No Change III
The level of student on student violence in the United States has reached a level which should concern the world Barbados included. We are bombarded 24/7 by streaming into our homes via TV, Internet, radio and other forms. Most if not all Barbadians have family and friends who reside in the US, we visit for recreation, business and education. The influence of the US culture is pervasive and strong parenting and leadership is required to influence our children and wider society from being consumed from this marauding culture fashion by values which conflict with the Barbadians and West Indian way.
All of us hope and pray the level of student violence which is currently being visited on the USA will never infiltrate our traditional ‘docile’ culture, BUT, the signs are evident the gestation period fed by two decades of US led globalization is about to deliver. The Alexander School Commission of Inquiry shifted the veil covering the inner workings of our school system, BUT, sadly it has not resonated with the wider population by galvanizing a movement of concerned parents (citizens). The Inquiry exposed an inept and inefficient ministry of education; the body responsible for educating and nurturing the next generation. Similar to the USA and other countries we have become fixated with paper trophies at the expense of educating our children to be the best citizens. Again, let us hope in Barbados we have not reached the point where the teacher of the year in New York was retrenched because of budget cuts, or have we.
We know the problems after six years of the government promoting the political slogan it is intent on building out a society and not just an economy. Have we witnessed any difference to judge for incremental societal improvement compared to the pre 2008 period? Have we as an educated populace placed importance on holding the government accountable to the slogan? Do we even care?
BU empathises with Barbadians who are feeling frustrated at a status quo which is being protected by the political directorate. Also frustrating is the extent to which the national discourse is being controlled and manipulated by those with narrow agendas. MORE frustrating is the unwillingness of the silent majority in Barbados to become more agitated and force change. There is also the saying ‘’Change or Die’’.
What will it take for the majority of Barbadians to come alive to the reality we have to change the way WE manage our little island or die. There is BU emphasis on the WE because of the fashionable notion we have to mirror the value systems of other societies to acquire the label of being progressive. What WE have to do is to determine what kind of society we want Barbados to become and do it.
Civil society is comprised of many stakeholders some more influential that others. If our politicians and public servants lack the intelligence, commitment, esprit de corps and other desirable qualities to pursue relevant policies in the interest of Barbadians – then ordinary citizens will have to do it. It may seem obvious that this has always been the solution but conventional wisdom explains what happens when a human being becomes too comfortable.