A Government Dedicated to Making Announcements

Submitted by Paula Sealy

The Barbados Statistical Service (BSS) has launched its new website bearing several new features, including a page designated to provide updates on the National Population and Housing Census, scheduled to begin August 1, 2021.

Minister of Education, Santia Bradshaw, says her ministry will be constructing a new school to accommodate the staff and students of the St. Mark’s Primary School.

A national census is used to gather information which will guide the provision of services such as housing, health, education etc, and the resources which will be necessary.

How does education manage to determine there is a need for primary schools in any particular parish or parishes?

What other decisions is the current government making based on figures from the 2010 national census?

What purpose is the 2021 national census to serve when government is committed to its plans to continue to be driven by 11-year-old data?

We know there is a problem with implementation in the public service. Public officers take the blame. But they are not the policymakers who push through decisions and policies before a national census is completed. It is this type of policy-making which yields fewer benefits due to poor decision-making.

Why not wait until the info is collected in the census? What is the hurry? Is it all about making announcements? Are the decision and policy less important?

10 thoughts on “A Government Dedicated to Making Announcements

  1. If St. Marks School is being rebuilt and there is no shift in population , why should GoB wait for a 2021 population census to make a decision ? Does the school not have information on its attendance registers?

  2. I can see both sides of the argument (PS, VC) and they are not completely opposites.
    PS: We don’t have the new data so wait.
    VC: We already have data that have not changed, no need to wait.

    My point of view: if we wait on 2021 data , we may be having this same discussion in 2032.

  3. While he was education minister Ronald Jones said ten primary schools were earmarked to be closed permanently.

    The decision was understandable since we have seen the birth rates decline and population distribution change. That meant the decision was guided by information.

    Mr. Codrington, these days parents often have their children attend schools near to their workplaces. That explains the years of overcrowding at Erdiston, Luther Thorne, Wesley Hall Boys and Charles F. Broome. The birth rate has declined too. Those two factors might help explain the low roll at Half Moon Fort.

    Are your views on health and housing guided along the same lines?

  4. We have overcrowding in some schools and excess space in others. This happens in primary schools with two Reception classes in one room (40+ children) and at secondary schools where classes may have no classroom (and classes are held under trees). Individual attention in Reception is affected. Space in technical classes is affected too.

    I suppose the government may be looking to build a new secondary school too but we know that fewer students take the 11+ each year recently than in the 1980s.

  5. @Paula
    the issue is less that of numbers than the spread of populations across the school.

    As you hinted some schools have NUFF students while some barely have enough to constitute a year group. this is at both levels (primary and secondary).

    New schools are needed that are fit for purpose. What’s needed more is an effort to level the playing field among schools and deal with the deficiencies in those that need dealing with. Fancy ceremonies and plaque unveilings don’t help those that need it most.

    just observing

    • @Observing

      The issue is more about distribution of students in the school network? We know our status conscious people stigmatize rural schools at primary and so-called comprehensive schools at secondary.

  6. @David
    Correct. Therefore the problem is and has always be one of people, perception, politics and “class” rather than that of ability and the system itselff.

    Just observing

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