Submitted by Neil Watchman
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.
Submitted Neil Watchman
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.
Submitted by The Mahogany Coconut Think Tank and Watchdog Group
Laurie King, Chief Education Officer
The Mahogany Coconut Group (MCG) is concerned that Barbadian school children, can go to the Ministry of Education and have a legitimate punishment enforced by their school’s principal, overturned by a civil servant! Such a travesty occurred recently, when a group of school children turned up at the Ministry of Education, and succeeded in getting a senior ministry official, to overrule the punishment imposed on them, by their principal, for frequently being late in arriving at school.
What transpired sets a very ugly and dangerous precedent that will most certainly, result in far reaching negative effects on the dispensation, of discipline in our schools. The unbelievable actions of the civil servant, dealt a very low blow, to the principal. We know for a fact that many principals are now contemplating if it is worth their while to discipline students.
This brazen assault on our educators is a trademark of both the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party. It is now very clear to all concerned that when party supporters from either side are placed in powerful positions, their inability to understand their job description becomes a major problem.
Submitted by Anthony Davis
Donville Inniss – Minister of Commerce, and International Business
“The Freundel Stuart administration says it is sticking to its guns to make Barbadian students at the University of the West Indies start pulling their pockets for tuition fees from next year even though welcoming a new private sector fund to bail out those who cannot afford to pay…The firm position was taken today by Minister of Commerce, and International Business, Donville Inniss, while launching a new charity known as Global Education Scholastic Trust…Inniss said the Government had done the right thing in the circumstances of the economic climate, and would carry through with it…It is not easy for me as a politician that would have taken in recent debates to reduce fees at UWI with effect from 2014, but it is one of those things we felt we had to do, and we stand by that decision.”
What else can one expect from an uncaring Government, whose scions – and probably their scions’ scions – have had a free education at the UWI Cave Hill Campus? The motto of this Government is now “after me the deluge”! Is this the same Government that Minister Blackett called people-centred? I guess he means centred around the 16 DLP Government MPs, but night runs till day catches it!
Minister Inniss can spare us his crocodile tears!
You do not have money for our students at UWI Cave Hill, nor for the QEH, but you have millions of dollars in waivers – including one for food and beverage which no hotel has had before – to throw at a multi-millionaire named “Butch” Stewart, although he took over a hotel here and promised to develop and refurbish it so that Barbadians could get work, but absconded leaving it to moulder and the iron in it to rust! This left those who had hopes of getting a job there up the creek without a paddle! “Is that “the right thing in the circumstances of the economic climate”, Minister Inniss?
Submitted by Pachamama
“No recognition of the thief, genocide and character assassination of the Tianos, the Kalinagos and other indigenous peoples” – Photo Credit: Wikipedia
As we approach the season before the silly season we can expect the regular public diatribes from officialdom as they seek to immortalize a constructed past and present an unmeasured guidance for their fairy tale visions of the future. The hard truth has been, is and will be that Barbados since 1627 has never been an independent country and may, never will be. We now know that the most influential factor in Barbados’ independence was the CIA pressure on Britain to relinquish its colonies worldwide, as evidenced by recent Freedom of Information Act disclosures. Right away we have to reassess claims about the ‘fathership’ of this so-called independence project. We also have to ask ourselves some other searching questions.
What kind of an independent country can be properly built on the bones of the indigenous peoples of this region in circumstances where, within the body politic, there is no recognition of the thief, genocide and character assassination of the Tianos, the Kalinagos and other indigenous peoples who lived on this here land for millennium before White people even knew the world was not flat. They descendant are still amongst us.
What kind of an independent country will allow 180 years to past after the most egregious crimes to be committed against African peoples, and indeed all of humanity, and for those crimes to be taken as a normal way of doing business, as though they never occurred. A business which initially ‘globalized’ the functions of corporations.
Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union
Barbadians have proven once again that we live in a society where the vast majority of us prefer to bury our heads in the sand. The furore, created by the publication of a story about two school children having sex at school, has given me the impression that too many people preferred not to find out about this in a public forum. That would have allowed them to continue to delude themselves that all is well in our schools.
I must admit that the Nation could have been a bit more restrained in its delivery of the story. But I believe that it is high time that the decadence that is being nurtured, in our schools, is exposed. When children go to school, they ought not to be exposed to illicit sexual behaviour, either as a participant or spectator. Unfortunately, when instances of serious bad behaviour are discovered, the authorities go into cover up mode ostensibly to protect the good name of the school. It would appear that little thought is given to the welfare of the affected children or the law when they investigate and deal with school-based child sexual abuse and other crimes.
Over the years, there have been many reports of little school girls being introduced to sex far too early by their teachers. The method of dealing with these matters vary, but in most cases, the perpetrators get away with a slap on the wrist, and are allowed to continue their activity until they are caught again or retired.