Mistakes Waiting to Happen

Solutions Barbados
Submitted by Dr. Grenville Phillips II

The Government of Barbados protects us by setting minimum qualifications for those who want to offer professional services to the public. The qualifications normally consist of a university degree at the Bachelor level and a minimum number of years of supervised training.

A bachelor’s degree provides the holder with the basic tools to do the job in that field. Supervised training allows the holder to become competent using those tools by failing in an environment where mistakes can be corrected. Therefore, the first 5 years of professional practice after obtaining those tools are critical to building a strong foundation for a professional career.

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As if it Never Happened

Solutions Barbados
Submitted by Dr. Grenville Phillips II

My life may be described as before and after 2015. That is the year I started Solutions Barbados in response to Prime Minister Stuart’s instruction. Everyone has a right to speak, but he explained that getting into the political trench was the way to be heard by the Government on economic matters.

I was later informed that I had committed Barbados’ unpardonable sin. I should have joined one of the two established parties instead of starting a new one. PM Stuart did not specify that critical point.


I was informed that my penalty would be to be blacklisted by all organisations controlled by the two established parties in Barbados, including: business and professional organisations, schools, churches, clubs, and the media. I did not believe then that they had such control. Eight years later, despite being out of elective politics since 2020, I am no longer an unbeliever.

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Prussians, arm yourself and come!

Chief Education Officer – Dr. Ramona Archer-Bradshaw

From all reports a Mia Mottley government is intent on transforming the education system in Barbados. Although we have observed tweaks on the fringes meant to make the educational experience relevant in a modern global space, we continue to lag in the preparation of Barbadians to be relevant for the global market. More importantly, on the domestic front, we struggle to maintain a quality standard of living for citizens now and the foreseeable future. Local entrepreneurship attracts nothing more than lip service with successfully run locally owned businesses nothing more than a memory, many sold or defunct.

Chief Education Officer, Dr. Ramona Archer Bradshaw. (FP) The time has come for the education system to abandon traditional teaching methods crafted on the premise that students are merely receptacles of information.

Chief Education Officer
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Have we become too polarized?

The following statement was posted with breast beating bravado by de pedantic word ‘né’ Dee Word to blog A Time to March. It was in reply to an observation the world today is as polarized as it has ever been.

There is quite a lot that’s “new under the sun”, but we have allowed ourselves to get into an absurdity of easy-speak behaviours.

Accept the old saying: “Those who do not learn (or remember) history are doomed to repeat it.”

Is Barbados MORE polarized today than it was in 1962- 65??? Based on the electorate acceptance with the 30-0 victory of one political party – twice – the fundamental answer should be a resounding NO, not so!

Yet on the other hand, we actually have more political parties now than ever …

However, based on an understanding of the historical context of the time then the answer must still be NO, not so.

The US fought a freaking civil war and endured years (still) of grave civil strife due to the rage of involvement with wars, social justice etc … yet because of a megalomaniacal narcissist it’s automatic to speak now of how polarized it is!

No David, I am not dismissive of our massive NEW and fresh challenges I am simply a realist!!!

Dee Word

The blogmaster in all sincerity invites Dee Word to watch the short clip sent to BU inbox by BU family member Bentley a few days ago. There is a subtlety in the argument which is elusive for some.

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Beyond Recall

Submitted by Dr. Grenville Phillips II

The Barbados Statistical Service has reported that Barbadian households are spending a larger amount of their income on education [1]. Normally this would be good news, but if the education obtained was at tertiary level, it is not good news for modern Barbados.

People who complete tertiary-level education may develop independent thoughts. Independent thinkers tend to think for themselves, rather than blindly accept what others tell them. Most Barbadians who complete their tertiary-level education tend to leave Barbados.


The World Bank’s study on emigration [2] shows that Barbados is one of the few countries on Earth where most of its tertiary educated population left. The consistent figure was over 60%. In 2000, Barbados had the 13th highest brain drain rate (emigration of skilled workers) among 191 nations on Earth at 61.4%. A decade earlier in 1990, it was 63.5%.

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All TALK about Education Making me Mad

Submitted by Observing

On a political platform in 2018 the then leader of opposition announced that “Common Entrance must go!” The crowd cheered.

For three years the appointed Minister pronounced ad infinitum that “Common Entrance must go!” The masses bellowed.

For the last two years this Minister (when she actually speaks) joined the choir to lustily sing that “Common Entrance must go!” The audience applauded.

And of course the 66 year old once retired Director of Reform said emphatically and conclusively in the House of Parliament that the new system would be in place by September 2022 and “Common Entrance must go!” The pundits thumped their desks.

Now here we are.

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Shakeup @CXC Required

Submitted by Ned

Minister of Education Kay McConney

think it is high time regional governments intervene in the functioning of the CXC. This email is not designed to point fingers at any particular person in management, but I think it is clear that a thorough shake up of this agency is necessary…

The word today that there has been an exam leak comes on the heels of a headline speaking to the CXC’s concern about the use of AI in the SBA process and the obvious issues this would cause for fairness and distribution of marks for this form of assessment.

But back to today’s leaked exam…I dare say another leaked exam, because I am quite sure that this has happened in the recent past. The rest of the region has accepted that a leak occurred…But the CXC’s rhetoric suggests that it needs verifying in the face of photos posted on social media and imbedded in the story by St. Vincent media and others.
I get that you need to be sure, but good God CXC speed up, act businesslike. Yes you will need to prosecute under the law and all that good stuff, but a blind man can see that you need to make changes and substantial ones..

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Ministry Breaking the Law!

Submitted by Paula Sealy
Chief Education Officer – Dr. Ramona Archer-Bradshaw

According to Section 42 of the Charities Act mandatory audited financial statements are required of charitable organisations. According to subsection 6 any person who fails to do so is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of $1000 or imprisonment for 6 months and an additional fine of $100 for every day during which the offence continues after a conviction is first obtained.

This seems reasonable enough.

What seems unreasonable in comparison is how the boards of public secondary schools are getting away with murder where the public purse is concerned. According to section 10 of the Education Regulations the Board shall, not later than 30th September in each year, or such later date as the Minister approves cause its accounts for the preceding financial year to be audited, and prepared for that financial year, in such manner as the Minister approves.

There is no mention of any fine or imprisonment at all.

The last published report of the Auditor General revealed only two public secondary schools filed statements for the financial year ended 31 March 2020.

Will the chairmen of the boards of management of public secondary school boards be made to follow the law? Is it because they are appointed by friends and family in Cabinet that these boards can spend as they please? Are these boards exempt from the Financial Administration and Audit Act?

Why does Government want to punish crooked charities but not crooked boards and board members who are responsible for millions of taxpayers’ dollars each year?

The last DLP government published the Gazette free online but this BLP government wants us to pay to see the public information in the Gazette. Where is the Freedom of Information Act? God knows who is on the school boards since they were appointed. [Emphasis – Blogmaster]

Auditor General, Leigh Trotman

Since there is one representative each from the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados, the Ministry of Education and each secondary school’s Parent Teacher Association on every board there are explanations to be made about how the money is spent in the schools by those members too.

Instead of ensuring the Education Regulations are respected the Ministry of Education allows taxpayers’ money to be spent with no reporting by the school boards. This was happening before the government changed in 2018.

What has been done to stop the slackness since then? Nuff money done spend and audits ain’t [wben] even start yet. This is financial slackness but then the same government wants us to tighten our belts. Does the Minister approve boards not reporting? Does Cabinet support the spending without account?

In the meantime, we can look forward to another report from the Office of the Auditor General to lay out the infelicities of the last financial year.

Over to you, Mr. Leigh Trotman.

See Related/Relevant Links:


Submitted by Paula Sealy

Are there still only two social workers and one senior psychologist working in the education ministry for all the secondary and primary schools? In 2018 the Prime Minister announced that a special scheme would be implemented which would see the introduction of school safety officers, social workers and guidance counsellors. No wonder the guidance counsellors were under pressure back then (https://barbadostoday.bb/2019/03/26/too-few-school-counsellors/).

An ad for guidance counsellors was placed in the Gazette two years ago (Volume 154, No 69, p 970, Aug 26, 2019).
Since then the Minister of Education said that her ministry had placed ads for school safety officers and guidance counsellors for the start of the school term (Barbados Advocate, Safety officers to be hired, 5 Sep 2019, p3).
Two months later, schoolboy Temario Holder was killed at Frederick Smith Secondary School but that has not been enough to get one safety officer posted in one school in Barbados. We got a non-violence march led by the minister shortly after that and COVID monitors since then.
Last week there was some news on the extra guidance counsellors (https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/08/13/additional-counsellors-in-schools-from-next-term/). 

The ads for social workers were in the Gazette two years ago (Volume 154, No 71, p 1014, Sep 2, 2019).
Students graduate every year from Cave Hill with degrees in Social Work. Many of them find it hard to get jobs where they can use their degrees and training. They are qualified and there is a need for them. Are they capable of working in our schools today? 

The social workers have already spoken (https://www.barbadosadvocate.com/news/put-social-workers-schools). 
Where are the school safety officers and social workers today?

SCHOOL SAFETY IS A JOKE Wilkie Cumberbatch Primary in Lascelles Terrace has been condemned. And the principal from there died last year. Now the management and the staff are scrambling like Winston Hall in the St. Joseph gullies hiding from the police (https://fb.watch/7uXoi2snD3/).

Santia Bradshaw was the MP for the area since 2013 and the Minister of Education since the last elections. BUT president Pedro Shepherd was at Wilkie for more than 30 years now and a union man for a long time. 

If not for bad representation there would be no representation at all with Wilkie Cumberbatch. Teachers are getting a raw deal all around, parents and children are getting a raw deal from the minister. And not only at Wilkie because another school might be condemned by next month. 

Wesley Hall should know. 

Ode to Education

Submitted by Paula Sealy

It looks like a turnstile
Could be real useful
In the admin section
Down by the river.

All the Payne may cause Elsie
To turn in her grave.
Education can ‘give’ you a Complex
People are now saying.

Rudder-less and Price-y
There is also less Joy.
Never mind this was
To be the Best of times.

The Shepherd is quiet
And the Redman is silent.
The unions are mute
And teachers cuffuffled.

Let Dr. Archer know
As she comes to the crease
That doctorates don’t save anybody
From becoming M.I.A.

Dr. Morris take fresh guard.
Bobby can no longer
Pull rank and call a big shot.
All it is now is stress and more pressure.

Whether or not Colin
Takes over the wheel
He could pray to St. Stephen
The reins could still go to Dr. Browne

Principals Parris and Saul are retired,
Looking at the flames being fanned.
After extinguishing the fire of 2011,
In 2021, it is all burning down.

Governance in Barbados

Submitted by Paula Sealy

We last had as many as 4000 students write the 11+ in 2003. Therefore it is possible that there are actually fewer students in the education system today than 10 or 15 years ago. However while some primary and secondary schools are overcrowded others remain below capacity.

The 2010 National Advisory Committee on Education (NACE) report addresses the subject of the size and layout of public schools. The NACE remains part and parcel of the Education Act, under section 6, and the functions of the Advisory Board are outlined in section 14 of the Education Regulations.

Under the current administration, instead of convening the Advisory Board or Committee, we have been presented with an Education Reform Unit because the prevailing conditions must be thoroughly investigated. This may suggest some measure of inconsistency in matters of governance.

As was recommended by the Waterman Commission in 2012 – and highlighted as one of the three main recommendations by PM Stuart in August of that year – there is a need for the managerial reorganisation of the education ministry. Another of Waterman’s recommendation, which Stuart highlighted was to amend the Education Regulations (1982) and Act (1983).

Instead of investing in further evaluation and the implementation of these recommendations, the last administration dragged its feet despite its admirable investment in the NACE, Waterman Commission etc.

Regarding the inconsistencies of the present administration in matters of governance, unlike the affairs of education, where the transition to a republic is concerned we are to be content with embracing the 1979 Cox report and the 1998 Forde report. The reports of the NACE and Waterman Commission, though of a much more recent vintage, are trumped by the mandate of the Reform Unit to investigate the status quo.

We are clearly under a culture of government which gravitates towards dysfunction, duplication and wastage regardless of which political party forms the government of Barbados.

Ronald Jones Still Jonesing

Submitted by Paula Sealy

Ronald Jones could talk because he went on leave after the 30-love. He could talk because he has a fat pension as a former minister in Cabinet. He may not remember but he was the minister who saw teachers’ leave stopped in 2014 in the first place.

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?

Respect Due to Teachers!

Submitted by Paula Sealy

While work is being done to beautify the Constitution River, there is an urgent need for work to be done in the nearby Elsie Payne complex to repair the wreckage and destruction.

Minister Jones and Par. Sec. Harry were gone with the elections on 24 May 2018. Less than two weeks later, PS June Chandler was transferred. In the turnstile behind her in a short were Janet Phillips and Sandra Phillips soon to be followed through the door by Chief Education Officer Best.

Yet the ministry still cannot get the education train on the right track with all those changes. Check the current policymakers and decision-makers. Let them tell the public how many Bounce Back volunteers there have been. 

Let the education bosses tell us how come the BCC, SJPI and secondary school boards continue to get money, in many cases, without accounting for the money spent in the last 5 years. Cabinet, help the Auditor General to do more than report the bad practices.

So who do we blame? Not the teachers, I tell you! Not the former government alone. And COVID is not a plaster for every sore.

Face it and fix it. What mirror image do we see of ourselves? Something has to give.

We are tired of the talk of the lost decade. When education has lost its way, as it has, there is more than a decade at stake.

All we see is a mess and the messy hands proclaiming their cleanliness and innocence while their political fingerprints are plainly visible.

But teachers cannot and do not get the respect due to them in this society. Every child matters, yes, but even a dog is due respect.

When we mistreat teachers, we disregard the first line of authority figures. Who will be disregarded next?

May God save us.

Education: MORE REFORM

Submitted by Paula Sealy

There was notice of the formation of a 20-member National Advisory Committee on Water this month. Whether or not the composition of the Committee was disclosed, at least we know it is not a committee of one.

Barring the fact that its Director has been identified, who are the members of the Education Reform Unit? Is the new Unit a committee of one? 

Exactly how does the Unit propose to help provide for a more co-ordinated and effective system of education related to the needs of the people of Barbados?

Have terms of reference been formulated by the Unit? If so, precisely who would have drafted the terms? 

A team of one, ten or twenty? Who knows?

The Act addresses the “Central Administration” of education under Part 1. In Section 6 it speaks very specifically to the establishment of the National Advisory Commission on Education (NACE).

Has the NACE been replaced by the Unit? Is the Unit to do more than merely advise?

The Unit has already disclosed the planned introduction of a Lower 1st in the secondary school system. When I entered secondary school in the 1980s, I was surprised to learn of the presence of a Lower 1st back in the 1950s. The concept of Lower 1st is therefore not an innovation. 

A Lower 1st programme has also existed in at least one secondary school for at least twenty years. (Some of those students’ parents viewed it as an additional stigma their child could do without, as opposed to additional support, while the trained remedial personnel lack the resources and administrative support at time.)

With CXC results due to be released in late September or early October, Unit 1 students will commence CAPE studies later than before. Will there be any adjustments to the syllabus of the CAPE programmes for 2021/2022?

Will the local ministry, COHSOD and CXC wait until March 2022 to recognise problems affecting that cohort of CAPE candidates?

Will students who opt to defer be repeating the year physically in school or compelled to undertake “self study” as has been stated at staff meetings held at various secondary schools?

Educate Ourselves

Submitted by RA in the West

As Barbados is about to embark on the latest nine day wonder namely the shooting death of the young policemen and the cries from all and sundry for tougher laws, hangings, getting back to god etc.  we are trapped in the circular conversation which will bring no solutions and just the usual bluster from pundits (political and otherwise).

There is only one solution (quite a simple one) for the myriad ills that plague this society however their must be great intestinal fortitude by the political directorate if we are to be successful. We are a people who have been taught to hate ourselves, the outcome of the miseducation that continually churns out societally dysfunctional persons for nation building but functional for this system to maintain and refine itself. The solution of which we speak is EDUCATION. We have gone far and wide adding various ‘reforms’ to the educational system but to no avail as we are doomed to failure continually forcing Eurocentric and now Asiatic systems, beliefs and models on African people. We have truly lost our minds – as a collective and as individuals -please ponder on that. We haven’t tried it because those who have some modicum of control over our children’s education must show more courage and actually believe that the end result will be a well-rounded citizen. This journey will have to begin at nursery school extending to tertiary education and lifelong learning – I do not mean the celebration of ‘black history month’, African Day and other nonsensical tokenism given by those who only confuse us. We must chart our journey now. The Europeans make 100 year plans we however struggle to make a 5 year one but this is to be expected as this is what the system produces and replicates. 

As an example, one of my children having entered third form in secondary school presented his history book ‘The People Who Came’ to me and shook his head – skimming through I was shocked, this was a book first published in 1970 and replete with mis-information. A total Eurocentric view, Europe reigned supreme, Africa and other nonwhite peoples of the world are characterized as backward. Africans enter the picture as slaves in the ‘new world’. If we continually programme our children with self-hate, what do we expect to happen. What would happen if you teach children the truth of their existence that they were the first persons to walk this earth, the ones who created the sciences, writing systems, who built the first cities whose manta everywhere we went was ‘man know thyself’ – a testament to the life dedicated to learning.

Please have the vision to go forth and recapture our glory

APB for Minister Santia Bradshaw, Police, Teachers and Parents

Submitted by Paula Sealy

We are listening.

The silence on this brawl is no less troubling or unsettling than the brawl itself.

Two years ago the minister asked the police to do their job should teachers strike students. When students strike students where is the outcry for the police to do their job?

What have the teachers’ unions to say?

Where is their leadership?

Leadership is lacking across the education system. It is time for the minister to do her job.

We are watching.

We continue to listen.


Submitted by Pachamama

We have become well use to, in politics, elected dictatorships masquerading as democracies in the Caribbean. However, there are other formations within the miseducation system, amongst the top corporations, civil society and elsewhere. Of course, there are interlocking connections between and amongst these.

The University of the West Indies has long pretended to be a strict adherent to the notion that special dispensations were not ever to be given, especially relating to matters of contracts, tenure, retirement, appointments and so forth. It was supposedly to be about the maintenance of exemplary academic standards.

That normal university rules would not, for example, allow a vice chancellor to serve beyond age 65, or there about, far less permit the university’s highest operational manager to extend his service to over the age of 70 with a six year renewal, which the recent disclosures will mean.

When any one person, entirely based on a vicious respectability ethos, which Hilary Beckles himself has substantially erected, is guided by the notion that there can be nobody in the region, or from amongst the diaspora, possessing the skills, competencies and capabilities to replace him, we are not just bordering on a dictatorial impulse but are exhibiting degenerative, full blown, dictatorial tendencies in the very place where critical interrogation should be the hallmark.

This is the same Beckles who misguidedly declared that the last election victory of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) was a ‘Mottley revolution’. Where is that revolution? It can be only found within the context of his budgetary position as he seeks to promote backwardness at Cave Hill and elsewhere at a heightened industrial scale not dissimilar to the production of widgets.

This is the same Beckles who still fails to see that it is a moral crime, double, to distil the sacred sacrifices of our ancestors into pottage for the miseducation of Caribbean peoples. There has been no permissions granted him by this descendant of Afrikan slaves to take property in our stead. Beckles in so doing is committing a crime which could never be forgiven. Certainly it is high time for a civil and/or criminal complaint be lodged in an international court of competent jurisdiction to stop Beckles and his ilk from selling-out our sacred ancestors. For the ultimate decision making body of the UWI to impose on Caribbean peoples six (6) more years of this tyrant speaks for itself. To presume dictatorship over the living is one calculation, but such desecrations of the sacrifices of the ancestors must not be permitted.

This is the same Beckles who, along with Owen Arthur – the late, Mia Mottley, Ralph Gonzales, an ‘influenced’ Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) and others joined with the Modi-inspired PPP of Guyana to subvert the country’s political process in the interests of the State Department of the United States of America. This kind of interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign CARICOM state should qualify as a high crime, not rewarded with an ability to do more damage to the region over a longer period of time.

Hilary Beckles and his newly-found class of leading ‘blacks’ in the Caribbean continue to fail when measured by their inability to deliver us from any single one of the many intractable problems this region continues to face. Those who are expected to be lorded over should have a right, an expectation, that Beckles and the so-called elites would be able to move the needle forward, even an inch. The reverse is unfortunately a truism when petty dictators rule.

Difficult Conversations – Your Training Starts Now

Over the past two decades as an Employer, I have given a similar speech to all my employees.  I have never written it down before writing this article.  The current version goes something like this.

Welcome to our company.  You are here, because we believe that can become better at this job than we can.  Our job is to help you to do that.  Your job is to do your best – while we help you.


This is a professional environment.  The only environment that you have known, from primary school to university, is the academic environment.  In the academic environment, 70% may be a good exam mark, 80% may be very good, and 90% may be excellent.  Here, 99% is a fail.

In the professional environment, your work must consistently be 100% accurate.  If an engineer’s calculations are 99% correct, the building may collapse.  If an accountant’s calculations are 99% correct, the client may go bankrupt.  If a nurse’s or anesthetist’s calculations are 99% correct, the patient may die from being given an over-dose.


We will train you to consistently achieve 100% within four years.  You will learn to achieve 100% accuracy, by repeatedly correcting your work.  Your job is to do the work assigned to you, whether calculations, drawings, reports, or letters.  You will then bring your work to us.  We will review it, and give you our comments.  Then you will do it again, and again, until you get it right.

You may have to redo your work seven times, before it is ready to be given to our Clients.  Please do not get emotionally attached to your best efforts.  Otherwise, you may feel discouraged when your initial best efforts consistently require corrections.

Our hope is that you will come to appreciate, that we respect our Clients too much to give them substandard work.  We do not get paid until your work is given to our Clients.  We can easily do the work more efficiently by doing it ourselves, but we prefer to invest in your improvement.  So, value your training.


We started our professional careers in a similar way that you are now starting yours.  We know that there are things that you are unlikely to know now, for the simple reason that such things are normally learnt through experience.  Therefore, never be afraid to admit that you do not know.  Ask questions – so that we may train you better.

This method of training takes intentional humility on your part.  Graduating from university with a bachelor, master, or doctorate degree, means that you have met the academic grade.  However, you are years away from meeting the professional grade.  So, you should willingly embrace, rather than resentfully resign to the training.


You will likely communicate with your fellow university graduates, who found employment with other companies, or the public service.  Do not be dismayed if you learn that they have been rapidly promoted to management and regulatory positions, while you are still being trained.

There are many companies and government agencies, that do not seem to understand the wide difference between academic and professional grades.  You will interact with their employees throughout your professional career.

When persons with academic qualifications are prematurely given professional responsibilities, there can only be sustained frustration for everyone with whom they interact and influence.  Do not get frustrated during such professional interactions.  This is an inefficient cost of doing business, that you must learn to accept.


You are not perfect; therefore, we expect you to make mistakes.  A mistake is to inadvertently send something to one of our Clients, that is not to a professional standard.  Whether that mistake is minor or major, you have one responsibility, and that it to admit your mistake to us – as soon as it is known to you.  It is our responsibility to get mistakes corrected.

There are no consequences to you for admitting your mistakes, regardless of whether they have minor or major consequences.  You will not be sanctioned for admitting a mistake – because we all make mistakes.  Instead, you will be trusted more.  You may be tempted to hide your mistakes, and hope that they will never be found.  They are always found.

There is only one on-the-spot fireable offence in this company, and that is hiding mistakes.  Doing so puts the Company at an unnecessary and unacceptable risk of harm.

So, welcome to the company.  As you persist with your training, you will build a stable foundation on which to support a successful professional career.  Your training starts now.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com

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.

School to Open, Teachers Want Back Pay

Minister Santia Bradshaw in a matter of fact delivery announced at a press briefing yesterday our school children will be returning to the classroom from the 20 April 2021. The expectation is for teachers to return on the 19 April, Class 3 and 4 at primary schools and fifth and sixth formers of secondary schools on the 20 April. The other students will benefit from classroom teaching 3 days and the other 2 days in online class room.

@Pedro Shepherd

It seems some teachers want to hear about monies docked in 2016 by former minister of education Ronald Jones. The following was received in the blogmaster’s inbox.

I understand the Ministry of Education is to pay back the money docked from teachers in 2016.

Teachers should have been informed about this. I would like the BUT to explain that to me today self. My money can’t afford to sleep out. I want back every cent of mine.

Mr. Shepherd and Ronald Jones were at war back then. I remember. People like me got caught up in it. By the time I recognised it was all a fight between them my pay was docked. Now they are friendsing in the DLP. But my money still tied up. 

Is your mouth tied up too, Mr. Shepherd? Right now you could talk chalk. I am not interested unless you tell me about my $350 first.

To Barbadians: No Child Must be Left Behind

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?

Credit: Nation News

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)

President Pedro Shepherd Accused of Lacking Integrity

Submitted by P Seale

For a long time I have been annoyed by the things I have been hearing about the BUT. Teachers are being badly treated by the ministry and the union has been doing nothing about it. Since being elected the president is silent on the key issues he was pushing to be on the agenda and I do not know if the union still functions.

In 2011 there were people making claims with the BUT health plan who paid no premiums. Some of them were friends of executive members and there was no charges after the audit. The broker made payments to Sagicor and never provided the union with any details. President Karen Best said the plan was over $300,000 in arrears. Sagicor later agreed to write off the arrears. Over $30,000 went missing from the office too. After I heard that, I got health insurance with Guardian.

I know the union saved thousands of dollars last year. There was annual conference on Zoom, no CUT travel, a scaled down Teachers Week and no Christmas luncheon last year. As a member, I hope the treasurer is keeping a close eye on the coffers. She should mind how much money they are paying the brothers of the president to spruce up the union.

In June, Mr. Shepherd wanted Mr. Spencer to have Zoom meetings to hear our views. He made that clear in the BUT Facebook group. Now Mr. Shepherd is president he doesn’t see the need to meet with us to hear our views any more.

Mr. Shepherd seconded the no-confidence motion Dwane Goddard brought against Mr. Spencer last year. Twenty people signed. Half of them work with Mr. Shepherd at Wilkie or were named Shepherd.

  • Mr. Goddard should explain why he had agreed to let his church friends raise funds for his eye surgery in 2019. In the first place he always knew the eye surgery was free.
  • He should also explain why he was leaving Arthur Smith every week to do CTUSAB business when he had no business at CTUSAB. The ministry should look into that.

I am upset that these type of people lead or have been leading my union. They lack integrity.

On the back of that, we have a minister who treats us just like Ronald Jones but sounds better. The minister will blame COVID and nobody cares about us teachers.

The union has said nothing about appointments since the amendments to the Public Service Act. Are the officers all appointed? Is it because the officers all appointed?

The president spoke about the 11+ date. What about CXC and the secondary school issues? The BUT is a primary school teachers’ union again.

Barbados is Preparing for the Future – Coding and Robotics

Some blogs posted to Barbados Underground through the years have highlighted the importance of the private and public sectors working together to ensure we allocate adequate resources to maintain a robust IT infrastructure. It is no secret government websites in Barbados are easy targets from hackers. And in recent weeks a few private companies have been penetrated with ransomware attacks severely compromising delivery of services to the public. Events as described serve to undermine our reputation as a fit and proper environment to live productive lifes.

A solid IT infrastructure is the pillar upon which an effective digital transformation strategy can be launched and administered. We have to prepare and equip our people to expertly navigate the challenges ahead. This is a must if we are to sustain a way of life we have become accustomed and honour the obligation as a responsible society to educate our children to be able to compete in the global market place.

Our future growth relies on competitiveness and innovation, skills and productivity… and these in turn rely on the education of our people.

Julia Gillard


A positive from the effect of the pandemic (Covid 19) currently razing global economies is that it serves as an health check to measure the effectiveness of IT systems everywhere. Building and maintaining fit for purpose IT infrastructure is an expensive undertaking. Most of the software and hardware inputs have to be procured from external vendors with local players having no choice to be price takers. Importantly is nurturing the interest and make training available to the HR element. For small island developing states like Barbados it will be important for a larger slice of the national budget to be allocated to modernizing IT infrastructure. The same for the private sector. The competitiveness of Barbados hinges on public and private sector harmonizing strategies to ensure the local environment is conducive to transacting business.

Independents will agree the incumbent government has brought a focus to the area of technology and innovation. Government is the significant player in the local market and must lead to ensure a greater effort to move towards diversifying and growing efficiencies in the economy. We have seen quick wins with the facility to pay and access online important services BUT there is a long way to go.


It is encouraging to the blogmaster therefore to witness the effort to reform the education system and to improve the use of technology in an innovative a manner as is practical given our limited resources. There are so many priorities to attend to. Minister of Education, Santia Bradshaw speaking in parliament last Tuesday revealed that the government was going ahead in setting up an Education Reform Unit (ERU). The unit is mandated to lead reform to the curriculum to make it relevant for a 21st century mode of operating – fit for purpose. The transformation roadmap includes targeting from early childhood to tertiary level.

Watch the YouTube starting at 2hrs:24mins to view Minister Bradshaw making a request to fund the ERU until March 2020

One of Barbados’ favourite academics residing in the diaspora (and this is important) has been invited to work with the ERU to speed up reforms – Professor Cardinal Warde is a Barbadian professor of Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), one of the best learning institutions in the field of engineering and technology in North America if the reviews are to be believed.

Some of us were excited to participate last weekend in a virtual discussion hosted by the ministry of education on Coding and Robotics in Schools. Professor Warde participated also Jason Stephany, a student of Harrison College who created the Quickorderz app, we have young people doing amazing things on the 2×3 island. See the blog posted last week that featured another HC student Maria Marshall .

Technology affords citizens who want to effectively participate in our democracy to be informed about the issues. Here is the link to the discussion held last weekend.

Discussion hosted by the Ministry of Education

Imagine teaching coding and robotics in our schools.

Something to be excited about as we prepare- some will say a little late to the party- for the future.

We are living in exciting times where opportunities are there for the taking!

Press Statement on CXC Press Conference by Student Advocate

Khaleel Kothdiwala, Student Advocate

On Sunday, October 18, Sir Hilary Beckles, in his capacity as Chairman of the Caribbean Examinations Council, and Dr. Wayne Wesley, Registrar of CXC, held a virtual press conference to release the preliminary findings of the Independent Review Team, empaneled to investigate the examination process, allocated examination results and general performance expectations, inter alia

For the purpose of context, this Review Team was appointed by the CXC Chair amidst region-wide protestations from students, parents and teachers, resulting from the release of CXC results on September 22, and the fact that those results were at significant variance with historical trends, teacher predictions and reasonable student and parent expectation. This resulted in thousands of students either with no grades, or grades which were wholly unacceptable and not reflective of reality, which has put on pause the higher education aspirations of these students.

At the press conference, there was no admission of fault nor any acceptance of responsibility by the Council for the inconvenience, anxiety, agony and heartache caused by the clearly defective results. 

Instead, CXC blamed four factors for this crisis: the COVID-19 pandemic, internet connectivity in the territories of the region, implied teacher corruption and unmerited high student expectations. This was a shameless attempt to pass the buck of responsibility and one which does not factor in the fact that this year’s problem is clearly a macro problem and therefore those micro factors would not create the quagmire in which we now find ourselves. Most disturbingly, the Council, since September 22, has and continues to place unfounded blame at the feet of teachers, with unsubstantiated, implied allegations of teacher corruption and/or misconduct, as far as the award of marks is concerned. This stance is deeply regrettable for an examination body, which relies upon teachers to teach their syllabus content, and for a Council which reports to Ministries of Education, who employ many of these teachers, and certainly supervise all. The Council must, unequivocally, state its confidence in the teaching profession in the region, if there is to be a harmonious relationship between the two, going forward. 

On another point of clarification, CXC intimated that only a ‘small minority’ of students have experienced challenges. This is particularly regrettable as it simply does not reflect the reality that, by CXC’s admission, there were nearly 14,000 instances of students receiving ‘ungraded’ or ‘absent’ results, or of the major public outcry in the four weeks since the release of results. The misrepresentation of the problem as a minor one is unfortunate, and will only serve to continue to undermine the confidence of persons in CXC, and inhibit the ‘healing process’ to which Sir Hilary referred in his contribution to the press conference. 

On the positive side, despite the misrepresentations highlighted above, the IRT did recommend a number of measures in the immediate term, which correspond to many of the demands made by parent and student advocacy groups. Importantly:

  • The review process will now include an actual remark of exam scripts, and not the ineffective administrative review, as previously proposed;
  • The vexatious issue of the cost of reviews will be partially addressed by the Council, by a 50% reduction of that fee;
  • Candidates who request reviews will not receive a ‘downgrade’ of the result, which was another contentious issue. Instead, the grade will remain the same, or adjusted upwards, if the remark of the candidate’s scripts support that;
  • Reviews will be returned expeditiously, with the timeframe of turnover being hopefully one week, with the process for requesting a review, being transitioned online, making that process faster and simpler;
  • The review deadline was also extended.

Students across the region commend this mature approach taken and would hope that the remark of the papers produce more equitable grades than previously and that the turnover time is indeed one week. 

However, burning questions remain unanswered:

  • Will the re-moderation of SBAs be done in accordance with the same rubric as in previous years, and which was used by students and teachers this year? Or will the rubric used be modified as was done in the original moderation, in some instances, and which may have produced the irregular results?
  • How did CXC weight the papers in the absence of Paper 2? While much was made at the press conference about “grading on profiles”, this point remains unclear. 
  • Relatedly, how does CXC respond to concerns that originally allocated profiles did not match with original grades, for example where a candidate received an AAB profile, but received a Grade 3? How does that reconcile with the Registrars assertion that grading was done based on profiles?
  • Who will CXC employ as ‘additional capacity’ to remark the examination scripts? And what measures are in place to ensure that this ‘additional capacity’ meet the standard for quality assurance?
  • It was stated at the press conference that computation of grades will be done solely on performance in the Multiple Choice and SBA component of the examinations. This is significantly at variance with the Council’s previously stated position that predicted grades would be factored in. Clarification is required on this point.

Based upon the summary of the recommendations of the IRT provided at the press conference, it appears that CXC has recognized the plethora of mistakes made previously, even if there is a reluctance to explicitly take responsibility. Students and parents will look forward to the release of the final report on Tuesday for the full detail of the findings, and CXC must also publish a document detailing precisely how those recommendations will be implemented and addressing the burning questions which remain. 

Four weeks in, it is past time, for us to move past the present crisis, to find an equitable resolution for all. While the recommendations of the IRT are in no way perfect, if implemented correctly, they will go a significant way in alleviating the problem. 

The ball is now in the court of CXC to implement these recommendations, and provide clarity on matters, which up to the present, they have eschewed direct comment. It is regrettable that CXC continues to refuse to meet with parent or student advocacy groups, but it can be hoped that after their recognition today of their communication failures, that a more amenable public response posture will be adopted. 

After all, CXC is all of us in this complex ecosystem of education in the Caribbean, as Sir Hilary put it, and must therefore chasten itself to be able to held accountable. Only then can the healing process start!

CXC’s Options

Grenville Phillips, leader of Solutions Barbados and candidate for St. George North

The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) is a Caribbean institution. As Caribbean nationals, we should insist that the integrity of Caribbean institutions be protected. If our institutions provide a high-quality product, their integrity is automatically protected.

CXC has one main product – its examinations. There are three basic components of that product. Namely, a syllabus of information for students to understand, an examination that tests the students’ understanding of that syllabus, and correcting and scoring the examinations.

The students are responsible for understanding the syllabus of information, and doing the examination.

The most critically important part of CXC’s product, is correcting and scoring the exams. Therefore, CXC’s integrity is measured by the quality of its examiners.


Qualified examiners provide confidence in the integrity of CXC’s product, on which its reputation is sustained. The minimum academic qualification required to correct and score CXC examinations, is a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.

Students studying for a Bachelor’s degree may assist teachers to present and correct tutorials. But they are not qualified to correct CXC secondary school examinations. If they did, then that is the root cause of the current dissatisfaction, and no confidence can be placed in the results of those examinations.

If the CXC Board approved the use of first-degree university student examiners, then that is a regional scandal that can damage CXC’s reputation as a provider of quality examinations.

The obvious solutions are two-fold. First, qualified examiners must review all the examinations corrected and scored by unqualified examiners. Second, CXC should mandate that they will never use unqualified examiners to correct or score CXC examinations in the future.

If CXC maintains its secrecy on whether they used first-degree student examiners, and if they insist on using unqualified examiners in the future, then they would have damaged the integrity of the CXC examinations, and the reputation of the regional institution.

The Ministry of Education needs to tell the CXC Board to come clean. If they do not, then another examination body, with more integrity, should be used until they do.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and President of Solutions Barbados. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com

Ministry of Education and Madness Initiates Transfers

The blogmaster has received a few messages regarding the sudden decision by the Ministry of Education to transfer Principals from some schools. Here is one that captures key concerns arising from the abrupt change. – David, blogmaster

Once again the Ministry of Education and Madness will send schools into confusion with the abrupt, last minute, poorly thought out shifting of plenty Principals and Deputies at the start of the most difficult school term in modern history and after the ad hoc remote emergency whatever they called it last term- See Nation Newspaper Article.

Word has it that Principals of Frederick Smith, Lester Vaughn, Darryl Jordan, Alexandra and Deighton Griffith have been instructed to move on, even though they prefer to stay for now because of the stress and headaches they went through to get their own schools up and running. Word also has it that plenty Deputies are being moved and in at least two cases BOTH the Principal AND Deputy at the same school has been shifted. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Admittedly some of these schools have had their recent share of trouble, but, others appear to have been doing reasonably well with their current leaders.

Common sense questions have to be asked.

  1. If a principal or teacher isn’t performing why ignore the problem or transfer it somewhere else? Wouldn’t it make more sense to deal with the problem?
  2. Does it really make sense to move a school leader at the last minute in the dying hours in the middle of a crisis response?
  3. How the hell can any one properly assume control of a school, in these “uncertain times” when they are completely IGNORANT of the place where they are being sent?
  4. If Principals are the “problem,” what about others in the system from TOP to BOT-TOM who are also “problems?” Will they just stay put and continue to humbug the place?
  5. Did anyone even bother to talk to parents and students to see how THEY feel about this???
  6. Who’s really making these confusing, chaotic and random decisions in the Ministry? Who??

By the way- is there any truth to reports that there have already been resignations by some members of Board of Managements in protest with more to come this week??? And is it true that some of these moves have nothing to do with the schools but everything to do with “hearsay, agendas and multi-coloured shadows?”

If this is what educational leadership and reform looks like then God help us and our children.

Have Respect for Ph.Ds: Heroes of Academia

Submitted by Dr. Hollis ‘’Chalkdust’’ Liverpool, ORTT

For years I have longed to write an article on what it means to hold a doctorate from an accredited university, but neglected so to do, since I too hold one from the University of Michigan, currently ranked as No. 22 among universities of the world. However, when during the last election campaign, I heard campaigners referring to our Prime Minister as Rowley, Growley, Rothweiller, the Bull dog, Keith, Bald Head, Black man, Oreo and Blank man, I felt that such names were totally rude, crude and disrespectful, for a person who holds a doctorate from the world of accredited universities.

The young aspirants to parliamentary office who refer to Dr. Rowley in such a degrading manner don’t seem to know that to hold a doctorate means that the holder is the product of extensive, original research and has contributed handsomely to his/her field of education. Moreover, most of these rude and crude campaigners have never written an academic paper, far more for a dissertation. A Ph.D. means, in Latin, a Doctor of philosophy and is the highest accredited title awarded by universities the world over. Holding a Ph.D., means that the holder has demonstrated competence and mastery of his/her subject matter, and has been supervised by a team of specialized consultants in his/her field of research. Philosophy comes from the Greek terms Philo and Sophia meaning the ‘’love of wisdom’’ and, as a discipline, it comprises at its core, logic, aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, and Lloyd Best’s favourite subject: epistemology (the nature and scope of knowledge). It therefore means that Dr. Rowley has studied, profusely, fundamental problems connected with geography and geology, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Patrick Manning held a bachelor’s degree from UWI; he studied geology. Dr Rowley holds a doctorate in geology; he is a geologist. Note the difference.

Now, for the records, how does a person acquire such a doctoral award? First, universities at their lowest level, after the completion of certificates, diplomas and associate degrees, award undergraduate or bachelor’s degrees: (B.A. and B.S.). These require four years of study and approximately 120 credit hours of work. Associate degrees/diplomas are usually awarded by community colleges after a two-year study and, on the ladder of education, holders are seen generally as having reached a level just below an accredited bachelor’s degree. It must be noted that MDs in medicine and JDs in law are all undergraduate degrees, even though we have the tendency to call such holders, doctors.

After gaining a bachelor’s degree, a student may opt for a master’s degree which is gained after at least two years of further study and the writing of an original research project or thesis. Such students may specialize in particular areas of study and thus gain specialized awards such as an M.A.; MBA; M.Ed.; or MS.

Should a student want to further his/her study, he or she may go on to do doctoral work for at least four to eight more years-some schools demand six to ten years-and gain the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) award or the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.). This latter degree (Ed.D.) is usually a practitioner’s degree and focuses on how theory can be applied to solving problems. It is accepted by most universities and institutions as being a little lower than the Ph.D., which is research-oriented and emphasises the testing of theories and the discovery of new and original knowledge. Both doctoral awards, however, are granted to persons who are expected to become future leaders in their fields of teaching, doctoral supervision, and professors at university level.

One of the reasons why Ph.Ds are usually given more acclaim than Ed.Ds and the degree is seen as the most prestigious of all is the fact that holders of such degrees have to write and defend their dissertations. (A few Ed.Ds such as those in Canada have to also write dissertations). A dissertation is the highest and mightiest form of writing for any writer in this whole wide world, a fact that many of the institutions and companies who award prizes annually to writers and poets in Trinbago do not know. To write a dissertation requires the mastery of research methods, the review of all the literature on the subject, the methodology that is appropriate for researching the subject and knowledge and application of the issues of validity and reliability that are linked to the approaches used in the research. Reliability refers to the consistency of a measure and validity refers to its accuracy. Small wonder that only 15% of postgraduates in the world of academia move on to do doctoral work which calls for a comprehensive examination before writing a dissertation in most universities. Hence many doctoral students who do not complete their studies are called ABDs, meaning, folks with ‘’All But Dissertations.’’

Besides one’s own dissertation, doctoral students must study the theories of others. While I was studying at Michigan, for example, I was made to study and discuss in class the dissertation of Dr. Eric Williams’ ‘’Capitalism and Slavery,’’ it being recognized by the university as a masterpiece in historical content, literature review, scientific research- methods, meticulous documentation and good, grammatical writing style. Coming from Trinidad and Tobago, I had an advantage over all the doctoral students, for most of them had never heard of Dr. Williams. I thus became the specialized model at the school for thesis writing, and I was highly acclaimed by the university for I had not only seen and discussed matters of interest with Dr. Eric Williams, but had the temerity to attack him in song. My supervisors wanted to find out, therefore, who I was and what educational degree had given me the authority to attack a writer of such a superb dissertation. But therein lies the power of the calypso, which I shall write about in the future.

Today, any doctoral student at Michigan, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and Oxford must, as part of the programme, study the work of Dr. Eric Williams. Therein lies one of the reasons why in the field of the Humanities these universities (Stanford, MIT, Harvard, CIT (California) and Oxford) are ranked as the top five universities of the world. In addition, doctoral students at such universities have to first pass an Ethics examination, whereby their values as students are tested to see whether they are fit and proper persons to carry the accolade of a Ph.D., from these noble institutions. I had to undergo such an examination at Michigan; it has set me apart educationally from lower-levelled universities such as those that sell degrees to students. It is a fact, Mr Editor, that many degree mills exist in the world today and they sell doctoral degrees to many, including one or two of our own politicians, some of whom ended up in Parliament. Imagine the Speaker having to call these merchants ‘’Doctah.’’ It leads me to remember that one evening years ago in Barbados, the MC in a calypso show, seemingly searching for humour, asked me if I found my doctorate in a garbage bag. On the very next day, Madam Mia Mottley, now Prime Minister, as well as the Nation and Advocate newspapers called upon him to apologize to me on their front pages. Joke is joke but Ph.D is no joke. Barbadians understand the hard and steep climb to attain it; many Trinis do not.

The result of that ethics test at top universities can be simply stated as follows: Woe beyond to the student who in that ethics exam refers to Dr. Eric Williams as Bill, Eric, or Williams; without possessing the value of recognizing Ph.Ds, their applications for doctoral degrees would be immediately rescinded. In a similar way, we must demand that the said woe should be bestowed upon Trinbago’s parliamentarians and would-be politicians, some of whom can’t pass O’ level CSEC, but refer to Dr. Rowley as Rowley, Keith, Blank man, Bald Head and Stink Mouth, when in fact Drs. Williams and Rowley are recognized and known in the world of academia as progenitors of doctoral dissertations.

Back to School AND No Child Must Be Left Behind

COVID 19 Impact

One only has to drive pass the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) any day of the week during the the 3PM to 6PM time slot to appreciate the debilitating effect the raging pandemic continues to wreck on the country’s main economic sector. The number of vehicles seen in the car park can be comfortably counted on a single hand.

Consistent with how Covid 19 has catspraddle business the recent posting of Goddards Enterprises 9 month unaudited financial statement paints the sorry tale.

The threat to a sustainable way of life is real!

The inability of key stakeholders – the Ministry of Education (MOE) and respective teacher’s unions to discuss Covid 19 protocols in a constructive environment in order to facilitate the commencement of the proposed September 21, 2020 term has come as no surprise. The relationship between successive governments, Barbados Secondary Teachers Union (BSTU) and Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) has been unnecessarily acrimonious through the years. The same point made here about the failure to pass the Integrity in Public Life Bill is apt. All sides will never secure what they want, however, for the greater good there must be give and take.

Our leaders MUST find the solution to get the nation’s children back to school. All agree we have to find ways to coexist with Covid 19 because it will be with us for the foreseeable future even if a vaccine or therapeutic treatment is approved by end of year. This is not the time for the unions and MOE to engage in the usual pedantic offerings cloaked under the guise of industrial relations best practice. Children getting back to the classroom has wider implications for the country if we assess the relationship between home, school and work.

It was reported the 340 teachers and principals who turned up today for a general meeting called by the MOE had a constructive engagement. Let us hope attempts will be made to share findings with the executive of the BUT and BSTU to ensure there is consensus on the best way forward. Although the unions are important stakeholders the MOE has the responsibility to lead the process.

The issue of the reopening of schools is one high on the agenda for almost every country in the world. The risk benefit to decisions taken by the MOE must be data driven. There is the reality we have to accept that COVID 19 is active in the environment we have to exist, therefore there is an inherent risk to being infected. This means controls to mitigate must be well thought out, publicised, monitored and enforced. As adults – MOE, BSTU, BUT and others – we have a legal and moral duty to protect our children during one of the most frightening periods in the existence of humankind.

The feedback coming from some teachers that they are on vacation and should not have been asked to attend the meeting held today must be regarded as a minority view. If it is not then may God help us if this level of mentality exist. The government is on record declaring its committent to pay the large public sector wage bill until the economy improves. One thing the economists agree on is that it takes an economy longer to grow than it takes to contract. The time is coming soon when the government will have to start printing money and with it the implications for negative impact on the foreign reserves. The Freundel Stuart government found itself in a similar situation of printing money to pay public servants, a reread of archived central bank reports should remind us how that played out. Should we have the infants do a performance of ‘there’s a hole in my bucket dear Liza? This is not time for the usual political rhetoric.

We acknowledge the concerns of all sides.

We have to ensure the environment is safe for our students.

We have to ensure the method to deliver the curriculum ensures no child is left behind.

The use of the repetitive WE is not accidental.

Barbados Community College: Breach of Contract and Consumer Guarantees

Submitted by Cherfleur

In the High Court of Judicature CV307 of 2019 (Follow up on BCC – Education, Educator and the Masses)

False and misleading information and advice attracting applications to 2
Failure to conduct Grade Appeals as per Statute;
Failure to provide for Electives within the program Finance and Investment;
Including subjects in programs as Electives and denying students’​ freedom of choice​; Failure to respect Medical Certificates submitted as grounds for supplementals; Failure/refusal to uphold Exemptions granted;

Failure to weed out excessive courses from Finance and Investment program;
Failure and refusal to refund Caution Fee without just legal cause;
Submitting students for Graduation without requisite Graduation requirements;
Transcript Tampering: adding and removing courses and grades from student records; Failure to provide clear and consistent instructions in literature to assist students in making choices and sound decisions;

Providing False and misleading information regarding availability of medical personnel on campuses;
Providing false expectations regarding the weight and quality of programs;
Negligence in recording student data/grades thus resulting in erroneous GPA;

Failure to comply with industry standards for Associate Degree and tertiary education; Bloating programs with unnecessary courses and omitting core requirements; Codifying same and similar courses with different codes;
Failure to respect and uphold Clauses in Handbook relating to students entitlements if unable to sit exams with Medical Certificates submitted;

Failure to graduate on time; as stipulated in Handbook
Failure to provide the same or comparable services and facilities to the student; Denial of academic and economic advancement;
Failure to provide an overall pleasing customer experience;

BCC’s response to the above is an application to Strike Out (primarily) on grounds of the claimant not properly initiating proceedings. In support they supplied Blackstone’s Civil Practice: Commentary (chapter 23 – Statement of Case and Claim Forms)
Quote: claim forms and separate particulars of claim are examples of what the CPR call “statements of case’, a term which applies to ​all documents in which a party’s case is set out for the other parties and for the court.​ The former term for statement of case, ‘​pleadings’​ is still commonly used. How does this help BCC’s case?

Oral submissions:

Among other questions was: Can you meet the Claim? NO.
There is a very big problem here now because BCC could/should have corrected the 1 major issue of this conflict since 2014 but refused to, refused to submit to Mediation and again at the suggestion of the Judge on July 25 2019 refused to try to resolve the conflict amicably because they hang slavishly to the one only known method of initiating cases.

Not only Attorneys but the local Judiciary too. So the battle is to look for all the i’s and t’s that were not dotted and crossed to save this government operated white elephant from having to pay damages for all the above including 6 years loss of income. ​It is a travesty.



So the saga continues……

To Reopen Schools…

The government has taken – some are saying – the bold decision to announce a date for children to return to physical classrooms in Barbados. Some parents have expressed concern why the rush especially for a ten or eleven year old preparing for the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination. 

If the world has to live with Covid 19 until there is a treatment or vaccine, in an effort to protect the vulnerable should attending physical classrooms be suspended indefinitely?

Is it a risk worth taking for the good of progressing as a nation by demonstrating toughness and resilience?

Should we expect our teachers and those with young minds to demonstrate the discipline required to execute Covid 19 protocols to protect themselves?


Is the ULP Education Revolution A Fraud?

Is the ULP Education Revolution A Fraud?

Or Simply an Embroidered Lie?

Submitted by Nathan ‘Jolly’ Green

It is ‘A’ typical for left-wing leaders, more so those with Marxist tendencies to use emotive projects to stay in power. Education, low-cost or free social housing, and exceptional medical facilities are usually what they choose to fool the electorate into thinking they are God sent messengers.

In Venezuela, Hugo Chavez promised free University for everyone. He promised to build 10,000 social houses a year, but the most he ever achieved was 1,500 and some years just a few hundred, or none. Since president Maduro arrived, no houses built, the hospital system has collapsed, and the universities are closed. He really is among the asshole class of politicians, and there are many of them in the Caribbean.  

In the late 1990s, the National Democratic Party [NDP] took up an offer from the World Bank to reorganize the education system in SVG. The World Bank project was called ‘Education for All.’

The NDP negotiated and agreed on terms of engagement in the project; there was a project lead time of about two years. 

Dr Ralph E Gonsalves came to power and found that the country was on the cusp of starting the project. He looked at it, decided to continue with it, but renamed it ‘The Education Revolution.’ No mention of the World Bank, who were the main funders and architects of the project.

In general, the SVG project has been partially successful, thanks to the World Bank and the NDP’s foresight. 

Could the success have been better if it had been appropriately managed by the NDP instead of the ULP? 

Children are still dropping out before their education is complete. Crime and violence among the youth is rife. Many children leaving school are unable to properly, or not at all, read and write and carry out simple mathematical tasks. 

Thousand leaving school to find no jobs, and so undereducated they are unable to travel abroad for positions other than fruit picking. That is not a condemnation of, or the failure of the youth; it is a condemnation of a failed education system under a ULP administration. .

There are, of course, children that excel in their studies and learning. But that is more because those children are carrying genes that mean they will succeed wherever, whenever, and whatever. Others are coming from middle and upper-class homes where the parents ensure proper personal input into their learning.

The ULP not only failed to educate the majority of SVG’s youth properly, but they built only a minor few low-cost houses, yet have built middle-class homes for those that do not require help. 

The hospital in Kingstown has been a failure for the last twenty years. A few medical centers have been refurbished, and a couple of new ones built. But in all those cases due to schemes by foreign organizations, nothing to do with the ULP’s ability, capability, or initiative. 

Here are some of the records regarding help from the World Bank education scheme.

Britain gives somewhere approaching a billion US dollars a year to the World Bank. 

2000, Caribbean: The World Bank introduced a scheme and initiative internationally to improve world education called Education for All.’ Education for All (EFA) was first launched in 1990 to bring the benefits of education to “every citizen in every society.” To realize this aim, a broad coalition of national governments, civil society groups, and development agencies such as UNESCO and the World Bank Group committed to achieving six specific education goals:

1/ Expand and improve comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.

2/ Ensure that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, those in difficult circumstances, and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to and complete, free, and compulsory primary education of good quality.

3/ Ensure that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life-skills programs.

4/ Achieve a 50% improvement in adult literacy by 2015, especially for women, and equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults.

5/ Eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005, and achieve gender equality in education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls’ full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality.

6/ Improve all aspects of the quality of education and ensure the excellence of all, so that recognized, and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all, especially in literacy, numeracy, and essential life skills.

By 2000, 189 countries and their partners adopted the two EFA goals that align with Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 2 and 3, which refer to universal primary education and gender parity. The World Bank recognizes that achieving these goals requires supporting the full EFA commitment.

The World Bank funded the scheme, which was generally successful. One small country in particular led by a left-wing socialist even adopted it as their education revolution to fool their voters into believing they are excellent and responsible for the scheme. 

Since 2004, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, supported by the World Bank, has undertaken the construction and rehabilitation of secondary schools to create an additional 750 school places. Increase secondary enrollment by about 30 percentage points, provide instructional materials, train counselors and teachers, and help to increase the Caribbean Examinations Council pass rates by 14 percentage points. About 15,000 students benefitted from the project.

The Bank provided financing of SDR2.2 million and US$3.1 million in 2004.

The United Kingdom’s Department of International Development (DFID), provided close collaboration during design, it helped to provide funding for some of the quality enhancing activities.


By 2012, The World Bank was working through OECS.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines – OECS Education Development Project (English)


Ratings for the OECS Education Development Project for St. Vincent and the Grenadines were as follows: outcomes were satisfactory; risk to development outcome was low or negligible; Bank performance was moderately satisfactory and borrower performance was satisfactory. Some lessons learned includes: if procurement delays or failed tenders occur despite good faith efforts of the government, then related requests for project extension should be granted. Extracurricular activities are a cost effective way to generate interest in school, particularly that of boys. Though of modest cost, after school activities such as the school band was reported to have enticed students, especially boys, not only for attendance, but also for avoiding failing their courses. In a context like St. Vincent, all efforts should be made to include and preserve vocational education opportunities. Even with the delayed approval of implementing regulations for the new education act, institutional changes can continue as if the regulations were passed. Classroom libraries can be a critical input to engagement and literacy. 

Most certainly not a scheme initially related to the ULP. The SVG’ Education Upgrade’ was someone else’s idea, someone else’s money, and someone else’s initiative.

The World Bank Group also supports the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) as a Board Member, host of the GPE Secretariat, trustee, and supervising entity for the vast majority of GPE grants. 

Finally, the World Bank supports EFA efforts through analytic work and the sharing of global knowledge and good practice. The Bank’s analytic work has, for example, helped establish benchmarks for quality, efficiency, and resource mobilization in the education sector. Ref: https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/education/brief/education-for-all

So dear Vincentians, I am sorry you were all fooled to believe this was the idea and design of Comrade Gonsalves, but it was not. It was initially organized by the NDP, funded and designed by the World Bank, in collaboration with the UK government. Only the name belongs to the comrade ‘The Education Revolution.’ Of course, he also owns the failure part of the scheme. Under the ULP management, it has been a tragic underperformance of the original concept.

All of these Caribbean countries took part in the World Bank education scheme, ‘Education for All.’ Only Saint Vincent renamed it the Education Revolution.

Bahamas, The



Dominican Republic, The




Organization of Eastern Caribbean States

Antigua and Barbuda



Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Lucia

Sint Maarten


Trinidad and Tobago

A Question for Acting Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw

Submitted by SirFuzzy

Will the MOEd [Ministry of Education] be forced to consider having a staggered teaching arrangement if the covid-19 induced realities still swamp us at the beginning of a new academic year in September 2020″?

I believe that secondary school may adapt to the stay-at-home- distance education model far easier as you have young school children that can “fend for themselves” far better than the 5 – to ten-year-old age group found in the primary school.

I guess many of us are praying for a quick vaccine. To return us to the “bad normal” we called acceptable pre-covid19. Now, I have not been to the primary school classroom in aeons. I know that when I was in a primary school in the 1970’s the seating arrangement(s) did not allow for the 2M/6ft distance that is mandated now. So if we are to stick to that social distancing requirement, the average primary school will have far less classroom capacity.

I don’t see the government being able to build new primary schools any time soon, therefore, maybe we can make use of some of the disused government buildings to provide schooling? The abandoned secondary school building(s) in White Park road will be a good candidate; of course after a thorough industrial cleaning occurs.

That campus may absorb some of the pupils that can no longer fit into the classrooms island wide. However, using widely distributed disused gov’t buildings may present a transportation issue for some parents. So let keep the pupils in the same school that they were assigned and the parents know how to get to them etc.

IMO, the better solution is to have a shift system that allows for the primary school to have some pupils starting school at different times. This staggered approach should allow the classroom size to be smaller as few pupils should be on the campus. This will require a lot of planning and also consultation with the teachers’ union, but I think it a step worth exploring. If it is feasible and doable at the primary school level where I think it is most necessary, then some consideration can be given to it happening at the secondary school level at the specific school(s) that it fits best.

Discuss for 100 marks.

Why Harrison College is about to Change Hours of Operation

The following communication received in the blogmaster’s inbox is self explained. The traffic challenge in Bridgetown and its environs from sun up to sun down is well known. Please discuss for 10 marks.

The Grenville Phillips Column – Crime Pays the Bills

We have reached a state in Barbados where crime pays the bills of many households. Politicians who participated in the last general election know this. While canvassing in certain areas, it was common to hear the same excuse that there were no other options available.

Since then, things have only gotten worse for most. Many claim that: no-one in their house is working, they have received disconnection notices for light and water utilities, they cannot afford to pay all of the rent, and the Welfare department is unresponsive.

It is reasonable for the public to expect the political party in power to provide solutions to national problems. However, regardless of the severity of the problems facing Barbadians, the political response is generally the same. Namely, that it took 10 years of mismanagement to get us here, and it will take time to fix the DLP’s mess.

That political excuse is now constantly repeated by most radio moderators, and newspaper editorialists and columnists. But it does not solve any of our problems. We have been asked what we would have done to solve the crime situation. This article addresses that question.

The police commissioner recently reported that most crime was of a socio-economic nature. Solutions Barbados’ crime policies were designed to remove the socio-economic ‘no-options’ excuse. The BLP administration is encouraged to consider them for the benefit of us all, but they should be reminded that they are designed to be implemented together, not separately. So what would we have done about crime had Solutions Barbados formed the Government?

We would have managed all public services to become internationally competitive, to ensure a reliable and efficient service at a fraction of the current cost. We should remember that we currently pay for the cost of an efficient service, plus the additional wastage, inefficiency, and unproductivity costs. The additional cost to Government would have been $0.00, since several of our candidates had international management experience.

With reliable low-cost public utility services, every household would have received a subsistence amount of water every month, free of cost. The rates above this amount would have been increased, so that we could help our fellow citizens, who were experiencing temporary financial challenges. The same method was to have been used for electricity and natural gas. The additional cost to Government would have been $0.00.

Once households can rely on utilities, they can better prepare for work and school. With public transportation properly managed, bus fares on public buses would have been reduced. The excessive maintenance cost would have been significantly reduced by allowing all garages to competitively tender for maintaining Transport Board buses for six months at a time, with parts being provided free of all duties and taxes. The additional cost to Government would have been $0.00.

From the start of a Solutions Barbados administration, all households would have been trained to start and grow profitable businesses. The additional cost to Government would have been $0.00, since I have been doing this even before I won the 2014 National Innovation Competition. The training would have been facilitated on a national level by CBC-TV.

Once a business became viable, then it could qualify for a micro-loan not to exceed $5,000. The net cost to Government would have been $0.00, since the money was to have been repaid within 2 years.

The secondary school curriculum would have been rearranged, so that the more exciting and easier-to-learn practical aspects of all subjects would have been taught first. Every student would have left school with at least one marketable skill and a profitable small business. The additional cost to Government would have been $0.00.

All non-violent offences would have attracted a fine. Guilty pleas would have attracted a substantially lesser fine. Those who could not afford to pay their fines would have been provided with work. Therefore, we could have properly maintained our infrastructure for a fraction of the cost. The offender would also have learned a marketable skill that they could trade. The additional cost to Government would have been $0.00.

Violent offenders would have been both fined and incarcerated. While incarcerated, they would have been trained to start and grow profitable businesses, with the profits being equally shared between inmates, prison staff, and victims of crime. The additional cost to Government would have been $0.00.

While the additional cost to Government is conservatively stated at $0.00, there is a significant cost saving on most of them, making the comprehensive socio-economic crime policy profitable. Taken together, these policies that we published four years ago, would have allowed bills to be paid legitimately.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and President of Solutions Barbados. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com

Rise of the Uneducated Class

Many issues of the day continue to question our ability to govern. One of them is the health of the National Insurance Fund (NIF). If you listen to the politician while in Opposition, it is a fund under stress. If you listen to the same politician on attaining the office of government, the NIF is described in more positive terms.

For the sober in the crowd there are the actuarial reviews to consider. Successive governments have been unresponsiveness to public inquiry about  releasing the reviews for public consumption in a timely manner. Of equal concern has been the inability of successive governments to ensure the timely release of audited financials to parliament.

Generations of Barbadians have contributed to the NIF to give currency to the tagline – it is our lifeline.  Auditor General report after report detail bad investment decisions taken by successive governments of  National Insurance Scheme (NIS) motivated by pampering and pandering the old boy network. The “investment” of USD60 millions in Clearwater Bay referred to loosely by Barbadians as Four Seasons is one example.

The NIS is one of a handful of state owned entities that should be ring-fenced to protect against the incompetence of the political class.  Judging from all reputable sources of economic data, the inability to adequately govern a 166 square mile, less than three hundred thousand people located in an idyllic geography should be evidence enough.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley and the Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw have signaled in recent weeks that major reform is coming for the education  system. The issue of revamping the  system has been discussed for decades by the more progressive minds. The inability of our leading lights to manage the NIS and the other entities that combine to ensure well functioning organs in the society is an indictment on the current system of edcuation.

Successive NIS Boards, NIS Investment Committees and the ancillary services have been managed by “educated” Barbadians.  The performance of the NIS like the judiciary, like the BWA, like the transportation system, like the waste management system, like the PSV sector etc etc all point to the inability to convert significant investment in education in the post Independence period.

The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) since wining office in May 2018 has aggressively pursued economic strategies to address an economy in free fall.  Interestingly, we have not observed the same urgency to address challenges with the NIS. In fact Prime Minister Mia Mottley hinted that the hesitation to address the NIS problem is rooted in the enormity of the solution required given the future obligations of the fund.

This week it was reported that millions of  Brazilians protested against President Jair Bolsonaro’s plan to privatize the pension plan. The story attracted the attention of this blogmaster because one senses that Barbados will have to implement draconian measures to protect the NIS for the many sooner rather than later. Already President hBolsonaro as suspended several benefits to Brazil’s low income, disabled and senior citizens. Only a few years ago Brazil was considered the emerging economy from the Latam region.

Related links:

Brazil: Bolsonaro to Suspend Senior, Disabled Benefits Programs

Brazil: Millions Protest Bolsonaro’s Neoliberal Pension Reform

The message to Barbadians is that we cannot continue to do the same thing all the time and expect a different result.

BB = P+G (E*SOEs +NG-S)



Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw Makes Shocking Revelation

There has always been consensus by the BU family that at the root of our problems is an irrelevant and dysfunctional education system.  It was therefore important to listen  to Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw as she and her team appeared before the 2019 House Appropriation Debate – Standing Finance Committee OWN the problems with a promise to reform the education system.

It was interesting to note Bradshaw’s assessment of the current education system if compared to her predecessor Ronald Jones. He offered no similar critiques during his lengthy tenure as minister of education. What a difference a general election makes!

A poignant moment came in the presentation when Minister Bradshaw stated that problems identified by the criterion test at 9 years old were not remediated before the child had to do the 11+. It there translated to young children condemned as failures by society. Some may suggest another poignant moment occurred when the Prime Minister asked Chief Education Officer what recommendation would she make to improve the leadership in the schools. Her response will floor you!

Watch Santia Bradshaw, Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training share the challenges and opportunities  faced by her ministry.

A must listen for all Barbadians!


Nursing Program at BCC Falling Short

The blogmaster can recall that in 2010 former Minister of Health Donville Inniss announced a plan to change the nursing program at the Barbados Community College (BCC).  The objective was to ensure that Barbados responded to a shortage of nurses.

Who remembers the public outcry when nurses from the Philippines and elsewhere were recruited at the QEH? The underlying reason for the shortage was that student nurses were failing the Regional Examination for Nurse Registration. Inniss indicated  that a committee would be setup to come up with recommendations to address the issue.

Some of the recommendations reported in the media:-

  • Admission requirements and student intake – no more than 80 students should be admitted annually over the next three years. This would be reviewed at the end of the period.
  • Admission should be considered at three levels – academic requirements, entrance level/proficiency test, and aptitude assessment.
  • All tutors should participate in clinical activities, and a comprehensive examination should be reinstated.
  • The Nursing Council of Barbados has evaluated the General Nursing Programme and has submitted its report to stakeholders,” said Inniss as he listed the changes.

Source: Nation newspaper – Changes for nurse training

In February 2019 Minister of Health Jefferey Bostic was reported in the press that he will be asking for a meeting with the Minister of Health to review the course work at BCC because of a high fail rate by nurses completing the regional examination. The minister’s position is supported by the following news column with a call to recruit nurses from overseas.

The question to our planners is – with the heavy investment in education why do we have to recruit nurses from overseas? What is so difficult about ensuring the nursing syllabus at BCC is aligned with that of the Regional Examination for Nurse Registration?

QEH to look abroad for nurses

Henderson Pinder, Director of Nursing Services at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.


personnel are coming from that institution, Pinder said.

“The Barbados Community College and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital have a partnership in which Barbados Community College offers aspiring nurses with the educational framework to pursue a career in nursing, and the QEH provides BCC nursing students and graduates with internship and job opportunities.”

“However, although many nursing students go on to attain a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the Barbados Community College, many fail to pass Regional Examination for Nursing Registration (RENR). This is a matter which we need to urgently rectify to increase the number of registered nurses available on island.”

Chairman of the QEH’s Board of Management, Juliette Bynoe-Sutherland said: “We also recognize that we retain nurses who work at the QEH by making them feel more valued, recognizing their contribution and addressing matters such as salary, conditions of work, benefits and staff amenities. The Government has committed to providing for upward mobility of nurses as specialist nurses and the QEH will be working closely with the Barbados Nurses Association and Nursing Council to achieve this goal.”

Given the shortage of nurses, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital plans to look overseas.

Director of Nursing Services at QEH, Henderson Pinder, said it was necessary to ensure the continued, safe, patientcentred delivery of nursing services, especially in the Accident and Emergency (A& E) Department.

The need to look outside for nurses has been compounded by those interested in the profession but failed examinations at the regional level after successfully gaining their Bachelor of Science degrees in nursing from the Barbados Community College (BCC).

“Unfortunately, there are not enough critical care trained nurses in Barbados to meet the QEH’s staffing needs. As such, in an effort to fill the establishment, we’ve expanded the search for critical care trained nurses to other jurisdictions,” Pinder told the Sunday Sun.

Nurses are being recruited from St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and the Philippines.

Improve quality

Pinder noted the QEH has been continuously trying to improve the quality of nurses, and recently 29 completed the highly-rated Canadian Triage Acuity Scale (CTAS) training programme. A second cohort of nurses is to benefit from similar training .

In spite of the shortage, the QEH continues to maintain standards which allows it to deal with the dozens of emergency cases which flow through the heavily trafficked A & E Department, Pinder said.

“The nurses of the Accident and Emergency Department are able to provide an excellent standard of care despite the large number of persons who present to the department,” Pinder noted. “In instances when the number of persons who require care overwhelms the A& E’s staff complement, additional staff is deployed to the department and various other surge staffing measures are employed. Even on these occasions, the care given to our patients meets and surpasses the standards of practice for patient care.”

The lack of nurses on an annual basis casts the spotlight on the facility’s ability to draw from the BCC special programme, as it is clear not enough Fail exam

By Barry Alleyne barryalleyne @nationnews.com @barry_nationbb


The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – On Venezuela, Integrity, and Wrongful Conception

Any sensible resolution to the ongoing crisis in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ought, arguably, to go beyond the current simplistic sloganeering of being for “Team Maduro” (Russia, China, Cuba) or for “Team Guaidò” (US, UK and others), depending on the nation’s political interest.

The current situation there is also far more complex than one to which our neutral foreign policy shibboleth of being “friends of all and satellites of none” might apply so as to offer a helpful suggestion, and Barbados patently does not possess the necessary geopolitical clout to be a major player in any final solution. Indeed, it may be reasonably regarded as an issue that we might prudently steer clear of, had it not been for the relative proximity of Venezuela to the Caribbean basin and the high probability of regional contagion from any civil war there.

We might consider aligning ourselves with our CARICOM neighbours, but, even in that body, there exists the identical divisions that exist internationally, each member state’s position being voiced in accordance with its own perceived national interests. As a collective, the region appears to have agreed on a rational call for further dialogue and diplomacy in the matter, although it might be legitimately queried whether the time for this has not already passed. Yet the alternative is too awful to contemplate. Clearly, the immediate outcome will be either a continuation of the existing Maduro regime or a change to an unelected Guaidò-led government.

The paramount consideration in this matter ought to be the best interests of the ordinary Venezuelan people, even if, from a purely legalistic point of view, the rule of law would consider the current Guaidò claim to the presidency nugatory. In this scenario, the issue should ideally be resolved by democratic arbitrament, but Sr. Maduro has already resisted this course. But therein lies the real complexity. How does one replace or install a governing administration outside of the constitutionally stipulated mode of doing so, except by changing the grundnorm, (the supra-constitutional order) which gives that administration its legitimacy? Revolution, (not necessarily violent), an outcome that no one wants, but one that now appears inevitable, usually effects that change.


It might be a commentary, sad or otherwise, on the current state of local social existence when the return of a wallet containing a sum of money found by some schoolchildren goes viral on local social media. Of course, it was a commendable gesture, but I am assuming that it is not widely known that the alternative might have involved each of them in a possible criminal charge of theft by finding, so that their good deed was not only morally right but also the legally correct thing to do.

On Monday last week, four pupils from the Reynold Weekes Primary School found a wallet containing a substantial sum of money and agreed among themselves to give it to the snack vendor in order for her to contact the owner. Not that they did not explore other options –“We had a plan to just leave it…” “We were saying that the money would have benefited us for a long time but then we realized it was wrong to take it…”


At the same time, the honesty of these children should be a teaching moment for many of us, including those public officials for whom the state is currently seeking to establish elaborate and expensive legislative machinery to prevent and control corruption in public life.

It was the youngsters’ conscience and not their knowledge and fear of the criminal law that ultimately dictated their plan of action. Would that our public officials were similarly minded when confronted with the possibility of benefit from corruptly using their office through illegally conferring a benefit on another for reward.

The difference may lie in true education. Here, I am drawn to the words of the school’s principal as reported in another section of the press. He stated, “Education is not only about academia, but it is also about building character…”

Perhaps we should engage in the re-education, as defined by the Principal, of our public officers rather than enacting complex legislation to guide them as to the right thing to do.

The children’s response in this scenario demonstrates clearly that corruption may be grounded in an admixture of selfishness, greed and a lack of concern for the plight of others. In his book, “Born a Crime”, Trevor Noah, the host of the popular “Today Show”, distinguishes between the circumstance where the criminal is aware of the identity of his or her victim and that where he or she is not. In the latter case, there is usually little or none of the remorse or sympathy that might be felt in the former situation. An act of corruption in public life is of the latter ilk; the victim is some remote, unidentifiable entity. Remorse? What remorse?

Wrongful life

Someone or other must have compiled, by now, a volume recounting legal actions brought in the weirdest circumstances. Such as that of the burglar who sued a homeowner for the personal injury he sustained when he fell through the skylight of a home in the course of an attempted burglary. Or the one brought by Mr Vezmar of Austin, Texas who filed action against his date for the cost of the movie ticket after she spent a substantial period of the evening on her phone. According to Vezmar,
“… she used her phone at least 10-20 times in 15 minutes to text and [to]check her messages.” 

Not all weird lawsuits originate in the US, however. During last week, we learnt of an Indian man, Raphael Samuel, who is suing his parents for giving birth to him without his consent and thereby causing him a life of suffering.

I am at a loss as to how this suit should be classified. I am fully aware of actions for wrongful birth, as for example where the parents of an unwanted child sue for the economic loss resulting to them from the birth of the child. There is also the action for wrongful life, brought by the child alone or with the parents on the ground that the child should not have been born. These actions are ordinarily brought against medical authorities that may have been negligent in performing a sterilization operation or in advising as to the success of one.

The suit here though seems to be one for wrongful conception, in that the man is suing both his parents and is complaining that he was created without his consent. In my opinion, this action is doomed to failure. For one, his claim of no consent to his own conception is plainly far-fetched. According to his mother, a lawyer –
“… if Raphael could come up with a rational explanation as to how we could have sought his consent to be born, I will accept my fault..”

For another, the law sets its face, rightly or wrongly, against regarding the birth of a healthy child as an actionable wrong. So that for all of Mr Samuel’s notion that “the world would be a much better place without human beings in it”, based on his belief in anti-natalism –  a philosophy that argues that life is so full of misery that people should stop procreating immediately, it is doubtful that he will find a fellow believer in a temporal court that itself thrives on human existence.


The Grenville Phillips Column – Eyes Wide Shut

Solving crime in Barbados is analogous to a man sitting next to a functioning water faucet and complaining about being thirsty.  However, rather than turning on the faucet, he encourages others to complain with him.

We already know what to do about crime, but we refuse to do it because it is so much easier to simply complain, and commission meaningless studies to make it appear as if we are doing something useful.  We have tolerated the collateral damage for decades, and watched the anguish of crime victims, but we have chosen to do nothing meaningful except talk and complain – why?

We know the root cause of why our students gravitate to a life of crime.  It is primarily because we have designed a school curriculum to make most graduates leave school with no marketable skills.

We know why our school-leavers gravitate to a life of crime.  It is primarily because we have accepted a method of teaching that reinforces the lie that learning complex information is reserved for the few, and that the majority will forever be excluded from that few.

Solutions Barbados has advised both administrations on how to rearrange the school curriculum, so that the easier-to-learn, more exciting practical aspects of subjects can be taught before the more complex theoretical aspects.  Therefore, the entire curriculum will still be taught, but in a way that benefits all students, not just the few.  However, complaining requires significantly less effort.

We seem not to care about the damage that we have done to the self-esteem of most of our school leavers, leaving them vulnerable to being led into a life of crime, drugs and prostitution, because they believe that there is no realistic alternative to acquiring wealth.

We can easily find the drugs and guns if we wanted to, but evidently, we do not want to.  How else can we explain how the least educated school drop-outs can find these illicit things with minimal effort, but our highly trained experts and highly paid consultants claim to have no clue whatsoever.  The simple answer is that they are terrified of exposing what they are likely to find, so they prefer to play it safe and see nothing, rather than suffer the consequences of being courageous and honest.

I cannot blame them for being terrified, but they are solely responsible for their dishonesty.  Anyone who wants to know what the real Barbados is like under the curtain, need only start a political party and run in the next general election, or listen to those who have done so.

The only persons who can meaningfully address Barbados’ crime situation are our Members of Parliament.  They will only do so if they choose to.  For decades, they have chosen not to, and have instead pacified an alarmed public with effective speeches.  Sometimes, the police would be allowed to make examples of a few token criminals.

Solutions Barbados’ policy on the symptoms of crime is to make every offense carry a fine of 10 times its value.  This cost is to be used to compensate the victims and pay for the criminal justice system.  The criminal justice system is designed to serve offenders.  Therefore, they should pay for their service.

Those who plead guilty should not have to pay for a full-service, but a settlement of 3 times the value of the offence.  Those who cannot afford to pay their fines will work them off in providing labour to the nation.  For example, in restoring the Empire Theatre, and other state properties.  Imprisonment is to be reserved for violent offenders and those who choose not to attend work.

Like all effective solutions, these are simple, but not simplistic.  History has shown that simple solutions tend to be initially opposed, but through persistence, the public may eventually benefit.  The unnecessary delays tend to be caused by a small group of individuals who remain in their armchairs, loudly complain, and criticise any measure that either risks their sociopathic emotional high from watching others suffer, or their prominent positions.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and President of Solutions Barbados.  He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com

African Liberation Education (2)

Submitted by Ras Jahaziel

“The events that transpired five thousand years ago, five years ago, or five minutes ago, have determined what will happen five minutes from now, five years from now, or five thousand years from now. All history is a current event.”

-Dr. John Henrik Clarke -–

That global experience that is commonly referred to as “history” effectively divided the world into two distinct regions that can accurately be called White Heaven and Black Hell.

Throughout that history “political correctness” had not yet been invented, so White Satan went to and fro in the broad daylight without a mask, invading, raping, robbing, enslaving, and committing genocide on all continents. And so the present White World Order came into existence.

Read full article on Ras Jahaziel’s website

The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – A Recurring Decimal

The expression used at caption has found its way into the local vernacular to describe not merely the repetition of a number or series of numbers in the dividend such as when 1/3 or 1/7 is converted to decimal form but, less accurately, the too frequent re-emergence of a person or issue. Concerning the latter, I have remarked in this space on more occasions than a few, on the apparent local propensity to raise and re-circulate some matters of public discourse without ever coming to a definitive resolution of them one way or another. As a columnist, I am certainly not complaining since it provides some ready weekly fodder, but it is scarcely effective.

The list is indeed a long one -the policy of the imposition of the death penalty; the decriminalization of homosexual acts between consenting adults; the reform of our defamation laws; the establishment of a freedom of information culture and a condign statute; improved regulation of the privately owned public transportation sector; public and private sector integrity; a Contractor-General; the modern relevance of an Upper House of Parliament; and, finally, today’s topic, the inutility of the common entrance exam, more popularly known as the Eleven-plus or, even more officially and loftily, as the Barbados Secondary School Entrance Examination [BSEE].

Truth to tell, this issue is not as yet entered firmly into the current national discourse, but I read a newspaper report last week, in which my Cave Hill Campus colleague, Professor Joel Warrican, Director of the School of Education, lists this examination first among those conditions that “inhibit the fight of our young citizens to strengthen the resilience of the regional citizenry”. In the report, Professor Warrican appears to be more concerned with the “large proportion of students who do not meet the expected standards and the consequent stratification of the secondary school system created by the manner in which the results of the Common Entrance Examination are used to allocate students to schools, leading to “the marginalization of students who are allocated to ‘bad’ (sic) schools”.

I suppose that the first question that would be asked of the professor is the basis on which a school is to be assessed as “bad”, an adjective that is scarcely ever heard in popular local parlance. I am prepared to concede, however, that there exists in that argot the notion of “good” schools, so it seems conceivable that there must also be, comparatively, some not-so-good and even some bad ones, although it is unclear on what basis these designations are to be made.

As one who believes, errantly or otherwise, that I owe the nature of my current existence largely to my result in the Common Entrance Examination in the late 1960’s, I am naturally inclined to the view that it is the fairest system of transferring youngsters to secondary school, especially given the horror stories recounted of what obtained before, where it was not unknown for some to pass the examination only to fail the subsequent “interview” that was totally unrelated to the child’s academic prowess, but merely to his or her social standing and material comforts. Given my condition at eleven, it is at least doubtful whether I could have passed the interview component, never mind my performance in the academic aspect, hence the existence of my current bias.

Of course, one supposes that the nature and content of the examination itself could be adjusted; for instance, transfer from primary to secondary school might be effected at a later age and the element of continuous assessment by coursework constituting one aspect of the final mark, as now obtains in the regional secondary schools and UWI examinations clearly has a role to play. Concomitantly, the question begs asking, is assessment on the basis of prowess in English language and mathematics only a useful indicator of ability to cope academically at the secondary level?

The truth remains however, that the concept of examination remains the most common mode of determining progress at most levels of education. The first year student in the Bachelor of Laws programme at UWI cannot progress to the second year without having achieved success by examination in a sufficient number of his or her Part One courses, similarly to progress to the third year, and to the first and second years at Law School respectively. One would also have to pass examinations to become a certified butcher, baker or candlestick maker, so the notion of progress by examination is not inherently noisome.

The true problem with the BSEE is not the examination itself, rather it is what populism makes of it. The students who gain top placement in the BSEE are more lauded and feted initially and for a longer period by a fawning press than those who acquire terminal degrees in subjects of national development value. They inevitably become the darlings of their teachers and the parents bask vicariously in the achievement of their offspring, at least until a new cadre replaces the “top ten” the following year.

There is, strangely enough, no similar press follow-up for the BSEE high achiever unless she or she goes on to be a success otherwise. Indeed, the examination itself is made into a national spectacle with televised and newspaper interviews and parents and their young charges after the event, gifts of examination materials, complete with the obligatory news coverage by the ubiquitous politician; and special events put on by local restaurants for those who can afford it. And the outcomes of the BSEE persevere well into adulthood here where many individuals are often described by reference to their secondary school rather than to their tertiary affiliation.

In any ensuing public discourse on this matter, the onus is clearly on those who would seek to replace the BSEE with another form of transfer to propose it and to justify its existence in what is claimed to be a meritocratic polity. Given the current state of affairs, any system that is less objective than an examination arguably runs the risk of being categorized as discriminatory to some among us as the pernicious old “interview”

Will Men Speak out Against Domestic Violence?

Screenshot 2018-12-28 at 19.26.37

Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in US

To prevent and stop violence against women, men in every country on planet earth need to stand up and speak out. Males of all races, religions, and cultures. Married, single, or partnered males. Politicians, police, and preachers. Young, middle-age, or elderly. Males from all socioeconomic backgrounds. All males—everywhere.

Mothers, sisters, and daughters are victims of domestic violence. Wives, live-in partners, and girlfriends are victims of domestic violence. Relatives are victims of domestic violence. Neighbors are victims of domestic violence. Teenagers are victims of dating violence. Children are victims of family violence.

Throughout history it’s been women at the forefront for change at the grassroots level as they marched for police, the courts, and the government to pass and enforce laws to prevent and intervene in family violence.

Where are the male voices? Why aren’t men involved in preventing domestic violence? Will men listen to men?

Now, when it comes to men and male culture, the goal is to get men who are not abusive to challenge men who are,” proclaimed Jackson Katz at TEDxFiDiWomen. He continued, “We need more men with the guts, with the courage, with the strength, with the moral integrity to break our complicit silence and challenge each other and stand with women and not against them.

Journalist for The Guardian, Anna Moore interviewed Patrick Stewart (Star Trek’s Captain Picard) and the Hart brothers at a 2018 domestic violence charity event before they took the stage to speak. Moore asked why these three men are speaking out.

Why? “Because domestic violence is a man’s problem…We are the ones who are committing the offences, performing the cruel acts, controlling and denying. It’s the men,” Patrick Stewart commented after sharing that his father abused his mother.

Why? “To tackle domestic abuse, you need to look at masculinity,” Luke Hart asserted. “Our father’s need for control came from his beliefs on what it means to be a man. I think most men – like me, before this happened – don’t realize how dangerous it is.” In 2016 in a small town in England, Lance Hart shot Claire, his wife, and 19-year-old daughter Charlotte, four days after the women had left him. Both died. Ryan and Luke Hart have become advocates against domestic violence.


A CALL TO MEN is internationally recognized for training and educating men to embrace and promote a healthy, respectful manhood.  The organization’s approach is grounded in the social ecological model, advocated by the Centers for Disease Control, as a framework for primary prevention of gender-based violence.

A CALL TO MEN partners with schools, universities, corporations, government, social service agencies, military installations, communities to end all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls.

A CALL TO MEN educates men all over the world on healthy, respectful manhood.  Embracing and promoting a healthy, respectful manhood prevents violence against women, sexual assault and harassment, bullying and many other social ills.

A CALL TO MEN is a violence prevention organization and respected leader on issues of manhood, male socialization and its intersection with violence, and preventing violence against all women and girls. www.acalltomen.org.

Men that live on all continents in every country and in every home need to speak out both personally and publicly against domestic violence. Men need to speak to men. Fathers need to speak to sons. Now is the time for a planet-wide movement: Men Against Domestic Violence.

Men, are you listening?

Grantley Adam Memorial Secondary School Saga – Every One is Wrong

Submitted by Observing

The recent saga at Grantley Adam Memorial Secondary School has raised much passion and opinions. However, I put a different spin on it today. Everyone’s wrong.

Vendors are allowed to sell at the discretion of the management of the school. If management says not today, not here, not now, then that’s what it is. A process must be followed for order to obtain. The vendors who still sold or came onto property despite being told not to were wrong.

The Principal is the chief cook and bottle washer at the school. He would have been aware of prior arrangements with vendors (i.e. precedent). He sits with the Board to make decisions (i.e should advocate for the good of his students and teachers). He was the one who communicated any decisions to vendors. Yet, he diminished his post to a security guard sitting at a gate running children away. Leaders solve problems. The Principal is wrong.

The Chairman / Board
A Board’s job is to ensure the Minister’s policies are carried out. The Minister via the government is “vendor friendly” and all about “entrepreneurship”. Also, any manager must take into consideration the conditions of the situation he/she manages. Clearly this chairman does not (uh wonder why). Any Board that is comfortable seeing their school dragged through the mud in the press, seeing children agitate and advocate, seeing average women losing money and up to now says nothing….They have have to be wrong.

The Ministry
In an eloquent written press release the Ministry sided with the school. The rule of law must obtain. But, while the rule of law obtains the problem remains. If the Ministry wants to duck behind the law and dodge the REAL issues in this saga, it is clear that they are rightly wrong.

The media
Papers must sell! And so we plaster photos of children on a fence, a Principal with an umbrella and a vendor in tears. BUT, wait a minute. Has the media reported on the connection between the chairman and the canteen concessionaire? Have they outlined the prior arrangements with vendors which sets a precedent? Have they researched or focused on the genuine concerns of the student or look at the impact on the school? Nope. Why bother about these things….papers must sell! The media is wrong.

And lastly the canteen.
Competition drives quality and price effectiveness. The students determined they wanted nothing to do with the canteen. By surreptitiously cutting out the competition without adjustment to operations or communicating with the clients (students), a revolt was all but ensured. I wonder who stands to benefit when the canteen profits. A canteen that’s comfortable being boycotted by students, watching them choose to be hungry, and insisting that the vendors MUST go HAS to be wrong.

When everyone is wrong…when communication goes wrong…when decision making starts wrong…when the motive is wrong……..The children suffer.

Everyone is wrong.

Barbados – More About Pig-food Than Paideia

Submitted by Pachamama

The Black-African trained, philosopher, Plato concluded that Greek education was only ‘fit for pigs’. Another Greek, Socrates, also educated in Kemet, considered paideia, or deep education, as singularly worthwhile. Both Plato and Socrates were educated for decades at the feet of Black-African scholars. From the Pre-Dynastic Period to the 30th Dynasty, these were the inventors of the foundations of all knowledge. For example, the first script known to man, the Medu Netcher.

Modern Barbados represents the pigpen of a Greek miseducation as circuitously routed through the Sumerians, Phoenicians, Romans and Anglo-Saxons, with diversions. So Greek education has become Western education and the stench emanating from its pigpen is now making it impossible for average people to survive, throughout the world.

Any independent observer of world affairs cannot avoid certain fundamental conclusions. These must include the reality that western civilization, if it ever was, is at its nadir. There is indeed an emerging ‘consensus’ that any development beyond this point could only be in the areas of inter-planetary industrialization, 5-G technologies, cyber security, artificial intelligence (AI) etc. All undergird by a vicious, rapacious, financialization of economy as manifested recently by Courts Barbados Ltd establishing a financial arm. Most corporations of any substance now have either a bank, a shadow bank, a hedge fund and/or a finance company to engage in what Sambbo, Ptah, deemed to be ungodly – making money from money. Up to 95% of corporate profits are now coming from investments in financial instruments. Bricks and mortar entities are now, more and more, used in mobilization. Mottley should be aware that crypto-currencies represent a bubble which will be the first to see deep reversals, as has happened already, and they should be avoided at all cost. Also, we see no measurement in her BERT of the galloping de-dollarization movement throughout the world. Since MAM seems to believe herself as the darling of the IMF maybe she should demand to repay them in Barbados dollars.

But for Owen Seymour Arthur (OSA) to suggest a development model of the kind he misled this country with for 14 years borders on treason. For Hilary McDonald Beckles and the UWI, which is the preeminent industrial producer of pig food, according to Plato, to sanctify Arthur’s work with a professorship is worthy of the ultimate fate. Nobody, including OSA or anybody else at the UWI, can explain to the peoples of this region the workings of a financialized economy, yet professorships can be awarded. The elites of our region have never failed to find the flimsiest justifications for their useless existences. Who is not a professor, is a doctor, a legend, a knight, a dame, a QC, a blog master, or some pig shiite! Titles and entitlements are the names of their games; all are useless claims to fame for elite forces on all sides.

And Plato’s pig food has not seeped, it has flooded, the new Barbados Labour Party government of Mia Amor Mottley (MAM), with its, all-powerful, one-party, statist regime, masquerading as democracy. On a point of full disclosure, we must admit that Mottley has brought a distinctively different texture of ‘leadership’ to government. We are afraid however that the early signs seem to indicate that there was no real ‘Mottley revolution’ as Hilary McDonald Beckles self-servingly mouthed days after her resounding electoral victory. What we witnessed was no more than the pig food of political marketing as made infamous by Edward Bernays, Lippmann and their Joseph Goebbels. More worrying is Mottley’s insistence that a team of ‘economic advisors’ led by a Kevin Greenidge, an agent of the Atlanticists, Clyde Mascoll, a man too well-rooted in theories which have delivered antidevelopment to the South and Avinash Persaud, a real-real false ‘professor’, are to be the ‘corporate undertakers’ for Barbados. It is a team which has not a clue about the workings of a degenerative capitalist system or the financialization of economy as an end-stage manifestation. A team which has the temerity to advise the hapless people of Barbados that a BERT plan could bring deliverance, in the medium-term, while failing to adequately measure the impending deep corrections within leading economies which will be worse than 2008 by orders of magnitude, as we have long predicted, and as others are only now starting to say will occur before the end of 2019. Why has a guillotine not been appropriately erected, as an instrument for radical transformation? For the “T’ in BERT is for tinkering! How is it possible to have transformation without the long-denied land appropriation? How could the merchants of pig food, with a straight face, continue to insist that the debt owed our ancestors is to be put at their (his) disposal but never is there a demand for land appropriation? The elites in Barbados are all kef and kin. There are no differences between Beckles, Arthur, Cow Williams, Bizzy Williams, Charles Herbert and Joseph Atherley. They are all the same swine seeking pig food from the public’s purse.

The so-called Leader of the Opposition, Joseph Atherley, is a mature idiot who has tricked the people of Barbados for a higher level of pig food. He obviously sees nothing improper with him being a politically gluttonous pig. But it seems to give his typology of Bajan a kind of perverse self-importance in wanting to pass a law that could limit bloggers from saying that he is a complete ass (whole). It tells you about the eminence of ignorance pervading the parliament of Barbados, a poor-rakey parliament still, according to OSA. Does he not know that it is impossible to so exert pressure on speech in an Internet age, unless you are Google? What could be more disgraceful than he pretending to lead an opposition to a regime to which he is a long-standing member? Indeed, the Mottley victory may well hasten the end of duopoly politics in Barbados. Bajans might have well leaped from the frying pan into the fire. Joseph Atherley provides the quintessential proof of deep crisis within elite forces in Barbados and elsewhere. We should all work to hasten their total demise, by any means necessary. Let’s carry these pigs to market!

TEN Habitat Launches Coding School

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The blogmaster congratulates BU blogger Peter Lawrence Thompson and Ten Habitat for launching a Coding School in Barbados. From all reports it is the first of its kind in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.

Well done!

Related links:

You can see information in these two news articles.

Time to Build Barbados Silicon Valley

Four transformational truths are Timing, Innovation, Strategy and CollaborationThe Elements of Transformation Strategy

There is the proven that individuals and businesses who continually adapt to the environment in which they operate will likely succeed. If we try to fit how the local public sector has been managing its business compared to the private sector and the world it gives currency to the use of the word anachronistic. Prime Minister Mia Mottley has been a frequent user of the word of late.

Unfortunately as part of government’s objective to modernize processes in the public sector, hundreds of low level, low skilled workers have been retrenched. Understandably concerned Barbadians have inquired why send home workers from the bottom if the exercise is about cutting cost? We have to protect the most vulnerable and we will be holding the government to its word that BERT has an adequate safety net included.

Honest Barbadians will admit  however if the public service is to operate efficiently in the current environment there must be a job redesign. We have listened to successive governments braying about improving business facilitation. It is not the fault of the workers although the blogmaster will suggest this is where trade unions- the workers representative- have failed in the last 25 years to strategically add value to the process of nation building.

It is an indictment on the leadership of Barbados that in 2018 government departments still record transactions in ledgers- documents still require the ‘lick’ of a stamp. The blogmaster supports the requirement to urgently transform from the analogue to the digital. Leveraging technology to efficiently deliver services is a no-brainer.  What is difficult to understand is how come successive Barbados governments have invested billions in education per capita and lag scores of other countries that have expended less!

During a recent press conference Sir Hiliary and Eudine Barriteau of the University of the West Indies (UWI) highlighted that the regional university was ranked 591 out of the 1,258 in the  Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings. Of interest is that both of them touched on the ‘technology and innovation park‘ which is promised to open in Bridgetown in January 2019.

In the link provided we are informed the facility will house classes to support a Bsc. Software Engineering degree programme and also technology start-up bushiness to conduct research and development in conjunction with students at the UWI. She also revealed that talks have started with Gabriel Abed of Bitt Inc about supporting new tech start ups.  Beckles also shared this is being done with the cooperation of Chinese Universities.

In BU’s most recent blog – Senator Rawdon Adams Sobering Intervention in the Debt Restructure Debate  Adams asked what kind of Barbados do we need to build now that we have dismantled what was to deliver on the kind of life we want (words to this effect).
Barrow presided over an agrarian economy, Tom Adams shifted to a mix of agrarian and services and Owen Arthur went the whole hog by switching out to a services economy. Given the suspicion how the world views jurisdictions that provide services for international business companies there is clearly an urgent requirement to incorporate new business lines to diversify and hopefully spur economic growth. Feedback so far is that the RERE programme is only a baby step in the right direction, it has to go a lot further.  Making Bridgetown a smart city is a Barbados Labour Party (BLP) manifesto promise. Ronald Jones had responsibility for Human Development and innovation. What was achieved in this regard is not worth mentioning. Pushing more ‘coding‘ in schools is a national imperative.
Although mentioning China is a hot button word for many- a hegemonist is a hegemonist- a look at how it has been integrating technology to create opportunities for its people is instructive.


Elombe Mottley Speaks!

BabaElombe Elton Mottley posted the following text to his Facebook page a couple weeks ago. The lack of focus on the Arts by successive governments continues to be of interest to the blogmaster. Why? We boast on a daily basis that our people are our greatest asset, yet, we do close to nothing to develop the Arts (The blogmaster exerts editorial license to expand the definition of the Arts to include Sports).

Governments of Barbados continue to allocate billions to the education budget annually, however. show a reluctance to to create the opportunity to harness and release the cultural expression of the people.  Surely there is a case to be made against successive governments for suffocating the cultural expression of Barbadians?

-David, blogmaster


Restoration of the Empire is a must. To refurbish the building, replace seating, outfitting with sound and video equipment, etc, will not be a priority at the moment as I see it. Unfortunately it has a seating capacity of under 800 seats. Years ago when I was involved, the seating capacity was to be extended to about 1200. In order to do that and also to provide a larger stage, dressing rooms and storage, it would have been necessary to utilize the space behind the building. Unfortunately, the same government of the day allowed the construction of the building behind the Empire. There may still be enough room to do that and should be considered. The Globe theatre has a seating capacity close to 1200, but has no access to parking. Same problem with the Empire.

Government investment and ownership of buildings used by its populace leaves much to be desired. Government does not depreciate its investment in buildings, nor does it provide for maintenance. I invite you to go up behind and around the museum and see the abandonment of those buildings allowing them to fall apart. [CHECK THE NUMBER OF BUILDINGS IN BRIDGETOWN AND ACROSS THE NATION, the buildings that are not maintained, government owned lands that are over-run by bush while the possibilities of involving the country to participate in the production of our own food is ignored.

Let me highlight some of the stupidity of the governments of Barbados.

Why would you refurbish the Daphne Joseph Hackett Theatre, install an unnecessary elevator, remove the rehearsal building, the former kitchen area, removed the old stable which was also used as a rentable gallery for artist. Now why should the NCF charge $2500 to use the theatre? That amounts to $12.50 a seat before you advertise. Is this any way to promote the development of the arts? The capacity is under 200 seats. On top of that, there are the taxes to be paid on that. Are we serious about the development of the Arts?

When I set up years ago the National Cultural Foundation, I insisted on having a maintenance department – I had all of Queen’s Park, Community Centres island wide, and maintenance of the equipment coming out of CARIFESTA 1981.

Who does the maintenance of the facilities? Is it going to be farmed out to political hacks? Let me give you an example. I received a notice from a Permanent Secretary to hire some company to treat all the facilities managed by the NCF that would cost the NCF $15,000. I responded and pointed out we treated our buildings for less than $2.00 per facility because we had a program in place. I heard nothing more from the Ministry.

If government does not have a plan to restore some of these heritage buildings, why don’t they offer the public long term leases (30+ years). The lessee could restore the buildings and use them rent free for20 – 30 years with all the rights. Maybe a company can do the restorations and rent out the properties!

Back to the start. It makes no sense for government to restore these buildings and then make it impossible to be used by the artists of the country. Anyhow, for a population of under 300,000 people, how to we maximize the benefits for all our citizens. I mean all, all, all. GOVERNMENTS MUST STOP RIPPING OFF OUR COUNTRY…..PERIOD.

The NCF is not only a producer of Festivals as I keep hearing. Festivals are important to identify and provide channels for our youth to develop. Performance is the rewardable process of measuring our development. This process cannot be treated willy-nilly.

Ask yuh self a few questions. How come the NCF is short of money and yet Radio stations over the years can give away cars and the NCF has not been able to upgrade its sound and lighting equipment?

Why was the community development officers detached from the program of strengthening the development of communities and using the services for the development of the arts from the community level?

I want to draw your attention to some facts.

Every radio and television service in Barbados MUST give Government (and its agencies) 10% of its broadcast time for its use. This amounts to 2.4 hours a day. This is part of the license. These same stations use the products of the NCF to make enough money to buy cars and give them away yet some of them want to object to the NCF using this time to develops Governments development programs. Without the programs of the NCF, none of them would be able to generate that audience nor would they be able to give away cars.

When I set up the NCF, it was actually the Ministry of Information that had responsibility for the Community Development department which was absorbed into the NCF to organize the workshops and research in various communities. The technical officers (dance, music, art, writing, et al) organized the content, and the persons to teach these workshops. Most of the time, local artists were used and paid to run these programs. We also used all of the content of various ministries to provide information and education to the communities thru the use of qualified persons to speak on the topics developed by those institutions.

Let me state clearly, I am not looking for any job in any form or fashion. However I know from experience that there is too much ad hoc planning on the continued development of Barbados. What makes an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, 166 square Miles, and less than 275,000 people, rated #9 in the world in Education by the World Economic Council, and we continue to devalue ourselves with foolishness.

Racketeering at any and every level in Barbados must stop and that includes the NCF if such exists. Newspapers, Radio Stations, the TV station, bloggers, must reflect more on the development of the country. There are too many areas that does not require government’s involvement. How many reviews of plays, concerts, books, musicals, and performances are covered in any of the 3+ newspapers, the Radio stations including GIS, on TV of various internet channels, dot com sites, on Facebook social media, et al? These are important to the artists/performers and offer critical assessment of their work. There are many people in Barbados who can do these reviews. Why isn’t it being done? Why are the creative people – musicians, actors, dancers, writers, performers, et al so silent on these needs? Are the owners and editors so removed from the society in which they live, work, play, raise children and families that all of them hat the food for development and the achievement of excellence is a real and important aspect of our total development. The editors, owners and general manager got to do better than what they are doing now.

Ah gone.

Low CXC Grades – A Cause for Concern


Submitted by Felicia Dujon, Director of the Caribbean Mentorship Institute

The Caribbean Examination Council recently announced that over 11,000 pupils across the region who wrote the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Exam (formerly O’levels) last May/June got no passes. The Caribbean Mentorship Institute has also raised concern on this alarming disclosure.

The institute which advocates and conducts research on Caribbean youths has observed an increasing trend of high school dropouts among male students as well. Ms. Felicia Dujon, the Director adds that “ though the figures are alarmingly high- we must consider that each fail grade is a young person who is failing academically. This raises serious concerns for the development of young persons in our region. The question remains whether we are making the impacts that are necessary for their growth and development. Are our curriculums preparing our students for future development? What alternative forms of education can these young persons have access to which will enable them to succeed economically and as contributing citizens. Too many of our young males are high-school drops out, and it is more alarming when it is occurring at the primary school level.

The Institute advises government and education officials to include vocational and mentoring programs in schools which will assist young men and women to have the additional support which is needed for their academic development. They observe that failing grades can contribute to low esteem and deviant behaviours if not addressed effectively. The Institute adds that according to research, Dr. Robert S. Byrd, an Associate Professor of Clinical Paediatrics, Division of General Paediatrics, University of California at Davis, Sacramento, California notes that failure in school can have lifelong consequences. The causes of school failure are myriad and often multiple within individual students who are struggling academically. Social, behavioural, and emotional problems frequently lead to academic difficulties. Health conditions also can impair academic performance. One in five children who repeats a grade in school has some identifiable disability. Irrespective of its cause, school failure is associated with adverse health outcomes. Children who fail in school are more likely to engage in subsequent health-impairing behaviours as adolescents. Failing students also are more likely to drop out of school. Adults who have no high school education often face limited economic opportunities, but they also are more likely to engage in health-impairing behaviours, to experience poor health, and to die at a younger age. Comprehensive approaches to evaluation and intervention may improve outcomes, and health care practitioners should play a vital role in these assessments. Moreover, clinicians can make a significant difference in outcomes by helping families identify the causes of failure and advocate for the resources to alter a child’s downward academic trajectory, preventing further compromise of a child’s health. Paediatric clinicians also should assess and intervene in risk behaviours of failing students. School readiness promotion and school failure prevention should be incorporated into routine health supervision visits.