Tag Archives: Education

Innovation Wanted

Innovation WANTED!

Innovation WANTED!

BU’s favourite caller to a popular talk show made the point recently – those who contribute significantly to political campaigns and political parties are the ones who consume scarce foreign exchange. These are the companies and individuals described as wholesalers and retailers who patrol and control the political landscape of Barbados. BU’s favourite caller was provoked to respond to well known self confessed political financier Leron Gibbs. Gibbs is known as one of the political shapers who has funded Peter Wickham CADRES polls.

If we want to increase our foreign exchange earning capacity we have to target growth areas designed to deliver the result. In a climate where limited resources exist, both time and financial, one has to decide for example if to priortise tax concessions to a Cost-U-Less compared to a professional or company in the export sector. It continues to be an embarrassment ignorant politicians allow an obvious a strategy to incent export oriented businesses to be compromised because of greed and political expediency.

At the root of our problem in Barbados is an inability to embrace innovation to affect how we do things. Now required in a global space which demands it to be competitive.  A comment posted to the Innovation NOT Being Taught in Schools by BU Newbie Dee Word is recommended reading:

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Prudent UWI Correction

Submitted by Douglas
It has always contemplated some students assuming responsibility for their education at some stage

“It has always contemplated some students assuming responsibility for their education at some stage”

It is the duty and the responsibility of the Government to ensure that the resources of the country are spent in the most prudent manner. In a situation where the resources are already under pressure, government has to take the tough decision to ensure the viability of the service being offered. The area of education has been one of the areas where Government has taken the decision that an intervention was necessary to halt a runaway budget before it collapsed the entire educational system.

In the presentation made to the DLP’s Annual Conference, Prime Minister Stuart articulate what has been the DLP’s longstanding policy as it relates to UWI education:

“One area in which the stridency was very evident was that related to the contribution by student to the cost of their education at the University.

This measure, in which government still continues to meet 80% of the cost, was described variously as a declaration of war on the poor, a cutting back of the opportunities available for persons to access university education, a repudiation of Errol Barrow’s legacy, and an attempt to undermine the viability of the university itself…

The response of the Democratic Labour Party in government to this particular challenge has a history which needs to be told.

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Who Offers Free Education Anyway

Submitted by Douglas
Barbados is one of the very few countries in the whole world that offered free education at the nursery, primary, secondary and tertiary levels

Barbados is one of the very few countries in the whole world that offered free education at the nursery, primary, secondary and tertiary levels…

Saw this important news item on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) – channel 703 MCTV – today, and I immediately went on the internet and found more.

Persons, especially that small group of intellectually bankrupt lecturers at Cave Hill (including some Barbadians) who use their privileged position (at the tax payers expense) to daily bad-mouth the government under the guise of erudite instruction, and the “strangers within our gates” at that place, as well as the clearly adversarial columnists with their jaundiced views, the pseudo social commentators and the tabloid lead writers who feed their listeners/readers a constant diet of pessimism and doom and gloom, should see this.

Of course, Barbados is one of the very few countries in the whole world that offered free education at the nursery, primary, secondary and tertiary levels; and, it’s not the first to ask university students to make a contribution towards their education.  Canada, a prosperous developed country has been doing this for years, and has continuously increased fees.
Have a read below.

Ontario Students to pay Highest Tuition Fees for four more years, report says

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UWI Cave Hill Takes a Hit

Submitted by Anthony Davis
Enrollment at UWI, Cave Hill affected by government's policy to exact tuition cost from students.

Enrollment at UWI, Cave Hill affected by government’s policy to exact tuition cost from students.

“Not a single one!

That was the reaction of a senior official at the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies in response to SUNDAY SUN questions whether any students had turned up with proof of having received one of the thousands of bursaries promised by Government eight weeks ago.

On July 12, while speaking at an official ground-breaking ceremony at the campus, Minister of Education, Ronald Jones, disclosed: “Young people have been saying you need to do more to help us over the threshold now that we’ve made the adjustment in tuition fees and we are committed to that. In the first few years, we will do some 3000 bursaries to help those with challenges and this has already been agreed to.

“We can say with the greatest of accuracy that not one person who has registered has brought any document or payment showing they have received a bursary from the Ministry of Education, and as far as I am aware the university has received no correspondence from the ministry indicating that any bursaries have been awarded,” the official said on condition that he not be identified.

“On August 29 Minister Jones revealed that 1695 people had applied for bursaries to cover tuition fees and officials of his ministry were processing them, after which he would take the matter to Cabinet for “sign off”. Well placed sources in the ministry told the SUNDAY SUN they were unaware of any paper being taken to Cabinet on Thursday, the last time  Cabinet sat. Repeated attempts to reach Jones for a comment were unsuccessful.”

Well, well, well!

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Time to Revolutionize Schools in Barbados, Everywhere Else!

Submitted by Pachamama
Do we have confidence in the 11+ model to equip our nation to be globally competitive?

Do we have confidence in the 11+ model to equip our nation to be globally competitive?

In this article we will argue that the school system, at all levels, has outlived its usefulness and therefore can serve no desirable purpose in ‘development’. We will suggest that computers have made ‘knowing’  obsolete, that the brain of children respond negatively to the threats of punishment and examinations. That the 10,000 years it has taken us to reach knowledge obsolescence represents a much accelerated development when compared to the process of achieving bipedalism. This evolutionary state makes that which currently passes for education useless and therefore more and more unhelpful in any possible future. That the current system ignores the importance of spiritualism (not religion), basic healthy and other personal survivalist stratagems and is overly dependent on monetary considerations. That we need to design a future ‘of learning’ by tapping into the innate desires as driven by big, real world questions, a self-organized learning environment which maybe achievable through a broadband collaborative.

The current post-slavery educational system was basically established to run an empire – the British empire. Its objective was to create the very people we have today. A people who can manipulate numbers, keep records; people who after learning by rote are incapable of thinking outside those confines; who are mentally confined to a narrow way of thinking; people who are enemies to basic forms of creativity; national copiers who look elsewhere all the time for solutions to problems; people who wait for others to employ them; people who are willing to make millionaires out of any minority instead of self empowerment; people who lack the confidence to do for themselves, employ themselves, or build a national identity separate from their colonial past; national beggars who see their salvation with others, especially their former slave masters. People with a deep fear of expressing alternative ideas or committing them to words. People who live in the perpetual fear of shadows. This sounds like the quintessential Bajan to us.

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Common Entrance Examination: Termites Jonesing!

Submitted by William Skinner
Hon Ronald Jones, Minister of Education

Hon Ronald Jones, Minister of Education

Once again the annual ritual surrounding the release of the Common Entrance Examination results, has taken center stage. While the Minister of Education rants and raves about the mathematics results, the Principal of the University of the West Indies seems down spirited about the science results at Cave Hill. Any alert observer will see the connection. If the foundation is bad the building would eventually fall.

The Minister of Education refuses to see that if the results are deteriorating under his watch, it may be time for him to move on to another ministry. But we have little regard for holding our leaders accountable. Dragging retired teachers from their gardening and other hobbies to teach math will not work because there is no retired teacher in his or her right mind, who will leave healthy flowers and vegetables, to return to the quagmire that now envelops the Ministry of Education.

Our entire education system is on the verge of collapse but like many other decaying structures the final fall may take some time. Carpenters know about new coats of paint giving the impression that there are no termites. However the termites are there and they will get the job done eventually. Truth is that we are afraid to “touch’ a single rotten board because we fear that the house will fall down. Just slap some paint on it!

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To Barbadians ALL – Sir Hilary Beckles the TRUTH!

Submitted by Douglas
Sir Hilary Beckles Principal of UWI, Cave Hill

Sir Hilary Beckles Principal of UWI, Cave Hill

I write this out of a concern that we are not hearing the FULL TRUTH about this issue of the FUNDING of UWI education. As I read the comments of the Principal and Pro-Vice Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary McDonald Beckles, I Cry shame on a man I formerly respected. As one of his former students I admired his brilliance and indeed while I have lost respect for this man, I must admit he did much to transform many aspects of the Cave Hill Campus. He built buildings, indeed monuments. I did hear staff, teaching and other, complain that you could not question him, he alone, had all the answers. I understand he brooks no opposition.

I was listening to many callers overs the past few months, and most recently when I heard a Government Minister trying to rationalise the decision to have students pay part of the cost of their education at UWI. I asked myself, how did we get here? Those who support the Government say this should have been in place a long time ago. Those who oppose the Government say students should not pay. We need to hear from the Minister of Education. He did not even touch this in the Estimates Debate. I have been trying to understand why we have reached this point, and have been asking questions of all kinds of people. They have all left me with more questions than answers and I therefore want to pose some questions to the University, its Principal, Deputy Principal and all the senior managers as well as the Minister of Education (and those who went before him).

Continue readingBeckles II, Beckles III, Beckles IV and Beckles V