Kudos to the Nation newspaper for highlighting the human interest story Family lacks electricity for online classes. The story resonated with the blogmaster for many reasons that should be obvious to sensible people. Leaders in education of late, forced to implement Covid 19 measures, have been repeatedly braying the cliche “no child must be left behind‘ – what does that mean? What does the image of children clustered around a mobile device in a less than an ideal arrangement say to fellow citizens?
For too long better educated individuals than this buffoon, illiterate blogmaster have promoted the view we must modify the system of education to make it fit for purpose. The pandemic razing the global economic and social landscape of developed and developing countries has exposed weaknesses in the system successive governments have largely ignored or demonstrated a lack of competence to effectively manage.
We live in a country, a world it seems that consumes and distil ALL issues through a political lens. Factors influencing policymaking require several inputs be considered with the political being ONE.
Now the pandemic has humbled the education system the consequence of which we will not be able to determine for years to come. Are we there yet to do what is required? Are we ready to critically review and implement innovations required to enable our children to successfully compete in the global economy?
The task of not adequately preparing our children for the world has dire consequences for our small, beautiful paradise we love. An island that has accomplished so much considering its limited natural resources. Let us work together to show we love Barbados by continuing constructive engagement; sharing ideas, holding citizens, leaders accountable.
Read the Nation article Family lacks electricity for online classes.
Family lacks electricity for online classes
Six children in one household cannot log on to the virtual classroom because their home lacks electricity.
Grandmother Cora Eastmond told the Weekend Nation that she has to give the devices to a friend who lives in Black Rock, St Michael, to get them charged and, depending on his schedule, she may get them back in a day or two.
The 61-year-old woman, who lives in My Lord’s Hill, St Michael, has been featured in this newspaper in the past and continues to receive assistance in the form of food and clothing for the children. Though unemployed, she is the sole guardian of three of the children, following the death of their mother five years ago.
The grandchildren range in age from five to 12.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and classes being shifted online, Eastmond said she had now reached the stage where there was a desperate need for the utilities.
“The house does not have electricity. I does got to send the phones and tablets to get charged and the tablets does have to go all the way to Black Rock,” she cried. “Sometimes the children don’t get their schoolwork done,” she said, adding that all of them had received devices.
The woman inherited the small two-bedroom wooden house in which the family lives when her mother passed away. Eastmond said she started to get it wired for electricity but did not have the money to complete the process even though she had some of the fittings stored.
She added that the house also had natural gas attached but it was disconnected many years ago.
“We does got to go by the $3 Store and buy batteries and go by an Indian store and buy lights and sometimes the batteries only lasting two or three nights,” she said, as she produced the small lanterns which the family used to illuminate the house at night.
In terms of cooking gas, she said while she buys the 25-pound cylinder bottle, it only lasts about a week because of the cooking which had to be done for the family.
“So I does have to walk down the road to the gasstation and if they don’t have gas I have to gofurther and my knees can’t take it because I have
Eastmond said she felt helpless when it came to the needs of her family since they were all dependent on her.
“It is six children and three adults that live here. My son is out working and he tries his best but this is too much. I am getting old. I don’t know how much of this I can take. I don’t know how much longer I got on this Earth but I want better for the children,” she said, tears rolling down her face.
Eastmond said someone from the Barbados Light & Power recently visited the house but she did not know why since he only asked questions about the occupants. (MB)