The Deceased Labour Party – Part Two

Dear Editor,

“Considering that Barbadians live better and Barbados functions better when the DLP is out of office, their time in the wilderness is for the best.”

The Deceased Labour Party – Part One

The above assertion from the first article in this series is perhaps contentious and thus, a point worthy of excavation. 

Firstly, from an economic perspective, in its first period in office, the Democratic Labour Party claimed to ‘accelerate industrialistion and job creation’. However, when they left office in 1976, they left a country with inflation sky-rocketing and unemployment had reached 25% of the ‘true labour force’. Waste and inefficiency had become pervasive in the public sector. In absolute terms, the same number of people were employed in 1976 in light industry as when they came to office in 1961. Acreage available for agricultural production had declined, as well as output. The cost of living was also rising with phenomenal increases in prices and few will forget the mismanagement of the 1973 oil crisis. 

In the DLP’s second period in office, the economic calamity of the 90s is well known to all. Again, this was originally induced by the international economic realities of the 90s, but the situation was handled terribly, resulting in the social upheaval and economic chaos of that period. 

Finally, there are few who can deny the stark economic reality of 2018. There had been a complete erosion of investor confidence, Barbados’ credit rating was on a perpetual track of ‘downgrade’, foreign reserves were through the floor, ‘home-grown plan’ after ‘home-grown plan’ had failed to achieve its objectives, taking us around a roundabout of economic calamity, or what the then government called ‘turning the corner’. Cost of living again was sky-high, and taxation was unevenly distributed, thereby disproportionately affecting the working classes. 

Turning to the social aspect, Barbados has had to confront a chequered colonial past, necessitating a suite of social programmes for the aggrandizement of the working classes. 

Before the DLP came to office in 1961, free education had been introduced at four secondary schools, a basic feeding programme was instituted at primary schools providing children with milk and biscuits, the feasibility study and draft legislation for the NIS was prepared, the first public housing units were constructed, a myriad of legislation to protect workers was introduced and loans were provided for higher education and housing for civil servants. 

One wonders how many of those achievements have been misleadingly attributed to the Democratic Labour Party?

After the DLP was booted from office in 1976, minibus operations were legalized allowing small players into the industry, illegitimacy was removed from the statute books, plantation tenants were given the opportunity to own their land, phenomenal strides were made to make men and women more equal in society delivering a ‘new deal’ to women, electricity was provided to the entire island including rural areas, unemployment benefits were introduced and the NCF and NSC were created. 

In the DLP’s column, they have Mr Sandiford’s work in education in the Barrow years, the School Meals Service started by Mr Barrow, and the expansion of the previously started free education, national insurance and public housing. 

Clearly then, much of the social infrastructure on which this country is founded was not built by the DLP. To a large extent, the Democratic Labour Party has continued and expanded the programmes of others. 

Finally on the political front, Mr Barrow must be credited with leading Barbados into independence and his vision and inspiration and Mr Sandiford for creating the Social Partnership.

However, the DLP did not win universal suffrage and full ministerial government for Barbadians. Their commitment to regional integration has also wavered, particularly in the last dispensation, with scarce interest being shown to CSME, as well as the fanning of xenophobia by Mr Thompson’s administration.

It was the DLP that dismantled local government for short-term political gain, and in the process stripping Barbadians of an important layer of democracy. Few might remember, but the DLP also opposed the creation of the EBC, clearly being more comfortable with an electoral office operating out of the PM’s Office.

Concludingly, when one looks at what has been achieved when the DLP has been out of office as well as the failures when they have been in office, what conclusion can be drawn? Does it not appear that the DLP has not been more successful than their political rivals, in terms of achievement? Does it not appear that, especially since the passing of Mr Barrow, they have been stripped of any vision? Does it not appear that Barbados has done better when the Democratic Labour Party has been kept out of Bay Street? When we answer those questions based on the unimpeachable evidence above, is it not so that we are much better off for their time in the political wilderness?

Finally, next week, an assessment of the 65th Conference itself.

Khaleel Kothdiwala 

133 thoughts on “The Deceased Labour Party – Part Two

  1. @wura,.
    I am convinced if they got anything right, it has to be the grades that were awarded.

    The missing and ungraded papers can be found, graded and ‘explained away’. I am not saying this is right, but plausible/reasonable explanations can be provided.

    Changing of grades is a quite different beast. Think of it of having bank accounts and being given different balances on different days; for some accounts a higher balance and for others a lesser balance. Most would agree that such a bank should be put out of business.

    Changing of grades is as great a problem or even greater than that described above. This is not a lottery randomly producing winners and losers. Given the same exam to mark again, I would expect the same ‘marker’ to reproduce ‘the same result’. I am aware that there is human error, but the magnitude of the error should be small.

    What if we have a defective system? The harm that has been caused over previous years cannot be corrected or calculated. The trust and belief in these systems would not be warranted.

    If there is any ‘large scale’ change of grades, then CXC should be put out of business. If there is an attempt to fix it, then greater transparency and accountability is needed. The cry of ‘we audited and we fixed it’ is woefully inadequate.

    Systems must not only ‘appear to work’, they must work.

    Perhaps, Hal is right. The problems we face are more due to incompetence than corruption.

    So, it is not that I am harsh on students, but it is the sincere belief that at some system must work as stated. Just collecting fees and going through the motions is not enough.

  2. @wura 9:08 a.m.
    The writer has a good understanding of the problem. However, I fear that he/she is so ‘deeply’ involved that they do not realize the fix They are suggesting (changing grades) would cause more harm than good.

    Universities would now begin to wonder if the current and past grades are really meaningful.
    “information already at its disposal to initiate regrading (based on the SBAs, teachers’ predicted scores and PAPER 1 results). Perhaps CXC should consider solely relying on this information and scrap the revised grading methodology and algorithm that was used for calculate and assign 2020 results, which clearly failed.”

    Let me be the devil’s 😈 advocate. Perhaps this is the first time that CXC got things right?

    Was it a response to COVID-19 that prompted CXC to modify the process, or was it an attempt to eliminate the bias (teacher’s pet and help) from the system.

    I would urge BU readers to think for themselves. You don’t have to subscribe to any point of view.

    • The CXC council has invited an independent review, the commonsense thing to do is wait for the first report before we wander of with all kinds of unsupported positions.

  3. What is s supported position? A cut and paste from a small group?

    Will wait till EA post.
    Yah gine kill muh
    Muh belly

  4. “Was it a response to COVID-19 that prompted CXC to modify the process, or was it an attempt to eliminate the bias (teacher’s pet and help) from the system.”

    CXC is a corrupt body, always was, always will be, the fact that they need immunity from Caribbean governments says it all. I would not trust them with anything. Have not really thought about how they will move forward re regrading etc…the kids who got dropped from UNIs may have a problem. The kids who got grades they did not earn are basically innocent and those should stay…it’s CXCs cockup, not theirs, although keeping the grades will not advance them any further, particularly in this environment.

    re your bank account balance if you are not entitled to a balance due to a banking error, you go to prison if you withdraw any of it.

    Suffice it to say it’s a mess created SOLELY BY CXC and the arrogant who pollute their offices…and everyone impacted is their victim, don’t mind the colonial noise from the likes of Hilary…CXC should be auditied by an outside entity.

    “CXC should be put out of business.”

    from you to the ears of the divine, they are too uppity and arrogant and could only remain that way because DUMB BLACK GOVERNMENTS gave them immunity to do as they like to our children and grandchildren….they have no interest or intention to be transparent and believe sucking taxpayer’s money by the tens of millions of dollars….via dumb governments annually is their RIGHT and ENTITLEMENT…they gotta go..

    i swear some of the most stupid governments to ever crawl into any colonial parliaments can be found in the Caribbean.

  5. Now this freemason imp and pimp is coming out to outright tell lies on the kids. They dont have access to CXCs database and only access the portal when advised to by their schools. They cant make any changes. So now they are demonizing and trying to criminalize the kids…i told this is a corrupt devil entity that must be uprooted out of the Caribbean PERMANENTLY…they must not be allowed to rebrand and return under a different name. Those kids who got grades they are not entitled to must watch out that they are not arrested.

  6. See ….2 face Hilary says one thing and the other freemason pimp comes out and says another….but they are being exposed from coast to coast so they will see who comes out the winner here in these crimes they are perpetrating on the younger generation..

    Europe/UK better don’t be putting any reparations money in those frauds hands…let all the greedy fcukers die out without seeing a dime…leave it for future generations..

  7. “In her decision, Mohammed said although CXC owns the copyright of the examination paper, it did not own the right of the exam script submitted by each student who has taken the exam.
    “It seems to me that each script is the body of work of the individual student, which is unique. In order for CXC alone to own the copyright of the exam scripts after they have been completed by the students, the parents or guardians of the students must provide written approval before the said exam, giving up any rights of ownership of the students’ work to CXC. However, there was no such evidence in this action.”

  8. Would be very surprised if students could change grades at the portal. That would be a seriously flawed system.

    I think the gentleman should proceed more carefully.

    Oops…. Should have waited until one of the ‘big dogs’ bark.

  9. Don’t know how the kids can make any changes when the info they receive comes by EMAIL FROM THE SCHOOLS…that is as close as they get to any CXC portal..

    .the portal is their emails.

  10. “The CXC debacle that has distressed & dismayed students & parents/guardians in tears….
    Fayad Ali
    9h ·
    CXC…you are just amazing…though not in the ‘pretty context…
    Imagine last week a popular South school gets ungraded (U) for all their Upper 6 Pure Maths candidates. The school was electrocuted. “That is impossible,” they utter. They protest. CXC’s defense is that documents were NOT submitted. The school provides proof that the missing documents were sent. Suddenly, yesterday, three days (weekend included) after, the school has all these scripts marked and graded, gets a full success rate and 48 of the students with grade 1’s in CAPE U2 Pure Maths. Amazing you say. What does this tell you about the credibility of CXC and Wesley’s boldface claim that all is well? My concern is what about the individuals who clearly deserve a 1 and were awarded 2’s and 3’s and 4’s.
    What if these poor students and parents simply put their tails between their legs and cry and become dejected and frustrated, have no money to protest and pay for a remark, and a recheck and can’t get into the universities and courses of their choice and other horrible stories? What about other schools with similar horror stories. Today’s newspaper says in T&T there is at least 20 such schools. Teachers are as frustrated as students and parents.

    What about students (and whose grade we can predict year after year with almost 100 % accuracy) who clearly got full marks in the multiple-choice exams (with 95% repeated word for word questions) …known to attain top marks in their IA’s and which you clearly and admittedly’adjusted’…Why?
    Now the inevitable question…Was that adjustment fair or necessary or deliberate or calculated or required or suddenly deemed essential… just so that you would not flood a particular school/or country/or the whole Caribbean with the overflow of deserved and attained 1’s? Are you saying that the subject teachers were not competent/fair/just/trustworthy/ etc in marking of IA’s and so that you had to review and re-mark and reassess these IA marks? If so, why don’t you mark all IA’s yourself? You certainly depended on these same teachers to do all the marking all through the years, yet suddenly this year, their standard and credibility are under question. CXC, you have much to answer…

    One school has so far succeeded to show your incompetence…thousands of students are still waiting to confirm it…
    Did CXC ever learn about competence and standard and fairness and correctness from the greats as Cambridge, Oxford, Scottish Board, London, JMB, etc from whom you took over? You started testing in 1979, and was expected to be just as good or better than the old masters? Look at you 41 years later…not a single year without errors in the papers, leakage, and now this. Shame on you CXC…and you boldface and brazen too.”

  11. A reasoned intervention.

    What went wrong with CXC 2020?
    SOMETHING SEEMS TO have gone terribly wrong with the 2020 Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) examinations in both the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination tests.
    What was at first thought to be a Barbados problem has turned out to be a wider Caribbean issue. The obvious source of the difficulty was the need to accommodate the adverse circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic which no one could have predicted.
    To avoid mass sittings, the CXC decided to eliminate Paper II and concentrate on the SBA (school-based assessment) and multiple choice components.
    Paper II constitutes the core component of the examination.
    In Caribbean history, for example, Paper II would require the answering of four full essays in an exam setting, with invigilators and text books or notes not allowed. It provides the best incontestable evidence of scholastic competence in any subject discipline.
    Course work
    The SBA or course work portion, is done mostly outside of school, at home or at lessons, for example.
    Paper I, or the short paper, comprises multiple choice questions, mostly right or wrong, true or false-type answers.
    In a subject such as history, the elimination of Paper II was always pedagogically problematic. It is the paper test best suited to examine the key cognitive aspects of the discipline. The first aspect is content knowledge.
    Another is comprehension and evaluation of the content and the third is the student’s ability to express ideas in a syntax that is correct and understandable in answer to a specific question.
    It is amazing how many students are prone to write whatever they know, irrespective of whether it constitutes an answer to the specific question posed. These are the prime differences between the good and the weak history student and I suspect of most candidates in many other subject areas.
    Paper II should constitute no less than 60 per cent of the marks. Without it any exam is pedagogically questionable.
    I have always had a problem with the SBA component. It is too subject to malfeasance. Teachers, at school and lessons sometimes made an inordinate input into students SBAs so much so that the end product does not reflect the pupil’s own cognitive competence.
    A University of the West Indies (UWI) teacher once confided that sometimes one questions as to whose course work it is that one is correcting. Course work should constitute a minimal portion of the awarded marks, no more than 20 per cent for any course. In the one-unit CAPE, Caribbean and communication studies courses, the SBA comprises 45 per cent of the marks.
    The multiple choice paper is also problematic. There is a limit to the number of discerning multiple choice questions one can fashion, so many are repeated over time and many I am told, are now on the Internet. Any “enterprising” candidate can get hold of past papers knowing that he or she might be able to answer correctly about 40 of the 45 questions.
    It is not surprising that so many CAPE students feel cheated.
    Why so low?
    They were led to believe that they wrote a very good SBA and as one claimed, correctly answered 40 of the 45 multiple choice questions.
    Why then was the grade given this year so low, they ask?
    A persistent query of CXC is that seeing that Paper II was pre-empted, what percentage of the marks would be given to the SBA?
    CXC’s response has been and remains that the percentage previously given to the SBA stays the same. How is that possible? Shouldn’t the marking for both the SBA and the multiple choice be proportionately reweighted?
    A far more pertinent point raised by the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union
    president was: Who corrected the papers this year? Given the absence of Paper II, this might not have been less of a problem concerning the availability of markers. There still appears to be some doubt as to who moderated the SBA component this year.
    In at least one subject area, it may not be true that UWI students were called in. Some moderators were experienced and long-serving teachers in the various subject disciplines. Was there in fact a divergence in the standard of marking between practising teachers and external markers? How could seven candidates out of 15 at one centre be “ungraded” when they all did their SBAs and multiple choice components?
    The registrar of CXC owes the region an explanation of the issues involved in the 2020 examination. Much of CXC functions have now been computerised. Were there any computer glitches this year? The talk that the results were no worse this year than over the last three years says nothing. The 2020 test without the vital Paper II component is not comparable to past years.
    CXC was an ambitious project and has been, up to now, a Caribbean success story. The year 2020 is an extraordinary year caused by a global pandemic. Other examining bodies have experienced similar or worse difficulties. Let us find out what went wrong, make the corrections and proceed.
    Ralph Jemmott is a retired educator.

  12. Reasoned or no, CXC has opened up a very deep dark rabbit hole and don’t care how far down they go, there are those quite capable of holding them by their devil tail and pulling them right back out….

    .it’s the hypocrisy of the individual MOEs over the decades that has caused this to degrade to this level.

    when comparing cockups to other jurisdictions that have tens of millions of students to service, but who are nevertheless capable of correcting their errors…always remember that the various islands even combined DO NOT HAVE SUCH LARGE NUMBERS re population size.f

    so let’s hear the continued lame, empty excuses and contrived LIES…

    and Hilary needs to shut the hell up, because it seems he and that pretender, the registrar ARE NOT ON THE SAME PAGE…he says one thing which was really not much of anything, and the registrar immediately publicly contradicts him and doubles down by falsely accusing the students of tampering with grades.

  13. Have been trying to post this from very early this morning.

    @2:12 a.m.
    CXC’s response to this problem is making the situation even worse.

    The old ‘the dog ate them’, or ‘they were lost in transit’ would have been amusing, but they may have allowed them to weather the storm. However, claiming items were not submitted and suddenly finding them adds other layers of issues to this debacle.

    Is there a weakness in the shipping of exams?

    Are ‘markers’ being paid per script marked or receiving a lump sum? The latter would provide an incentive for a lazy ‘marker’ to mark a subset of the scripts assigned to them.

    Where were these missing exams and why did they go missing?
    Were they in the control of CXC all of this time or did they miraculously appear from nowhere? Are these the original or ‘replacement’ scripts.
    Recent events could make one question the integrity of CXC.

    Has CXC become lazy and recirculated exams so many times that the ‘questions’ are known? Has the abundance of good grades forced CXC into trying ‘to curve’ the data by some method.

    It would be interesting to see if plots of the data of so many students gave us bell-shape curves.

    CXC is losing control of the story.
    As the story develops, one begins to wonder what CXC doing all of these years. Has the emperor no clothes? Let’s hope that the independent audit does not become a bolting of the gate after the animals are out.

    Meanwhile, I will suspend thinking and will sit here and wait for reports or more reasoned responses.

  14. I will continue to urge BU bloggers to think for themselves. Keep an open mind and do not let the flow of your thinking be channelled by others.

    Use your own filters and select your own experts. Your opinion is as worthy of consideration as those of the BU appointed gods.

    You may be wrong or you may be right, but do not let anyone bully you into silence.

  15. Theo…at least someone got the lying Registrar to shut up.

    i see Grenville yammering on and on …on a new thread about CXC, let’s see what that develops into, if anything.

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