why our education system may not be relevant in a modern world.

0 thoughts on “Is Our Education System Relevant in 2013?


  1. millertheanunnaki wrote “Even farmers make mistakes. Ask Hants or even Adam!”

    She should ask Adam. I following Bushie’s advice and holding on to the pearls.


  2. For all the delusional inferiority complex generation after generation of bajans have attached to farming and being called farmers, most of them have no problems with inferiority when backing up a truck on some hard working farmers land, be they black or bajan white and stealing all of the hard working farmers produce to sell for their own benefit. They have now even targeted the min of agriculture in stealing all the grown produce, no inferiority complex at all involved. I see no credible excuse to continue to babysit people who know when to wear their inferiority cloak and can easily shed that cloak and wear their equally delusion superiority cloak to serve their selfish purposes. It is rapidly coming to an end.


  3. vexation is not the answer to correcting a problem .i have all of the so-called pseudo intellectuals yourself Well! Well! include how can the stigma be removed .i did suggest that the school system can introduce the subject under another name There was a time when the subject of “Homeeconomics”was called “domestic science” so far nothing was loss with the name changed sinceit became less of a challenge to be accepted by children and parents.


  4. A small Good Friday idea…this is “inspired” by news that K Simpson of Simpson Motors is planing on developing a large rice growing farm in the Guyana hinterland.

    http://www.stabroeknews.com/2013/news/stories/03/16/mega-farm-by-bajan-investors-taking-shape-in-rupununi/

    Barbados is reputed to have “brainpower” and capital but little land and water. Guyana has lots of land. We need “cheap” food not only for our sustenance but as an input for our tourism industry. Why not follow Simpson’s lead? Why not make something really useful out of CSME and CARICOM? Why not develop agriculture/food technology and employ same in Guyana and Suriname? Why not follow the Taiwanese? see:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21929307

    Instead of cussing the Guyanese maybe we should embrace our cousins and remember that in the time of Errol Barrow, Lionel Luckhoo was High Commissioner to the UK for both Barbados and Guyana! Maybe Banks Breweries, the now defunct Life of Barbados and Rihanna are telling us something.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lionel_Luckhoo

    To all readers of whatever faith or belief, may this Easter weekend bring rest, renewal and hope that droughts of all kind shall soon pass.


  5. Only clueless black Bajans will think a name change from farming to something better sounding, will make them look, sound and appear superior. This island is definitely in crisis. Kudos to Simpson for utilizing the 100 year leases in Guyana that are being offered for pennies for farming. I am sure his rice farms and paddies will be a complete success.


    • The Guyana land opportuity is not novel. This is something mooted by Mia Mottley a few years ago but at the individual level. The idea of the government of Barbados entering a public public partnership is a good idea which should be explored. Thanks Ping Pong.


  6. AC…………sorry to have to tell you but the stigma bajans have attached to the word farmer and farming, is a figment of their own imagination……………..it is all in their minds, there is nothing to fix…………it’s just like when both blacks and whites had to sacrifice their lives to pull black people out of their comfort zones of thinking they should remain slaves forever, the difference is now that no lives need to be lost and bajans should on their very own realize an understand that they have to grow their own food for survival, there is nothing inferior about it, and it is not rocket science.


  7. I did hear about the Guyanese land offer years ago, however, it is rather strange that the government did not utilize the lease offers and start a project using bajan workers who are not ashamed to farm, I knew quite a few bajan farmers who are quite frustrated with things as they are in Bim.


  8. bajans are content to remain in the19th century therfore thiings would continue to remain the same selfstagnation would be the undoing of thuis country not the high defecit.Other countries around the world have mastered exploration and experimenting which have brought about change from the way things were to they way they are presently. Economic growth Yes/but growth of the mind is more important for meaningful progress.


  9. @Well Well

    we (Barbados) may be missing the bigger picture. Guyana has enormous potential. Simpson is a very smart and successful businessman. As long as the natural environment of the Rupununi does not deteriorate, this project may be a significant factor in our food security. My concern is that if we do not get involved early, Barbados may end up being just a consumer of Guyanese produce struggling to pay prices dictated by more affluent consumers instead of being a partner and player from the supply side.

    Please note the connection with Brazil. The “big” economic news is the potential of the BRICS. As far as our education system goes, shouldn’t Portuguese be offered in our schools?


  10. AC……….Bajans will only be content to remain in the 19th century if their leaders allow them to and continue to enable such destruction. Maybe the current government can see this and affect that change. I am not holding my breathe because they already had a five year start and did nothing.

    Ping Pong…………..I do agree with you, both governments should have made at least four foreign languages compulsory in schools well over 20 years ago, now with globalization countries in the Americas, latino and otherwise will be leading the charge and new businesses, again we still have the two parties consisting of leaders with little vision. Hopefully this is an eye opener, again I will not hold my breath.


  11. If the present leaders allow this Guyana land opportunity to slip by, they will just be re-enforcing what we knew about them all along. Right now there are at least over 200 acres of agricultural land in Bim just growing bush.


  12. Could our “Sea and Sun” tourism product be enhanced by “adding on” rain forest, Kaiteur Falls, bird watching etc tours to Guyana and Suriname? Why don’t we have small boutique (i.e high quality) guest houses in these countries which could be integrated into the overall visitor experience to Barbados? Maybe instead of paying for air links to Brazil we should be trying to get relatively inexpensive and frequent air passage between Barbados and Guyana and Suriname.

    So can we imagine a partnership between the UWI,Cave Hill and the University of Guyana in the development of agricultural systems technology, food processing and tourism management and related enterprises? Would it be a better investment of NIS funds in some foreign exchange earning investment in Guyana and Suriname than the moribund Four seasons project?

    Is the B’dos Government talking to and learning from Simpson? There was time when words like Berbice, Demerara and Essiquibo were not foreign in the Bajan lexicon.


  13. Bajans have become higher ups and better offs and look down on their noses about Guyanese and Guyana. Not long ago many Bajans went to BG to work. The tide is turning and history will repeat itself. The Bajan businessman has a backward mentality. They only see business as importing garbage and selling it. Farming is a business and a BIG one too. Guyanese farmers are getting into fruit production for export. Right now passion fruit farming pays more than rice and many rice farmers have switched to growing them along with pineapples. Many of the Indo Guyanese here working in Barbados, are children of rice farmers and many have 15+ acres of land lying idle because there is no one to work it. There should be a familiarization tour of Guyana for potential farmers. I would go but Ah fraid dem snakes!


  14. @ islandgal246 | March 29, 2013 at 12:02 PM |
    “There should be a familiarization tour of Guyana for potential farmers. I would go but Ah fraid dem snakes!”

    If Bajans don’t even want to work the fields in Bim that have no snakes but only plastic bags full of garbage you think these poor-great idiots would go voluntarily to Guyana to work in agriculture?
    Only abject poverty of the 19th Century or starvation or even Cholera might force their hands into real work for their own survival.

    A friend said that the Guyanese are only just waiting for their arrival. CCC, ac and her ilk are at the top of the list.
    Ever so welcome, wait for a call!


  15. @Miller.

    It is true that it has been difficult to get Bajans to work as labourers/farm hands in Barbados.

    The way forward is for the workers to share the profits from” working the land” or some formula that gives them “ownership” of the farms they work on but that may be too “socialist” .

    Barbados does not have the luxury of using cheap mexican (and Caribbean) labour like the USA and Canada.


  16. How quickly the link about large scale farming in Guyana morph into a discussion about farm hands eking out a living which is a different kettle of fish


  17. @Sargeant,

    This is a blog where some of us can walk and chew gum at the same time.

    Bajans are investing in large scale farming in Guyana and the produce will likely be exported to North America and the UK.

    Barbados needs to grow food at home to provide food security.


  18. Miller…………….deceased Thompson with his former uppity self, knowing he was of Guyanese descent saw it fit to insult the Guyanese people with his ever so welcome wait for a call arrogance, wonder what he would think now, he does not have to care since he don’t have to worry about eating and his surviving relatives are happily living off taxpayers and clico policy holders funds. A little power in the wrong hands can be a dangerous thing.


  19. @ Hants
    Wunna people seem to enjoy building mountains out of marlheaps….

    There is a VERY SIMPLE reason why Bajans do not go into agriculture….
    The produce is UNDERVALUED, and the markets are RISKY.

    If government wanted to encourage agricultural production all they need to do is build an Agro processing plant and buy produce from farmers at GURANTEED attractive prices for resale at prices that RESPECT the efforts and investments made by farmers.

    To avoid the idiots who would try to undermine the system by selling cheap, all that would be needed is for BNSI to REQUIRE quality assurance standards on all produce sold commercially, with high penalties for defaulters.

    Why the hell should a pound of sweet potatoes sell for $2.00? Anyone who wants cheap produce should grow it themselves.

    This world is made up of ‘circular brass containers’ who keep on expecting that they can plant grass and reap potatoes.

    ….to buy produce cheap and yet encourage farming
    …no discipline at home or school and produce scholars
    …pardon criminals and expect crime to abate
    …give money to Leroy P and expect to get it back…..

    ….but everyone has a Japanese car….
    That new band “Brass Soul” must have in ’bout 250,000 members….? 🙂


  20. Bushie we know you know everything so I will stop building mountains out of marlheaps….
    There really is no point in expressing an opinion on this blog. You know everything.


  21. …so Hants
    How exactly does Bushie’s opinion prevent you from expressing yours?

    You playing you can’t tek a little cussing in ur red behind now?
    ..You ain’t get nuh licks at school and yuh ain’t want none on BU either… Who de so and so you think you is bozie?


  22. Bushie…………….you are absolutely right, “if either government WANTED TO ENCOURAGE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION” we are quite aware that neither of them want to.


  23. The future is only limited by our imagination! What curriculum implications do 3D printing and development in material science technology have for us?

    Please see the following video and ponder…


  24. @ Ping Pong
    “Can I dream that similar activities will be going on at UWI…?”
    *********
    YES!
    …in cricket.


  25. We r doing the same ole same ole and getting the same results. I think that we have some geniuses knocking around here in Barbados we just need to seek them out.

    Im not speaking of the traditional areas of disciplines. Look at the man who invented the search engine “Archie” which led to Google and the others.

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