Education Reform a Must

Lost amid the noise of a struggling economy, navigating a pandemic and more recent ash fall from La Soufrière is the decision by the government to create the Education Reform Unit headed by Dr. Idamay Denny.

For many years commentators have been pleading with successive governments the urgent need to transform how we educate our citizens to ensure Barbados ride the crest of innovation in order to sustain global competitiveness. Increasingly the emergence of technology and other innovative approaches to create and distribute products and services demand we change how we prep our citizens.

The Education Reform Unit‘s mandate it has been reported is to formulate, implement, monitor and evaluate reform initiatives aimed at transforming the education sector. Lest we forget transforming the education system is listed in the 2018 Barbados Labour Party Manifesto. Unfortunately there is not much to be heard from the political and non governmental opposition besides the usual noise. In fairness to them the citizenry is blinkered and therefore divided on the issue of eduction reform. We content ourselves with debating if to discontinue the 11+.

Critics will argue several studies have been produced, why is it necessary to create a project unit. Others may suggest trying to create change from studies whose shelf life has expired is an exercise in futility. What the blogmaster accepts is that change is constant and change we must if we desire to remain comfortably in the saddle.

Covid 19 has further exposed the dysfunction in local operating and business models. The time is overdue to build consensus on educate our people to drive the change required to sustain ourselves. All of the changes we rail about daily will not happen by accident. The perquisite to change movement has to be triggered by thought leadership. We must create a culture in the country that is about fuelling ideas, fuelling knowledge capital and then executing the delivery of tasks to achieve a national objective that feeds our capacity to be globally competitive in order to comfortably support ourselves.

Items like teaching coding and robotics should have been integrated in the school curriculum a long time ago. When BU attempted to discuss the role digital currencies, cybersecurity and non traditional approaches to doing business in Barbados we solicited noise from the usual suspects. This is the global trending, we have no choice albeit late in the day to educated our citizens to ensure we are not left further behind.

The blogmaster extends best wishes to the success of the Education Reform Unit albeit.

110 thoughts on “Education Reform a Must

  1. @ Wiley Coyote
    Do not be so fast. She was always on the Ministry’s payroll. This is just another rearranging of the chairs on the deck of the tourist ship Barbados. This is an attempt to correct a past error.
    @ David BU
    The Ministry of Education business is that of transformation. As far as I am aware it has never reneged from that role. Your catalogue of to do lists are all in progress but not in the form or at the phase of the transformation process that you appear to put them. It is this rush that is causing corruption in the digitization process.The basic education infrastructure needs to be laid. I suggest that commenters try to understand the process before keyboarding.

  2. Teachers should record themselves for youtube type lessons
    several teachers on same subject can offer different perspectives and the brain combines all of them into one understanding

  3. We have to stop thinking of Education Reform, solely as a means of making a dollar, and focus more on Education Reform as an instrument that is geared towards the development of the whole person.

  4. The original concept of African academics was predicated upon three core principles:
    (1) know thyself
    (2) know thy environment (3) Know thy society.
    But the western model of academics, seems to be predicated upon the principles of social and economic mobility.

  5. The Resident Teacher and prolific cut and paster pastor on #SOUNDBITESUNDAY was very poor

  6. This is just another way to put taxpayers’ money in the hands of consultants and party supporters pockets.

    All the Education Reform Unit will do is carry out the same studies, come to the same conclusion and put forward the same recommendations all the previous studies now sitting in Filing Room 13 did. Not one thing will change. The children with learning problems will still get ignored and waste their entire time at primary school and not be able to read as good as a nursery school child.

    All that is needed is a Student Assessment Unit staffed with the personnel level necessary to carry out tests for the common learning disabilities such a dyslexia, vision, hearing, speech, psychological and child abuse challenges before the child has gone through the entire primary school system. Once you assess every child by the time they leave Infants B and identify the major impediments to their progress, they can be funneled into the appropriate programs or corrective action taken.

  7. Sir Ernest Deighton Mottley
    University Medical Center.

    Formerly: Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

    Dam. I love it…Deserving indeed…

  8. reparations for slavery will cost England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 10 trillion pounds every 50 years????

    African and African American Studies, Descriptive Article, Early Modern History (1492-1789), Economic History, Political History, World History 
October 19, 2016 

    Barbados Slave Codes

    ‘Slaves Wanted’ Advertisement for the Island of Barbados | Courtesy of Lascelles Slavery Archive

    In 1627, English colonizers began to settle in Barbados, an eastern Caribbean island, to expand their territory. Their primary reason for coming to Barbados was for planting sugar, so that England might avoid having to buy sugar from other European nations that produced sugar on their own Caribbean islands. The English saw how strong the demand for sugar was. Since sugar cane grew naturally on Barbados, the English saw Barbados as a lucrative opportunity.

    Earliest known map of the Island of Barbados | Drawn by Richard Ligon in 1657 | Courtesy of the British Library Online Gallery
    However, the Englishmen who wanted to engage in this business had to decide who to send to Barbados to grow, harvest, and process the sugar cane into refined sugar. This was not an easy task, but these Englishmen did have a number of Irish prisoners serving various sentences. They decided on a way for these Irish prisoners to work off their sentences on Barbados sugar plantations. They sent thousands of indentured Irish prisoners to Barbados.1

    As the years of growing and exporting this material continued, the English began to think of better ways for the crop to be harvested and exported faster. They needed a higher efficiency route, as well as a way that was cheaper, because the Irish indentured servants did receive some form of salary, even though they were indentured. By the 1670s, African slaves, a cheaper source of labor being used throughout the Caribbean islands, became the alternative to Irish indentured servants. As the English continued to expand their plantations, they began importing African slaves in increasing numbers.2
    Between 1627 and 1807, more than 400,000 Africans, mainly originating from West Africa, had been brought to Barbados as slaves to work on sugar plantations. The English planters would request and receive more slaves whenever they believed they needed more for the plantations. The Africans were viewed as nothing more than interchangeable machine parts in the process of sugar production. The treatment experienced by the Africans was among the most inhumane in human history.3
    Starting in 1640, Africans were thought of as inferior to Englishmen. Africans were not thought to have the capacity to be intelligent. In consideration of how dark skin color was defined as life of lesser value than light skin color, legal codes naturally evolved out of these attitudes.4

    License Certificate for retrieving “Slave Property” | 1815 | Courtesy of the Barbados Free Press – May 27, 2007
    Although the English were continually resupplied with Africans, they felt the need to have restrictions or rules set in motion when it came to controlling the labor of African slaves. The Barbados Slave Code of 1661 created a way for planters to be able to have full capacity to control their slaves by any means they felt necessary without any legal repercussions. The Barbados Slave Code was originally enacted to serve both parties, trying to benefit the slaves and the planters; but it did not go according to plan. Slave owners were to protect their slaves from cruelty:
    [N]egroes [are] an heathenish brutish and an unsertaine dangerous kinde of people…yett wee well know by the right rule of reason and order wee are not to leave them to the Arbitrary cruele and outragious wills of every evill disposed person but soo farr to protect them as wee doo many other goods and Chattles and alsoe somewhat farther as being created Men though without the Knowledge of God in the world.5
    The slaves did receive one positive from the Barbados Slave Code: the ability to have a change a clothing once a year. The planters, on the other hand, were provided with many new ways to keep their slaves in line. They had the right and the authority to chastise, whip, brand, lacerate, cripple, set them on fire, or murder them with no negative consequences. The reason is during this time the English common Law, which included the right to a jury and judge, was not offered to the Africans, showing that they did not have the same rights as the planters. Africans were unable to be assured any of these statutes if their English masters harmed them in anyway.6

    The Barbados Slave Codes began to spread from Barbados to Jamaica, Antigua, and also to South Carolina, where these Codes became the legal basis for slavery and the treatment of slaves in many of the thirteen colonies.7

    1 Hilary McD. Beckles, “A ‘riotous and Unruly Lot’: Irish Indentured Servants and Freemen in the English West Indies, 1644-1713,” The William and Mary Quarterly 47, no. 4 (1990): 503–7. ↵
    2 Hilary McD. Beckles, “A ‘riotous and unruly lot’: Irish Indentured Servants and Freemen in the English West Indies, 1644-1713,” The William and Mary Quarterly 47, no. 4 (1990): 505. ↵
    3 Kenneth Morgan, “Review of Caribbean Exchanges: Slavery and the Transformation of English Society, 1640-1700, by Susan Dwyer Amussen,” The Journal of Modern History 81, no. 3 (2009): 667. ↵
    4 Kenneth Morgan, “Review of Caribbean Exchanges: Slavery and the Transformation of English Society, 1640-1700, by Susan Dwyer Amussen,” The Journal of Modern History 81, no. 3 (2009): 667. ↵
    5 Barbados Slave Code of 1661, as quoted in Bradley J. Nicholson, “Legal Borrowing and the Origins of Slave Law in the British Colonies,” The American Journal of Legal History 38, no. 1 (1994): 38–54. Nicholson makes the point that the 1661 Code was only slightly modified in 1676, 1682, and 1688. ↵
    6  Bradley J. Nicholson, “Legal Borrowing and the Origins of Slave Law in the British Colonies,” The American Journal of Legal History 38, no. 1 (1994): 51. ↵
    7 M. Eugene Sirmans, “The Legal Status of the Slave in South Carolina, 1670-1740,” The Journal of Southern History 28, no. 4 (1962): 462–73. ↵

    Barbados, colonization, plantations, slaves and sugar..

  9. Critical Analyzer

    The issue of child abused is a problem for the police and the child’s psychologist or psychiatrist, but it is only the responsibility of the school authorities to identity such problem and directed it to the relevant authorities.

  10. @RUM & COKES May 5, 2021 9:38 AM

    What this have to do with the topic at hand if your own black people owned, led and operated system turning out too many not able to read the reparation nonsense talk, identify the difference between the money or count it to see if they been robbed.

    Education Reform is the topic or did you not get enough education to know to stay on topic when writing on a composition topic.

  11. Dompey May 5, 2021 8:54 AM We have to stop thinking of Education Reform, solely as a means of making a dollar, and focus more on Education Reform as an instrument that is geared towards the development of the whole person.

    One hundred percent. As it is, it just copies the old Cambridge system. Why not the Denmark system or US system.

    Instead, it creates certificates for the few and barriers to every other, which makes it hard for them to develop and go further.

    Go to see CXC website, unless they lock access, and read examiner comments on the performance in various papers, such as mathematics.

    In general, very few do well. Those are the grade ones and twos.

    But most do terribly and the comments from the examiners are horrendous. Most do terribly in these examinations, yet we boast of 90% literacy.

    The education system is not fit for purpose. It does not make people, it breaks them.

    The few who do well, would do well in any scenario, they do well in spite of, not because of.

    THAT is the acid test ‘do they do well because of or in spite of’.

    If it was ‘because of’, the percentage success rate would be significantly higher.

    But this happens when you have no imagination and ability to apply concepts for development and those who do are few and far between and are left out.

    It has further ramifications to the country in the long term.

    You know that I tell young people to get out and go? Yes, this is just one of the reasons why.

    There is no reward for real skills and imagination.

    We celebrate red tape and things to do and not imagination and progress.

  12. @ Critical Analyzer May 5, 2021 9:11 AM
    “This is just another way to put taxpayers’ money in the hands of consultants and party supporters pockets.

    All the Education Reform Unit will do is carry out the same studies, come to the same conclusion and put forward the same recommendations all the previous studies now sitting in Filing Room 13 did. Not one thing will change. The children with learning problems will still get ignored and waste their entire time at primary school and not be able to read as good as a nursery school child.”

    Bang on!

    Just a reincarnation of the Eductech project to legally rob taxpayers as the surfeit of consultants and bullshitters queue up to feed like sharks from the tax-funded pig trough.

    It’s high time the government divest itself of the ‘delivery’ of education and training at the tertiary level and focus it dwindling resources at the primary level.

    However, the government should still play its role in the area of targeted funding standards setting and quality assurance.

    A poorly constructed foundation in education can only result in a vulnerable socio-economic building which has to face the digital high winds of international competition as can be seen from the challenges confronting the Victorian-based model of education in Barbados today.

  13. Critical Analyzer

    And as far as students with the array of learning disabilities is concerned, the teaching strategy of segregating and categorizing students back in the day had proved counterproductive, because it did more harm than good to the self-esteem of the students. So moving forward, the strategy is to bring the resources in the classroom instead of segregating and categorizing the students as of old, so that the students can reach their full potential.

  14. @Dompey May 5, 2021 9:42 AM

    You are absolutely correct but school authorities identifying abuse or any learning disability is solely dependent on the teacher’s experience.

    To ensure no child is left behind, this and any other problem impeding a child’s progress can only be reliably identified via a structured comprehensive child assessment framework spearheaded by competent professional trained to spot the signs.

    Education is not cheap and we are burning lots of money the longer we delay a basic comprehensive assessment of each child.

  15. Critical Analyzer

    You meant that better assessment needs to be had because back in the day they had to have done some kind of assessment because of the A, B and C grade stratification.

  16. Oh shirt! A stopped clock is right twice a day!


    Dompey giving lessons!

    I wonder which policeman taught him that!

  17. @Miller May 5, 2021 9:51 AM
    Tertiary education is still a necessity for our country to keep pace with the rest of the world but there are too many useless degrees money is being wasted on.

    The tertiary funding model needs to be changed to one where the student is allowed to pursue as many degrees as they desire but they must sign an agreement to repay the costs at a 0% interest rate over a mutually agreed maximum period of time from 1 to 20 years.

    Tertiary funding problem solved.

  18. Nothing much will change as long as those SLAVE CODES and SLAVE LAWS remain on the statue books…where THEY ARE RIGHT NOW.

    they have no shame….none of the frauds in the parliament.

    • The level/standard of our education is can be easily measured in our (in)ability to compete in the global market place today and where the trending is pointing tomorrow and current state the economy.

  19. Stupse. All who are criticizing the current system have benefitted from it just as it is. Life is not a level playing field and consequently the education system should reflect this fact of life. This is exactly what the current system does. Do not punish the children who excel academically all for the sake that “no child should be left behind” whatever that means. Our problem as Barbadians is that when America sneezes, we catch a cold. Study the Japanese education system (and that is why their citizens will always excel) and then put it into practice, not the crazy and stupid American system of lowering standards to accommodate all and sundry.

  20. @ david king and his kingly character
    I’m in a double moderation probation detention boderation aggravation situation

  21. @Dompey May 5, 2021 10:23 AM
    The assessment I am referring to is not a normal school test where they A, B, C or some percentage.

    I’m talking about a battery of learning disability assessment test before each child reaches Class 1 at the latest. These assessments would comprise of tests like, a vision test, hearing test, health check, dyslexia test.

    The student assessment unit would be required to determine and create the tests forming the assessment, keeping pace with the international community and updating the tests administered as things change. they can also spearhead the development of solutions and recommend special programs and teaching changes.

    People in this unit might even end up at the forefront of education producing research papers on student assessment.

  22. “Everything means nothing ↔️”
    At the beginning of World War II, blacks were not allowed to serve as pilots in the military. A 1925 U.S. Army War College report had gone so far as deeming them not just inferior, but also incapable of operating complex machinery.

  23. @ Critical Analyzer

    Education improvement suggestions:

    Signature schools that will focus on the learning styles and interests of our children, including academic and technical subjects, trades, business, sports, arts and special needs education. 

    1 The development of an Education Authority;
    2 The implementation of the Learning First Program; 
    3 The phasing out of middle schools and introduction of signature schools; and,
    4 A consultation process on the introduction of parish primary schools.

    • challenges encountered, 
    • improvements needed for the System, 
    • parental engagement, 
    • community and business engagement, 
    • most significant learning experiences, and more.  

    • an introduction to digital reporting processes; 
    • identifying national and core educational priorities; 
    • understanding and building on the public school case for change; 
    • understanding what is design thinking; 
    • changing mindsets to design new solutions for redesigning the public school system; 
    • how to deliver better outcomes for learners, and 
    • using research to inform the school redesign process. 
    • establish exceptionalities and alternative education for students. 

    Refurbish and redesigned public primary schools will expand courses and programme offerings to provide students with the range of educational experiences and services that meet international standards.

  24. Verona Michael

    Since the American Academic system is this substandard system, why is it that people from all part of the world strive so hard to attend the Yale, Princeton, Harvard, Brown’s, Stanford, and Cornell etc?

  25. Verona Michael

    I find it rather funny that a country like the United States with this Substandard academic system still produces the most Nobel Prize Winners in the world?

  26. @ Dompey

    You seem to be suggesting the American educational system plays an important role in persons winning the Nobel Peace Prize. I suggest you should acquaint yourself with the criteria used in awarding the prize.
    And, you’ve over looked the important fact that several of those NPP laureates were not born in the USA and would’ve gained their initial tertiary level education in the countries of their birth.

    I’ll give you one example. German born Joachim Frank, shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2017 with Richard Henderson and Jacques Dubochet.

    He graduated from the University of Freiburg with a bachelor’s degree in Physics, a diploma from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and a PhD from the Technical University of Munich……… all in Germany.

  27. Artax

    Just google and see who has the number one university in the world and tell me if it isn’t Harvard?

  28. Artax

    I don’t care who you all characterized the American academic system, the fact of the matter is, America has the world best universities.

  29. “Items like teaching coding and robotics should have been integrated in the school curriculum a long time ago.”

    Yes. This discussion is akin to planning to improve a car and debating if we should put wheels on it.

    Regardless of what the committee decides, it should be clear that Barbados is lagging in the field of robotics and coding. The ready availability of information over the internet means that talented Barbadians can develop online courses tailored to the island or Bajans can go online and acquire relevant training. With a little effort and planning, we can easily move from classroom training to nationwide training in coding.

    With a little more thought this could be a quick win without the use of a committee\unit\board.
    For your amusement – Committee
    A group of the unwilling, chosen by the unfit, to do the unnecessary.
    A body that keeps minutes and wastes hours.
    An organism with six or more legs and no brain.
    A group of people who individually can do nothing but as a group decide that nothing can be done.
    A vehicle with six steering wheels and the engine that has just quit.
    Columbus had an advisory committee he would probably still be at the dock.
    Going to go for the jugular vein and for the quick win. With increasing internet access, it should be easy for the government to pay 2 or 3 individuals to develops a series of modules

  30. Funding and the “brain drain” from other countries could help explain the USA dominance.
    China has become extremely prosperous and though many students come to US, some remain at home and attend excellent universities..

  31. Think of it as if the goverment gave XYZ all the equipment/funds it wants and then sent the top 100 students (brain drain) there. It is true that some late developers will do extremely well at other schools, but XYZ would still be the top school on the island.

  32. Verona MichaelMay 5, 2021 10:43 AM Stupse. All who are criticizing the current system have benefitted from it just as it is. Life is not a level playing field and consequently the education system should reflect this fact of life. This is exactly what the current system does. Do not punish the children who excel academically all for the sake that “no child should be left behind” whatever that means

    There is so much wrong in that paragraph, it is not funny. Yes, many benefited from the system , in spite of.

    On the ‘punish the children who excel’. Certainly not. They worked hard. However, it was generally not the official educational system that got them there.

    Ninety percent of those who ‘excel academically’ had private lesson upon private lesson, often from the same teachers out of school and could afford it.

    Only a few excelled without those lessons. A VERY few. Most had lessons up the wazoo, to get there.

    How can a system be working when seventy percent of pupils leave without the grades for university and of the thirty percent who do, half do lessons and of those who get the top grades, ninety percent do lessons?

    So, the majority of children spend six hours per day in school classrooms, yet cannot pass an exam at a decent grade after five years in school. And that is what happens only to CSEC level.

    How in the RH can that be a working system? Only a complete JA would call it that.

    The ones who get to A Level are those who got there in spite of the system. Yes, there are good teachers, bless them.

    I am not shaming those ones. But speaking generally and on the overall performances, this is the reality.

    Those who appear in the papers in August, ninety percent can thank their private tutors for that success. And yes, their own hard work.

    This is an exhibition of cognitive dissonance, seeing results like this and claiming that the system is working.

    People spending five years in school and leaving with two CSEC’s at grade three, if they are lucky.

    And some claiming that the system is working. Got to be RH mad.

  33. @David
    That is a big, bold and beautiful move. A quick win
    The company I am working allows some of its employees to take courses from Coursera.
    A next quick win would be identify what training is truly needed and try to develop this locally.

    • @TheO

      This is where the discussion should be pointed instead of the tired narratives.

    • This is good news.

      Robotics & Coding Schools’ Programme By September

      by Nya Phillips | May 5, 2021 | Top Stories×1024.jpg
      Minister of Education, Santia Bradshaw (left), operates a teleoperated robot while Principal (ag) at the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College, Dr. Ramona Archer-Bradshaw (centre) and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Senator Dr. Romel Springer (right) and other Ministry look on. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

      Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Santia Bradshaw, has announced her Ministry will be introducing a robotics and coding programme within schools at the start of the upcoming academic year.

      She made the announcement at a press briefing to mark the arrival of the first set of robotics kits to be used in this programme. It was held this morning at her Ministry’s office at Elsie Payne Complex, Constitution Road, St. Michael.

      Minister Bradshaw said it was part of Government’s thrust to reform the education system into one that provides children with the foundation to better function in a technology-driven world.

      “Why robotics? The world as we know it is changing…. According to the 2016 Future of Jobs Report by the World Economic Forum, approximately 65 per cent of who enter school in that year will work in jobs which do not currently exist. These jobs will be based on and enhanced by the use of technology.

      “If our students are to be competent and assist Barbados in regaining a sustainable economic development path, it is imperative that the education system prepare them to not only manipulate and utilise the technology, but more importantly, participate in its development.”

      The Education Minister stated that Government believes students would greatly benefit from this programme, in that robotics and coding help to improve their vision of science, mathematics and engineering, problem-solving skills, and promote innovation, among other things.

      Ms. Bradshaw said the programme “will be implemented by formalising timetable contact hours for [the] early developmental stage and through extra-curricular clubs”, as a means of ensuring that all children have access to the lessons.

      She revealed that the Ministry was in “the final stages” of developing a draft curriculum for students aged seven to 14 in this subject area. However, she noted they were still welcoming stakeholder input, including that of parents and students.

      “We’re also aligning the upper secondary curriculum with the national objectives, and discussions are presently ongoing with CXC, and TVET … to identify and procure any additional resources at the schools to support the curriculum,” the Minister added.

      With regard to the 1,128 robotics kits procured, Ms. Bradshaw explained that they were “initially part of a pilot project, which was led by the Ministry of Education, in conjunction with the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College, which would have resulted in over 140 teachers being trained, and 2,602 students, across 50 schools at the nursery, primary and secondary levels, participating in robotics training at their respective schools”.

      The Education Minister continued: “With additional resources becoming available at the end of the last financial year at the end of March, the Cabinet of Barbados agreed to the procurement of an additional 4,785 kits, and a further allocation of BDS$1.6 million. This would allow to now increase the number of students and teachers who could participate in the programme for the start of the September term, which would allow us to have 16, 508 students being able to have access to these kits.

      “The total investment in this project to date is BDS$2.7 million, and Government remains committed, funds permitting, to the expansion of the programme to all schools over the course of the next few months.”

      Source: BGIS

  34. @ Critical Analyzer May 5, 2021 10:39 AM

    “@Miller May 5, 2021 9:51 AM
    Tertiary education is still a necessity for our country to keep pace with the rest of the world but there are too many useless degrees money is being wasted on.”

    Never intended to argue that “tertiary education” was NOT a necessity.

    Just don’t think that in the digital world of the 21st Century the government of Barbados should be the main provider or delivery vehicle of the training and development programmes to the country’s human capital at the tertiary level.

    Just look at the quality of the contribution from the UWI in preparing the tertiary-level graduates for effective management of the country’s public sector today (for example the BRA) and try to rate it compared to what was delivered to the public when ‘Grammar’ school graduates and mere 7th standard educated ‘civil’ servants were at the helm and in the trenches.

    You even underscored that observation when you posited that “many useless degrees money is being wasted on” [like gender studies and not STEM].

  35. @Crusoe
    You are a much more patient man than I am. Iost interest immediately, but you forced me to return to it.

    “All who are criticizing the current system have benefitted from it just as it is.”
    That is a lie. Some who did not benefit are also criticizing it. Some who benefited like is as it is.

    “Life is not a level playing field and consequently the education system should reflect this fact of life.”
    What is being said here. If you are poor and have no money, then you should get an education that reflect your poverty.
    I was unable to decipher the sentence and will wait on an explanation. Education is much more than entering and exiting a school the same state that you went in.

    .”This is exactly what the current system does.”
    Well then the current system needs fixing

    ” Do not punish the children who excel academically all for the sake that “no child should be left behind” whatever that means”.
    I didn’t figure out what that means.

    Obviously someone who is well off, enjoying the ride and determined to keep status quo.

  36. Go for it Crusoe…am so tired of explaining things to people, that’s why i address many as Slaves, they don’t have the intellectual capacity to understand anything else and accept what they have as the best they can ever be….waste of oxygen….the island and too m any of the people are hopelessly lost in the 18th century…another crime of the century, this time psychological and voluntary.

    “Ninety percent of those who ‘excel academically’ had private lesson upon private lesson, often from the same teachers out of school and could afford it.

    Only a few excelled without those lessons. A VERY few. Most had lessons up the wazoo, to get there.

    The ones who get to A Level are those who got there in spite of the system. Yes, there are good teachers, bless them.”

    Those who appear in the papers in August, ninety percent can thank their private tutors for that success. And yes, their own hard work”

    some leave with 5 and 6 CXCs or whatever they call them these days and still GET NOWHERE…

    if you don’t spend that money, results could be very dismal.

  37. @ Dompey

    Your original argument was about America winning the most Nobel Peace Prizes.

    Now you’ve gone on to argue about the USA has the top universities in the world.


    Unless you’re attempting to convince us attending Harvard is a pathway to winning a Nobel prize.

  38. Thinking of 3 Barbajan scholars who used to show off on BU like mad before they thankfully stopped posting, it seems the Barbados schooling system is all about one upmanship for borrowed stolen authority

  39. @Miller May 5, 2021 3:39 PM

    Never intended to argue that “tertiary education” was NOT a necessity.

    Neither did I intend to argue for or against tertiary education. However, BSc degrees is over qualification for most entry to mid level jobs in most fields where CXC and associate level qualifications would suffice.

    A simple new funding model is required to redirect those tertiary education funds to primary and secondary schools those funds can do much more to strengthen more student’s foundation increasing the numbers with CXC.

    Government funding all tertiary education from Associate Degree to PHd level with the student repaying the government back for all incurred degree costs on program completion allows every child, from the poorest to the richest, the opportunity to pursue whichever degree they want.

    Knowing they must repay the money will ensure they wisely select their course direction as they will be ultimately paying for it in the end.

  40. “The Ministry of Education is set to launch a coding and robotics programme from September in all schools. Minister Santia Bradshaw made the announcement during a press conference at the ministry’s Constitution Road, St Michael headquarters.”

    They DO NOTHING to advance the lives of Africans, especially the young, on the island. unless exposed….then they run out with big plans that more often than not, go nowhere.

    If Piece was around he would tell ya all about their elaborate educational schemes over the decades that could never get off the ground, and the society sunk right back into the slave/slave master theme that they are comfortable keeping in the population’s lives…

    they had at least 13 YEARS to launch such a program, everyone else is way ahead, some are over 2 decades ahead…these are trying to play catch up, by then everyone else would have moved on to something even more advanced and they will still be in the back, with the go nowhere mentality…they believe when they act STUBBORN to remove the dirty, stagnant system out of weary lives, they are doing something to bloggers…don’t care if they ever do, more ammunition to expose them with..

  41. Each One Teach One
    Critical Analyzer obviously never went to University to study Analysis so his moniker is a misnomer and his musings are a red herring. Education is for everybody which means that emphasis should not be only about the top stream but addressing the bottom stream who are behind and lose attention and needed targeted 1-1 explanation to catch up as knowledge is accumulative and understanding the simple concepts are needed to proceed to the more difficult and complex subject matters. Making students pay for University is a no no as they will not bother going to college to pay for higher education to rack up debt when thy could be working and making money and building up experience instead. The most intelligent people I know have common sense and reasoning not qualifications in abstract theory.

    Everybody Needs A Proper Education, Mikey Dread

  42. (Black) Children need physical musical dance and creative exercise and stimulation as well as bookwork

  43. Pedagogic ideology moving forward is to bring the necessary resources into the classroom to address the needs of those students that are having a difficult time absorbing the material, so that they can reach their full potential.

    Nevertheless, the antiquated teaching ideology back in the day was centered on segregating and categorizing those students that were having a difficult time absorbing the material, but what educators at the time did not realized is the fact that such a teaching strategy was counterproductive, because it affected the self-esteem of those students who were labeled C students and boosted the self-esteem of the A and B students.

  44. “such a teaching strategy was counterproductive, because it affected the self-esteem of those students who were labeled C students and boosted the self-esteem of the A and B students.”

    Another way at looking at it is the so called C bad students is a sign of bad teaching.
    After a lesson a teacher should ask how many understand what was taught and if the answer is say 50% 90% or 95% then it should be explained again until it is 100%. If the next day less people understand than the day before then the teachers additional explanation is confusing the children more.

  45. We also have to determine if whether or not the overall educational system needs to be overhauled or the just method of meeting the needs of the student has to in order for he or she to reach his or her full potential.

  46. KILLING OFF opportunities for African creatives they hate so much… for all of 60 years, has now RETURNED TO BITE them…..happy catching up.

  47. .@3:45 a.m.
    The use of 24-hour water trucks to bring water to some areas.
    Coursera initiative
    Robotics and coding initiative

    Quick wins. If there are no trace of wrong doings with these quick wins, then Mia is already off and running hard.

    Not a fan of Mia, but she is a formidable foe.

    The 2023 race as I see it (22-8)
    GP 2 dropped out
    Mia off and running hard
    DLP waiting for the starter’s gun to go off.
    Strategy: Verla needs to accept that 2023 is a losing year for the DLP. Though the DLP should run nationwide certain seats should be heavily targeted; (People I have not heard of since 2018; margin of victory gives hope; or there is a whiff of misdeeds).
    Neil Rowe
    Trevor Prescod
    Gline Clarke
    Sonia Browne
    Dale Marshal
    Peter Phillip
    John King

  48. @555dubstreet May 6, 2021 5:59 AM

    …Making students pay for University is a no no as they will not bother going to college to pay for higher education to rack up debt when thy could be working and making money and building up experience instead. The most intelligent people I know have common sense and reasoning not qualifications in abstract theory.

    My point exactly, we have students going to university because the next step of the Barbados education ladder is to get a BSc behind your name even if you are not going to use anything you learnt in the world of work. All the people I consider rich, i.e someone who can afford to walk into a car dealership and buy a brand new car cash is my criteria, either didn’t or barely finished secondary school. They all work for themselves and they pursued the educational courses they determined they needed to get ahead.

    I went to UWI and I have only used all I learnt in my first year, half of what I learnt in my second year, and nothing learnt from my third year at work. The remaining second and third year courses are only suitable for those desiring to entering the academic research arena. There is a place for university education but the student needs some skin in the game to help them decide where they want to go in life and if a full university degree is what they need.

    Just like our education standard for every child once upon a time was to complete primary school, our country and the world has progressed to the point where the standard now needs to be every child completing secondary school with English, Mathematics and at least one other subject at CXC level. Every child with at least that basic foundation can chart their own educational path in life.

    The only way forward is to restructure education to rekindle our entrepreneurial spirit and the only way to do that is to encourage critical thinking, personal choice and financial responsibility.

  49. Critical Analyzer

    our concept of education should transcends the regurgitation of the standard English and Mathematics though fundamental, but it ought to be geared towards the element of critical thinking.

  50. One aspect of education that concerns me is the distraction and trend of political over correctness and first world problems and related policy.

    This refers to this gender fluid rubbish that is now being pummeled into people by through media and foreign interests.

    The old people would call this for what it is, total rubbish. If yuh barn wid a dongle, you is a man. If yuh barn wid a purse, yuh is a woman. If yuh get it change, yuh is a man converted to a woman and vice versa.

    If you like what crows in the morning, yuh is a woman or a gay man. If yuh like playing with lady parts, yuh is a man or a lesbian.


    All the other rubbish is a waste of time and pandering to egocentric nonsense.

    Gender fluid my tail. First world problems.

    Please keep that garbage out of our schools.

    Real problems are one relating to having shelter, food and healthcare, jobs and education. Those are real problems.

    The old people would give one long, hard, STUPSEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

    • Education system failing too many children
      The Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination (BSSEE) is an indication of potential at age ten or 11. Education is a continuous process throughout life. Only one hurdle, one exam, sets the tone for a rigid, pervasive class system.
      The future of many individuals has been determined on the basis of this “oneoff” examination in Barbados.
      There should be mixed-ability schools. Why can’t a top plumber go to Harrison College and rub shoulders with a doctor? To turn schools into mixedability institutions is desirable but we would discover that the rich would move their children to private schools.
      This educational system is based on the traditional English system, a remnant of our colonial past. The colonial masters have long since modified their system.
      Catch-up or ring schools allow “failures” of the Common Entrance to be removed from the system, given specialised teaching and by age 14 put back into the system. It remains an enigma when schools initially can have a high intake at Common Entrance and come graduation, 20 per cent are unaccounted for.
      To rectify this, necessary tests should be carried out to determine the proclivities of our youth as early as possible and place all necessary resources to embellish these rough gems.
      Education, from its derivation, is to draw out, edify, lead, to change these rough gems into diamonds. It is my contention that every child is endowed with faculties and talents, but we need to discover how these children learn.
      We can use vicarious means, hands-on practice, experimentation, trial and error.
      Environments have to be put in place to facilitate each child in an effort to draw out their latent potential, to help them to be the best they can.
      Parents have a seminal role to play in supporting their children, providing the right environment at home, essentially an environment fit for learning, as well as good nutrition, recreation, necessary learning tools, moral and spiritual support and instilling values, morals and discipline.
      When we look at most high achievers in our system, we see the evidence of parental support.
      Many seeming underachievers who struggled under our system and who would have been deemed “failures” got a chance to self-actualise.
      They managed to excel in the “big countries”. The system was different, and these individuals for the first time got a chance to excel.
      It is imperative to reform the system.
      There are too many poor black youth, more so boys than girls, roaming our streets. The homes more so than the schools need to “capture” this potentially dangerous segment of the population and instil in them the maxim that we were created noble and equal.

      Source: Nation

  51. Critical Analyzer May 5, 2021 9:11 AM

    Well said. But nowadays a lotta long talk is the preferred route. Make something simple into a consultation for big fees.

  52. 555dubstreet May 5, 2021 8:48 AM Teachers should record themselves for youtube type lessons.

    Would be nice. But not gonna happen when they can charge $25 / lesson x 30 students every Sat’day.

    Education system is dysfunctional. Lack of vision, design, management and application.

  53. Cruseo

    And the young people would say that you are Old and resistance to the changing dynamics of the time. Listen! The gay, lesbian, and transgender agenda is real and it makes no sense pretending that it does not exist or somehow we can ignore it, when it is the changing dynamics of the world in which we are living.

  54. I think we have provide our young people the critical thinking tools, rather than the antiquated method of memorizing and regurgitating what they have been taught.

  55. “Strategy: Verla needs to accept that 2023 is a losing year for the DLP. Though the DLP should run nationwide certain seats should be heavily targeted;”

    ‘Sounds good on paper.’ It’s easy to make assumptions without ‘testing’ the mood of the constituency.

    Verla was ‘knocking around’ the DLP before officially joining the party in 1996. She was unable convince the people of Christ Church West to be their representative in the 2013 and 2018 general elections.
    Switching from that constituency to “pledge allegiance” to St. Lucy, perhaps because she is the DLP’s president and St. Lucy is perceived to be a DEMS ‘stronghold’ and therefore a ‘sure seat,’ may not necessarily work in her favour.
    Remember, George Pilgrim and the DEMS believed St. John was a ‘sure seat’ in 2018 as well.

    Because one may not be hearing of certain people since 2018, does not mean they haven’t been working tirelessly in their respective constituencies. Ironically, yesterday evening some friends and I were having a similar discussion. In the group were S, a male and J, a female, who are both supporters of the BLP. While the ‘rest of us’ expressed disagreement or disappointment with certain actions undertaken by the BEES, both S and J found various reasons to support them.

    Gline Clarke is no longer in elective politics, so, I’m wondering why his name was included in the ‘8.’ However, we also discussed the seemingly quietness of Neil Rowe and Sonia Browne. I believe if Rowe contests the St. Michael North West seat in 2023, he will lose. His record so far as the representative has been abysmal and I’ve heard constituents have been making complaints against him. one of which is his apparent dislike for elderly people. Perhaps that maybe one of the reasons he was removed from the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs.

    J argued Sonia Browne has been doing an excellent job. My response was, if so, then it’s a very well kept secret. I also believe Atherley will lose, if he decides to ‘run.’

    Maybe it’s a bit too early to speculate, but the BLP will not win 30-0 again in 2023.

    It’s a topic that’s worth further discussion.

  56. Dompey May 7, 2021 6:51 AM The gay, lesbian, and transgender agenda is real

    The agenda is fullsplit and is a distraction, filling peoples heads with garbage and manipulating them to follow like sheep.

  57. Crusoe

    I think as religious people, we have a tendency to moralize on the kind of behaviour the Scripture deems Ungodly, but we fall short of recognizing the fact that there is high wall between Church and State as far as morality goes.

  58. “The agenda is fullsplit and is a distraction, filling peoples heads with garbage and manipulating them to follow like sheep.”

    another topic among friends this morning UNDERSCORING that christianity/religion and MULTIPLE DISTRACTIONS BLINDED people to reality and their own heritage, that’s why we are seeing this massive slide into OBLIVION now in full FORCE….they were warned, they have BEEN WARNED FOR DECADES.

    what they are not seeing is the engineers will SAVE THEMSELVES, deny EVERYTHING and leave the idiots who believed EVERYTHING they said ya should do as a sheep/sheeple, to their own devices, while they ride away with ALL THE MONEY they accumulated from the dumb and blind over the centuries, into the sunset….it’s called SURVIVAL…

    the smalltime corrupt politicians tried it too, but they are ALL VERY LIKELY to end up in PRISON…because they don’t know their place, let’s hope ALL their helpers and those they COLLUDED WITH end up there too……lol

  59. Dompey,

    I get the position on religion vs state that you mention.

    But science days that a dongle is a dongle and a purse is a purse.

    This namby pamby that some people are ‘gender fluid’ is pure fullsplit.

  60. Crusoe

    There is no dispute the fact that Science has been instrumental in move our human civilization forwards, but the one thing Science has been able to do, is to teach man Morals.

  61. Pacha, Miller and those who know who they are, am sure you have read this somewhere:

    “In fact neo-colonialism is the victim of it’s own contradictions. In order to make it attractive to those upon whom it is practised it must be shown as capable of raising their living standards, but the economic objective of neo-colonialism is to keep those standards depressed in the interest of the developed countries.”

    but how ironic, the little negros on the island and in around the Caribbean have no excuse, they control the political system, legislatures and judiciary and boast how good everything is, they are the greatest show on the earth, this, that and the other while running the same scam on the PEOPLE every decade for as long as they live…

    don’t want to hear any of their cry me a river bullshit….I knew i was on the right path all along, all the no good pretenders do is change slave masters…ignorant, intellectually barren empty shells.

    ..i did not need to read that anywhere to know it as fact.

  62. TheoGAzerts May 7, 2021 1:04 PM 🙂 call to David to create a Gender fluidity corner. It is long overdue

    Hahahaha. I am not sure that David will ‘bend’ to your wishes.

  63. Hope you are having a great day.

    It’s long, but worth the read. Think about it.

    Baruch de Spinoza was a Dutch philosopher considered one of the great rationalists of 17th century philosophy, along with Descartes.

    (Spinoza) : God would say:
    Stop praying. What I want you to do is go out into the world and enjoy your life. I want you to sing, have fun and enjoy everything I’ve made for you.

    Stop going into those dark, cold temples that you built yourself and saying they are my house. My house is in the mountains, in the woods, rivers, lakes, beaches. That’s where I live and there I express my love for you.

    Stop blaming me for your miserable life; I never told you there was anything wrong with you or that you were a sinner, or that your sexuality was a bad thing. Sex is a gift I have given you and with which you can express your love, your ecstasy, your joy. So don’t blame me for everything they made you believe.

    Stop reading alleged sacred scriptures that have nothing to do with me. If you can’t read me in a sunrise, in a landscape, in the look of your friends, in your son’s eyes… ➤ you will find me in no book!

    Stop asking me “will you tell me how to do my job?” Stop being so scared of me. I do not judge you or criticize you, nor get angry, or bothered. I am pure love.

    Stop asking for forgiveness, there’s nothing to forgive. If I made you… I filled you with passions, limitations, pleasures, feelings, needs, inconsistencies… free will. How can I blame you if you respond to something I put in you? How can I punish you for being the way you are, if I’m the one who made you? Do you think I could create a place to burn all my children who behave badly for the rest of eternity? What kind of god would do that?

    Respect your peers and don’t do what you don’t want for yourself. All I ask is that you pay attention in your life, that alertness is your guide. My beloved, this life is not a test, not a step on the way, not a rehearsal, nor a prelude to paradise. This life is the only thing here and now and it is all you need.

    I have set you absolutely free, no prizes or punishments, no sins or virtues, no one carries a marker, no one keeps a record You are absolutely free to create in your life. Heaven or hell.

    ➤ I can’t tell you if there’s anything after this life but I can give you a tip. Live as if there is not. As if this is your only chance to enjoy, to love, to exist. So, if there’s nothing after, then you will have enjoyed the opportunity I gave you. And if there is, rest assured that I won’t ask if you behaved right or wrong, I’ll ask. Did you like it? Did you have fun? What did you enjoy the most? What did you learn?…

    Stop believing in me; believing is assuming, guessing, imagining. I don’t want you to believe in me, I want you to believe in you. I want you to feel me in you when you kiss your beloved, when you tuck in your little girl, when you caress your dog, when you bathe in the sea.

    Stop praising me, what kind of egomaniac God do you think I am? I’m bored being praised. I’m tired of being thanked. Feeling grateful? Prove it by taking care of yourself, your health, your relationships, the world. Express your joy! That’s the way to praise me.

    Stop complicating things and repeating as a parakeet what you’ve been taught about me.
    What do you need more miracles for? So many explanations?
    The only thing for sure is that you are here, that you are alive, that this world is full of wonders.
    – Spinoza

  64. Oh shirt! Either Dompey is getting smart or I am getting stupid!

    Church and State must be separate and people need to stop imposing their BELIEFS on others.

    You guys know NOTHING about the workings of other people’s bodies. You can speak only of yours. And scientific knowledge is not static but dynamic.

    Me? I believe what people tell me about their own bodies and their own feelings.

    Gender fluidity does not affect me one way or the other and I do not understand why older people are so passionate in their baseless opinions.

    These people have been around for as far back in history as we have decent records to examine.

    They are not going anywhere.

    Get over it!

    It is a distraction only for those who wish to impose their feelings on others. How really does it affect others?

    This is the “agenda” such people are pushing – full human rights for humans.
    Allow the people full HUMAN rights and move on already! LET IT GO! Easiest thing to do, really once you stop feeling and think.

    And to so-called Christians and others so influenced without their knowledge – try focussing on real problems!

    P.S. Anybody who thinks this is a “first world” problem is either not seeing straight or thinking straight.

    I can walk and chew gum at the same time. I can fight discrimination on the basis of race and gender at the same time. I have done so not formally but in all of my everyday life. AND, though it does not affect me at present, I am hoping to have grandchildren.

    Who knows if they will be gender fluid? Must I wait until then to advocate for their rights?

    This is not a thought of a sheep but rather a person who did what many have not done. I have observed and I have listened to those so affected and I have thought deeply.

    Some of you guys are making noise about recent suicides among young people. My son actually used to chat with one of the victims. He was told by the best friend of the victim that he was homosexual. My son did not even know. He said he was on the quiet side but did not seem depressed.

    Many others worldwide have taken the same route when faced with the prejudice of the narrow minded who often include their parents.

    I shall not be a part of their problem. My conscience shall be clear.

  65. I like the thoughts of Spinoza. Isn’t it amazing that some come much closer and have an understanding of God than Bible thumpers do.

    On fluidity/transexual/homosexual…
    My most pressing thought/concern is survival of my son.

    His sexual orientation/preferences has never cost me a moment of sleep. I want him alive. (For those who read more than is written – str8).

  66. First they gotta get rid of their VOLUNTARY INDOCTRINATION,,,before… they can see what’s right in front of them….they can’t blame anyone else for their self-created mental block, they have no excuse, everyone BOASTS of being educated, even if not as advanced as it should be, but sufficient for them to understand that they are holding on to and carrying forward dead traditions, just as dead as the devisers..

  67. TheoGazerts

    I think God and Nature designed man and woman in a specific way, and when where is a deviation from the way in which the both of them were designed by God and Nature, is troubles the deepest part of man’s being.

  68. 1/1
    Why are there deviations in what a God who does not make mistakes created.

    Perhaps the god you worship and created is not the same as the Creator.

    Have a great day.

  69. Some of us create God in our own image. We give him our prejudices and then we explain him to others as we have created him.

    The final step in our creation is then to search the Bible for verses that support our prejudices.

    If you want to see how people have twisted the Bible to suit their own message then google silly phrases such as ”
    What does the Bible say about Bill Gates?
    What does the Bible say about self-driven cars?
    What does the Bible say about atomic energy?

    Make random stuff up, google it and don’t be surprised that someone has already provided ‘a response from the Bible’.

  70. We and all living things are all a part of God’s spirit and God’s creation and when we pass we return back into that source of universal spirit. God exists in the space between our breaths in the dance of life. All religions and all deities are different forms of the same universe or God.

  71. I have two regrets
    (1). Not staying in Barbados and becoming a politician
    (2) Not becoming a pastor
    Thieving and collecting tithes would be my hobby. Wary would be here 48hours a day. Donville would be small time, not making the news.
    (Would be funny if I return home as a politician d the Blogmaster roll out my nonsense(

  72. When you strip away all the disillusionment of all the false promises lies and shenanigans, then you are left with the opposite where everything is real and true.

    Beware of those promoting robotics and automata technologies as they want to replace humans with robots and machines and “they” want to shaft you up the bum with no vaseline same as it ever has been which will hurt big time.
    Never trust a politicishen. Only trust a cunt as far as you can spit at it. And, you can quote me on that.
    Sri Nanda-Nandanastakam, Password

  73. There is no way to stop the march of the robots. Best way forward is to be part of making them.

    New jobs will emerge as old jobs disappear.

  74. Donna

    Are you a robot with artificial intelligence, not everything is binary logic mindless rebuttals, human life is more nuanced and messages need to sink in and percolate into the wirings of the mind for deeper meanings and wisdoms

  75. When you work in the field of technology and robotics you have to do what you are told and cannot chose project work based on your own morality. Your works can be weaponised into drone warfare calling non-whites like bug splats.

  76. s/b killing* non-whites like bug splats

    Since 2001 USA UK Israel triumvirate of warmongers have been droning muslims non-stop in PNAC war as a daily operation 24/7/365 and have developed next generation of smart drones and killing machines. They also implemented a NWO spy state to record everything you say under pretence of national security, and are now pretending they need to hack into encrypted email messaging to stop pedophiles.

  77. In the US there replaced the Security Guard at the major food chains with the Security Guard robot.

    In the US they are replacing the Cashier with the Self Service Machine.

    • Teaching of coding, robotics will positively impact development

      Coding and robotics will play a significant role in changing the face of education on this island.

      This is the view shared by Principal of Erdiston Teachers’ Training College, Dr. Ramona Archer-Bradshaw, noting that this transition could only spell great things for the job sector and the country’s economy as a whole.

      Speaking as 19 instructors from tertiary level educational institutions showcased the coding skills learnt during a month long workshop at the training college last Friday evening, she noted that vital developments were being made to the traditional educational system.

  78. Whatever! You gave your opinion and I gave mine. You call it mindless rebuttals! I say everything on earth can be used for good and evil. Robots are no different.

    Neither is the internet that you are currently using.

    The battle of good versus evil is a daily battle. Part of life.

  79. The problem with losing one’s identity and culture through THEFT.

    ““It means nothing if phenotypically Afrikan people continue to exist physically if they have been separated from their own identities and culture. If we look at the plight of Afrikan people, on the Afrikan continent and in the Diaspora, trying to adapt to alien cultures and values systems, the danger of trying to be what we aren’t should become obvious.â€
    -Burnett Kwadwo Gallman””

  80. @ et al
    It’s pure gibberish to talk about the jobs lost to technology without recognising that it has created millions. We believe we have the best beaches, hotels and we have the best educational system. If we had placed more interest in Edutech, we would not have been found lacking when COVID struck , as far as online teaching is concerned. As usual, we turned Edutech into a political football.There is no reason why every single child in our public primary schools should not have a computer provided by the state on his/her desk. That is a basic tool if we seriously want to talk about technology. Even if the child has no electricity at home; he should at least have a computer at school. This should have been achieved at least twenty years ago.
    The fundamental problem with our country is the fact that we don’t know what we are educating people for. There is no real connection between national goals and education. Fifty yras ago, you could actually walk out of school with three O’ levels and find a job quite easily. in the Public Service. Sixty years ago, we could leave primary school and get a job as a clerk in Broad Street.
    That was then. The system was relevant then. Today, we have high school students who cannot write a simple composition and have not mastered basic arithmetic. How can they compete ?
    Time to get real , either radically reform the system to our socio economic goals or we just mekking plenty sport. The very first step is to take elitism out of the system by abolishing the gas chamber known as the Eleven Plus. Replace it with a system of continuous assessment. We need to consider a name change for both Queens and Harrison College. Its similar to removing Nelson ; change the image. Change the mindset. On speech day the students who excel in the arts, sports, agricultural projects etc should be given the same prominence in the press. You are a good dancer, artist cratfs student you also get a Barbados Scholarship. All schools should be mandated from the primary level to have highly organised credit unions, teaching children the importance of individual wealth creation and management .
    More to come.
    “The purpose of education is not to make men carpenters but to make carpenters of men.” Frederick Douglas.

    • @William

      A reasonable comment. The Minister advised recently the 11 plus is being evaluated. With the setup of the Education Unit headed by Denny we are hopeful about seeing some structural changes soon. We have to change how we educated our people to fit in to the global market.

  81. @ Donna
    I really don’t know if our people have ever not fit into to the global market. I am still not seeing globalism in the way many of us do.
    My entire thesis is to educate our people to make our country the best it can be. We used to talk about something being first class , nowI am hearing about first world.. We must be a first class country and meeting our immediate socio economic interest rather than being a first world country and paying people starvation wages and an absence of a proper water service or jumping through hoops to pay /renew a drivers license.
    That said , it is education that has driven the progress of the country up to about the mid seventies. That system worked because of the 1962 free education policy and the coming of the UWI.
    We are struggling because the country has been on automatic pilot ever since.
    Since 1976 , the political culture of the island changed dramatically, that is why even today, we have jokers talking about who gine win the next election due in 2023.
    We have spent more on education than most counties when we look at our resources. The question is whether the country has been adequately or fully rewarded for this massive expenditure.
    In terms of recent developments, to which you alluded, I am not that optimistic because the selection of the person/s to carry the baton is once more based on party politics. But that’s a story within itself.
    I am still grappling with how a minister of education could have announced the abolishment of the current eleven plus without a single clear answer about how it would be replaced.
    But we live in hope.

    • @William

      And the point you keep missing is that the opportunity for Barbados to be the best is linked to the ability/capacity of the island to compete especially if you want to satisfy the consumer/capital needs of the country and the fact the domestic market will never be able to satisfy excess labour. If we do not cater to this then it brings social issues that come at a cost. We are witnessing this now

      Bear in mind we have to make decisions based on the current state and not where we were in th 70s when the opportunity to pivot would have easier. For example Tom Adams led a shift from agrarian to a mixed economyread services etc because it is where the opportunities presented. This is a process that is never ending.

      It is about vision, planning and execution which is underpinned by good leadership.


  82. @ David
    You need to read properly . What are you saying that I am not saying ? I said specifically that the system worked up to the seventies.
    You keep talking about competing globally . Don’t you realise we have always competed globally. Do you think the tourists come from Black Rock.
    The reason we are stuck is that we get caught up in intellectual jargon as if that is the be all and end all.
    You jokers keep getting in lecture mode as if you alone understand what globalization means.
    We are being hindered from further development because you cannot produce a 2021 product on a 1921 production line.
    Next time read what I write and not what you think I write. Barbados has been competing globally before you were born. The Millers were sending tamarind to India before you were born.
    I don’t have the time for pseudo intellectual BS.
    All this BS while the Indians and other minority groups going straight to the bank everyday .
    Take your frigging head out of the cliche clouds and come back to earth.
    I ain’t missing no point. I am just with trying to put my grandchildren in the drivers seat: locally, regionally and internationally.
    Throw the damn cliches on the dump and look around you. Quite frankly , your own backyard smacks of the same colonialist attitude that we are to be guided by some global domination.
    I just want right now a proper distribution of water on rural Barbados.
    Gimme a frigging break.

    • @William

      In the 70s and to some degree 80s we benefited from linkages with the UK as it relates to tourism and the other shelters and preferential trade arrangements. We have been exposed in the so-called globalization construct.

      We benefited in the international services arena from taxation arrangements with Canada especially which have disappeared. This is not exhaustive.

      Managing any economy in a today economy is a tricky business and at the cusp of it is expert and decisive leadership. What we have been having is a bandaid approach. No one person will have the answers but what is clear is that we have not been extracting a high rate of return from our knowledge capital.

      You need to chill William.

  83. @ David
    It is ok to say we have not been “ extracting” enough. We cannot exclude the brain drain that has not really stopped. A cardinal error was to give all and sundry a “ free” education and then they left without even paying student loans. I hope you note that it’s only a matter of time before free university education is discontinued.
    We have educated people to literally undermine the country. We have academics here who are certainly selling their brains to the highest political bidder. Therefore the country does not benefit in real terms. They are intellectual mercenaries.
    Then, people like you constantly give the private sector a pass . I hope you note the kind of renumeration Sagicor pays its top dogs. Who built Sagicor ? This is a company that in its earliest days refused to insure Black people.( check today’s nation)
    We can sign any agreement/ protocol; we can parade on international media and we can pretend that we are on the world stage but the well-being of our citizens must reflect the taxes we pay ! Simple as that. We have diplomats and semi diplomats all over the world. But this very morning a cousin of mine was told that the company can’t pay the minimum wage and he is now unemployed. To which treaty or agreement is he going to appeal.
    We have to start taking care of business or we going to end up in the shark guts.

    • @William

      There will always be a drain because our labour market cannot satisfy all the demand whether transactional i.e. to pay bills or actualization by pursuing personal interest. It is a balance that will challenge SIDs until end times.

  84. The soldier/scholar Sir John Glubb discussed the positive and negative impacts of education in his essay ‘Decline of Empires’. It is worth a read as the use and abuse of education is historical in the way it is viewed and applied.
    I cannot speak for other countries, however, in Australia it is a problem that core subjects are poorly taught by poorly educated teachers. Without a good grounding in the basics higher education becomes problematic.
    To illustrate this I taught my son to write basic code (html, html5, css) to build offline web pages as a contest of sorts. His largest errors were in spelling rather than anything else. I learnt to write code in a limited sense back when computers were not shell programs and rather just a blinking cursor on a screen with the computer waiting for you to tell it what to do in basic language. Fortunately I didn’t have to use the punch card type of programming.
    Education is more about being able to discuss and build new ideas and thought rather than just accepting and agreeing on what you are told. Education is more than just a means to an end to create wealth, something that is somewhat lost in todays world.

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