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……

Education, Educator and the Masses

Submitted by Cherfleur

In the High Court of Judicature Barbados Community College (BCC) was established in 1968. FIFTY-TWO RH years and BCC does not know that they have a contract with each student. They do not know that their Hand Book forms part of the contract.

Pray tell, if all these educators with MSc and MAs and PhDs do not know that but are purporting to educate their population what would the end product or the population be?

Mercy, mercy, me!

BCC does not know that electives mean that students must freely choose the courses. BCC does not know that what they advertise forms part of the contract and to not deliver what they advertise is a Breach of Contract, false Advertising and liable for action under
tort. BCC advertising, Hand Hook and all/none of its literature bore no caveat emptor. It is a good thing BCC has a Paralegal program in its offerings and teaches or attempts to teach Business Law in some of their other programs.

BCC does not know its Graduation Requirements in its entirety or they have forgotten it along the way.

BCC does not understand the operations of its own Grade Appeal or they tried to maliciously subvert it and discriminate against a customer.

BCC does not know or had forgotten that their students are in fact customers and that the Consumer Protection Act governs how they treat their customers or in fact what they offer and how they choose to offer that which they purport to offer.

BCC does not care when their customers take in ill with life threatening medical conditions on their campuses that they have the duty of care to get that customer to the nearest hospital or medical facility immediately.

Oh dear no!

BCC for 52 RH years was operating like an island in the sea of all other educational institutions in the whole wide world (www).

BCC trump up this funny fishy practice, which they arbitrarily stuck into their Hand Book that authorize them not to refund Caution Fees after one year of departure from the college.

BCC, a learning institution does not know that they cannot arbitrarily decide on and institute matters as this without the individual customer agreeing to this. Now how deh geh dah do?

I do not want to say BCC is a liar, I believe they were just “hignorant”. But there is price for ignorance especially when it is cloaked with arrogance. So BCC has to answer to all the above and much much more…win or lose.

Somebody or “bodies” should be fired for allowing this complaint to get to the High Court
especially after 5 years of pleading and an adjournment with opportunity to resolve amicably.

This is egregious.

It is grievous.

Barbados Community College (BCC) Standards Plummet

Submitted by Neil Watchman

The Barbados Community College has managed to gain a meagre two scholarships of the total of 45 scholarships and exhibitions awarded. Not surprising, since the Minister of Education has made it clear by his periodic mouthings, that the Sixth Form School is the way to go.  Of course, the big winner is the Caribbean Examination Council, whose CAPE exams these sixth form students will be preparing.  Good for them and their parents.

In the meantime, the BCC has been limping along, neglected and for evermore under-resourced even in good financial times. Its main asset has been its dedicated teachers who have given beyond the call of duty.   Not the same, though with its senior administration (Principal, Deputy principal and Registrar) which, with a mix of appointees by seniority and political affiliation, has yet to constitute a stable, competent team to handle the running of the institution.  We are told that the College is currently without a principal as Dr. Austin, who was appointed some eighteen months ago, has not sought reappointment.  In other words, folks; the College has gone through two principals in as many years.

In 2016, the institution applied to the Barbados Accreditation Council for registration. We understood that this is the phase that precedes accreditation. Members of the public, I am sure, will be surprised to learn that the BCC is not an accredited tertiary institution; for all its fifty or so years of contributing to the higher education, it has not yet met muster.

Added to this, powers in the Ministry of Education, for various reasons, have always treated the BCC as a second-class academic tertiary institution after UWI.  That is, until now that university fees have increased prohibitively putting the vision of “a graduate in each household” in jeopardy.

We believe that blame for this state of affairs can be laid fairly and squarely on back of the series of lame-duck Principals and Deputy Principals that have been appointed over time; people without any management training to speak; people who simply administered the system but had no vision of where it could and should go.   The last two Boards under Stephen Broome hired a number of top level staff including a Building and Facilities Manager, a Human Resources Manager and a Chief of Security.  As a local visitor to Carifesta, you cannot help but notice the new signage and new toilet facilities.   Kudos to Building and Facilities.

But the governance system has not kept pace with the physical improvements.  Sources indicate that the Human Resources Manager position has turned over twice in the last three to five years, the most recent resignation being effective earlier this month.

Of greater concern is academic governance which is in such a state of affairs, that the Barbados Accreditation Council, we have been told, has granted the institution a one year registration rather than the normal three year period.

We have also learned that several factors contribute to this state of affairs. One of the most crucial, that could go some way in explaining the dismal performance on Barbados Scholarships this year, is the downward adjustment of its grading system.  According to the BCC Student Handbook, which until recently was available online, the institution moved its pass mark from 50% to 45% in 2011. To my mind this is a backward step but one which was evidently okayed by the Board of Management which can hardly be expected to do better, given that it is virtually a one-man affair.

We are also learning that the College has made its provisions for so-called supplemental exams so generous that all a student has to do is earn about 40% to be eligible.  Also, if the student has missed a final examination, he or she can also “do a sup” as the students like to say.  There are no controls over, for example, on whether a student missed an examination for valid reasons, such as illness; once the student finds a sympathetic ear, he or she can find a Tutor or a Senior Tutor and command a supplemental examination.

So, if you are looking for a good reason why the BCC’s performance in the recent scholarships has been so dismal, look no further than the state of their academic governance.

As a tax paying parent and a past student of the BCC, I find it hard believe that it has sunk to this state and apparently is still sinking, if the reports coming out of  the institution are anything to go by.  The impression we get is that academic discipline and student behaviour have been at an all-time low. Reports of drug use and general uncouthness to tutors have also been on the increase over the last year or two.

Perhaps the BCC is ripe for investigation by an independent commission so that tax payers can get some feel for how their ever increasing tax dollar is being spent at this institution. Until the BCC gets its house in order, parents are perhaps better off sending their children to Dr. Browne’s Sixth Form College or one of the increasing number of sixth form schools that our good friend, Mr. Ronald Jones, has set up.

BCC Staff “in the Dark”

Submitted by Neil Watchman
Stephen Broome, Chairman of BCC

Stephen Broome, Chairman of BCC

BCC staff members are still in the dark as to why after three top posts Principal: Deputy Principal and Registrar, were advertised in November 2015, no one has been appointed to any of these posts. Of course, only in two of these appointments does anyone seriously expect any surprises. The Board wasted no time in giving Mr. Roger Worrell, a well known DLP supporter, an acting appointment to the post of Registrar. Anyone who knows Barbados well would understand what will happen next.

With regard to the post of Deputy Principal it is anybody’s guess. Someone once commented that the BCC has never had any Deputy Principal worth shouting about. The current acting incumbent is Head of Computer Studies, a department which he has managed to run into the ground so that far from being a Division with excess applications it is now under-patronized and private sector companies that once snapped up graduates of this department now speak disparagingly of it.

In stark contrast, staff of the UWI Open Campus have been enlightened since 2015 because they have received a letter explaining that the Board of the BCC has requested that Dr. Ian Austin be released on secondment to assume the post of principal of the Barbados Community College. I wish to query the wisdom of this move by the Board.

My beef with the appointment of Dr. Austin is not personal; it is principled. How so? Anybody who has seriously studied the fiasco that was UCB (of which the BCC was an integral part) knows that it was betrayed by double-crossing sycophants like Bobby Morris – excuse me! – His Excellency Robert Morris, a cast of UWI hypocrites – yes UWI – who sat on the various committees and one Patrick Rowe (former head of the UCB project office) who, if the Anansi stories are have any moral at all, would be better off cloning himself so that he could hopefully finish anything that he is put in charge of or initiates. Careful analysis will show that once the UCB project was sabotaged, the UWI, always behind the BCC with regard to the development of curriculum, seized the initiative and ran with it like Usain Bolt.

Dr. Austin is head of the Open Campus which competes directly with the BCC. It is no secret to those who are in the know that the OC tried to duplicate many of the programmes run by the BCC. Of course they failed miserably at first but thanks to shrewd marketing viz. advertising, they have convinced many that they are doing well.

One could understand if Dr. Austin had had good reason to leave the OC for example, because of a falling out with the UWI hierarchy or some similar reason. The letter, however, states that he is to be hired on a secondment basis; in simple terms this means that at the end of whatever period he will be returning to the OC. What he will do with the intimate knowledge of BCC gained during his secondment there can be guessed by anyone with a morsel of common sense, except maybe, the BCC Board- which effectively is Mr. Reginald Broome, head of Systems Caribbean.

Are we being unfair to Mr. Broome! Absolutely not. How do you: (a) cause the Fine Arts department in an institution like the BCC to lose a cool 1/4 million dollars in overseas grant financing (2) bungle the firing of the last incompetent principal (3) preside over the Nigerian students fiasco and now (4) hire your competitor on terms that appear inimical to your interest and still qualify as having common sense? My Sweet Lord!

But can we really blame Mr. Broome? Not really. Blame must rest fairly and squarely on the shoulders of the Minister of Education, Ronald Jones and by extension, Mr. Freundel Stuart who does not have the guts to move the demon-chasing, shallow-minded, half-literate alleged transvestite that inhabits the post of Minister of Education and who has allowed the BCC to be run into the ground. What Mr. Jones needs is for the ghost of Errol Barrow to haunt him every night all the way to Garrison Savannah where he may find some reprieve in the company of people like Muscle Cat! Mr. Freundel Stuart, on the other hand, has gotten more than he ever expected and is not prepared to jeopardize it! But I digress.

If Dr. Austin does take up the position at BCC I can only wish him well. He is going to need it with the likes of Mr. Broome who needs to spend some quality time on the couch of one of our best shrinks with the aim of ridding himself of the control issues which he has. And what about resources? Unless the Board has been holding out on the BCC staff, or worst still, “redirecting funds” due to the institution, then Dr. Austin will have a real challenge instituting systemic quality in the institution. (Frankly, I would wager on “redirecting funds” because this would easily explain why the BCC has gotten a campus wi-fi but other infrastructure such as toilets, windows, doors, air-conditioning and simple electrical sockets remain untouched).

Of course, my analysis could be all wrong and it may be that Dr. Austin will not return to the OC. In that case, more power to BCC!

Government and Building a Society–BCC Part-time Workers Not Paid

Submitted by Anthony Davis on 25/12/2014

“NEARLY 200 PART-TIME members of the academic staff of the Barbados Community COLLEGE (BCC) are singing the blues this Christmas. With just 24 hours to go before Christmas day, the workers say they still have not been paid for services performed in November”Nation Newspaper 24/12/2014

First, let me ask a simple question. I only attended Brumley – and not for long – so please bear with me. Is it remotely possible that I will pick up a Nation, read BT or BU online or listen to CBC evening news, and not hear/read about something which is detrimental to some section of the tax payers of this country and attributable to this “people-centred” Government?

It was the BAPO yesterday who were not paid. Today it is the teachers at the BCC!

The irony of this all is that the Minister of Finance – the best one in the world – is being paid thousands of dollars monthly  from the taxes of the said people he neglects to pay. He and the other people who make up this Government do not have a care in the world, because their money is secure.

How do you expect people to work on hungry stomachs?

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National Union of Public Workers Blowing HOT Air

Submitted by HAMILTON HILL
General Secretary of the National Union of Public Workers, Dennis Clarke, addressing Barbados Community College staff after Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer Suckoo agreed to hear their grievances. At left is Walter Maloney, president of the union. (Picture by Lennox Devonish.)

Dennis Clarke, addressing Barbados Community College – picture by Lennox Devonish

On this a brisk and dreary first of November morning on Long Island the obvious change in the temperature dictates a change in the way one spends a day off from work in say July, August or even September. Too cold and surely much too windy to rake leaves, I  have a built in excuse for the mistress as to why perusing social media has taken precedence over the chores called yard work, for me more appropriately labelled as punishment. After checking email my first stop is always BU but through the need to see an obituary of someone for whom my appreciation knew no bounds, I headed straight to

It was there that I saw the headline “Shocker For NUPW.” Captioned beneath the headline was a picture of workers paying rapt attention {and I wondered for the life of me why} to their general secretary Dennis Clarke. As I read the story I was taken aback by the report that this union was at a loss as to why the management and board of the Barbados Community College was being disrespectful towards it. Going downhill it suggested. Again I was taken aback for not only had the door been left ajar for quite sometime but the horse had long bolted and cleared that and a few other hills as well. “It is scandalous” Dennis Clarke was quoted as saying. Right here is where this writer made the connection. Dennis Clarke the general secretary of the NUPW and the character known as Eric Exhaust in the popular Power Master Batteries commercial may well be one and the same. Always blowing hot air. Where was this righteous indignation earlier when the onslaught was unleashed upon those with the least capacity to fend it off?

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Barbados Community College Principal Divides to Conquer

Submitted by Neil Watchman
Minister of Education Ronald Jones (l) Dr. Gladstone Best, Principal of the BCC

Minister of Education Ronald Jones (l) Dr. Gladstone Best, Principal of the BCC

In December last year, it was rumoured that the Principal of the BCC, Dr. Gladstone (Gallstone) Best had decided to abolish the general staff meeting held on the first day of semester and instead, hold individual meetings with the various Divisions.  That was no rumour; to date the  Principal has held surreptitious meetings with two such Divisions: the Division of Commerce and the Division of General Education.  On both occasions outspoken tutors in either Division grilled him on this move and other matters. The lame duck CPAC (so-called College Planning and Advisory Committee) has requested (N.B. not “demanded”) that the meetings be restored.

By this act of ‘division’ the principal has effectively fractured an institution already alienated both in nomenclature and in spirit in order to maintain his tenuous position.  It is now recognized that his action was taken to preempt a planned motion of no confidence against him, a move advocated by some of the more militant members of staff.

The once-a-semester meeting allowed current members to meet new staff, hear about retirements, academic achievements etc. explanations for any contentious issues and keep staff up to date on pending actions.  Of course, staff members have used this occasion to vent their frustration with the administration (aka the Principal) which has come under increasing fire for a string of malfeasances ranging from late payments to staff (the Principal is chief Finance Officer according to the BCC Act)  to the dire state of the physical plant to deteriorating security.

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Barbados Community College Conversation Continued…

  Barbados Community College Government and Politics 100 Outline.

Barbados Community College Government and Politics 100 Outline

Please find attached an image of partial course outline for Government and Politics 100 [allegedly] issued by Walthrust-Jones to Government & Politics students.  I emphasize this is not part of the official outline but is attached by WJ as though it IS part of the outline. Please observe the two notes I have made (1 and 2). These stipulations are inconsistent with the academic regulations and are therefore illegal:

  1. A student cannot get an F simply because he has not submitted all course work. In stead a temporary Grade I is assigned.
  2. An individual teacher cannot simply debar students from taking an exam.

The above was submitted by Neil Watchman.

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Destabilization of the Barbados Community College (BCC)

Submitted Neil Watchman
Stephen Broome, Chairman of BCC

Stephen Broome, Chairman of BCC

There is growing concern among staff at the Barbados Community College where the Board or more accurately, the Chairman, seems to have developed a tight stranglehold on the institution. Staff cannot recall there ever being such a high level of politicization at the institution until the advent of Mr. Stephen Broome who served first as Deputy Chairman and is now in his second term as Chairman.

Some, perhaps out of fear, believe that the Chairman’s mission is to destabilize the institution as a precursor to the Government’s phasing it out. They point to the recent spate of sixth forms set up by the MOE headed by Ronald Jones in support of this supposition. This, coupled with the imposition of higher fees on UWI students from 2014 makes for a very confusing educational policy. One could be excused for thinking that the Government would have put more resources into the BCC but then again, if it didn’t do that when things were well, one cannot expect them to do it in these dire times. So what? Such confusion and contradictions seem symptomatic of the Freundel Stuart administration, anyhow.

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