Submitted by Guild Watchdog
(L-R) Guild President; Damani Parris, Law Rep; Daniel Davies, Guild Treasurer; Ital Spencer reviewing a student petition against paying tuition fees
While some University Students are worrying about the Governments new policy forcing them to pay tuition fees at The University of the West Indies. It was chaos and turmoil at The Roy Marshall Teaching Complex at The University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus on Thursday night; for the convening of a Guild Council Meeting when once-removed Treasurer of the Guild, Ital Spencer was the centre of contention and disruptive behaviour forcing University Security to end the meeting prematurely.
Mr. Spencer, who was also the Guild Treasurer on the previous Guild Council was accused of manipulating his authority to obtain absolute power and threatening other council officers. These accusations, which offend the Constitution of the Guild and the University’s Code of Ethics warranted him a trial of ‘No Confidence for Recall’ at the hands of the student population resulting in his removal last November.
Sources close to the Cave Hill Guild Council have stated Mr. Spencer dod not submit financial reports, has been accused and proven of using the students’ Guild funds for personal benefit, for example, a first class flight to Jamaica last UWI Games among other aggravated offenses. To this end, the President of the Guild, Mr. Damani Parris, has suspended Mr. Spencer pending another Special Meeting of the Student Body to affect the removal of Mr. Spencer.
On Wednesday, 25th September, 2013 the majority membership of the student executive voted ‘No Confidence’ in Mr. Ital Spencer and have therefore recommended to the student population that he be removed.
Brynn O’Reilley, a second year student in the Energy Systems Engineering Technology at St. Lawrence College plugs in an electric vehicle at the launch of the college’s new charging station. (Elliot Ferguson The Whig-Standard)
Now that the outcry over government’s decision to make UWI students pay tuition cost has abated, there is the opportunity to debate the issue unhinged from political rhetoric. Let us keep hope alive!
At a recent address to the CARILEC Renewable Energy Conference Minister of Energy Darcy Boyce stated that although he understands the industry is of national importance, government will not rush policy decisions to impact the stability of the grid. Many have come to appreciate that ‘rushing’ is not a quality which is associated with the Stuart led government. At the same CARILEC conference Caricom Ambassador expressed the view that Barbados has reached a juncture where important decisions have to be made concerning energy production and there was a ‘certain urgency’ required.
Commonsense dictates that government and the regulator should not take decisions to destabilize the EMERA owned sole electric company in Barbados. BU must question whether the minister with responsibility for energy should be the one quoted. Minister Boyce must be perceived by his utterances to be the champion of government’s renewable energy program (RE). There must be no doubt in the minds of members of the public that he is part of a decision making process to rollout RE which is calibrated to the urgency of the times. All Barbadians must feel the weight of importance which the RE program has for Barbados. We must feel his energy!
Submitted by Politically Correct (to alert the President of the Guild of this vital information)
President of the Student’s Guild, Damani Parris – photo credit:Nation newspaper
This letter is not to slander persons in the Ministry but merely to assist the Guild in fighting the sudden increase in fees for Barbadian students. I will explain how to address this legally below from paragraph 2. The Ministry of Education, Science Technology and Innovation is a puppet Ministry which is suffering at the hands of the International community because of Globalisation. This is a typical encroachment on our sovereignty as a Nation. Changing a name does not mean that you are in alignment with countries that truly have science, technology and innovation based research saving the country money, creating new jobs etc. Minister Ronald Jones is quoted in the advocate as saying “The State does not have money and that citizens must stop being selfish and depending on Government for the State has no money (ADVOCATE 13/9/2013)
Every country listed here in Canada, South Africa, Denmark, Finland and more. I draw to your attention the UWI HANDBOOK and REGULATIONS for each FACULTY, as the first set of evidence and the quality assurance agency in Barbados which promotes quality assurance in higher education for you to use in your arguments. We will now see the power of politics and the role it plays.
Submitted by Fair Play
Sir Frank Alleyne
Sir Frank Alleyne’s interview on the People’s Business last night was spot-on. As usual, he was cogent, rational, reasonable and, of course, very ‘frank’, no pun intended. All the while, trying not to be overly critical of the administration at Cave Hill, but tacitly showing up its unreasonableness and excessive spending, nonetheless. He walked the proverbial tightrope (having taught there for decades, so he was somewhat circumspect), but he did it well.
It was very interesting television! Lots of good points were made; but a couple salient ones stand out:
current physical development at the Cave Hill campus is not sustainable;
maintenance and personnel to staff the new structures will be difficult to maintain;
salary levels are very high;
UWI’s operating cost (to central government) has risen exponentially from about $53 million in 2005 to over $126 million in 2012-2013;
Andrew Downes is Professor of Economics and Director of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies. He has degrees in economics from the Universities of the West Indies and Manchester. He is the author of several monographs and articles covering such area as labour economics, macroeconomics, development economics and applied econometrics. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Eastern Caribbean Studies. He is the author of a report for the UNDP on the Millennium Development Goals in the Caribbean.
Submitted by Fair Play
Minister of Education appeared on CBC’s The People’s Business to explain government’s decision to make UWI students pay part of the cost of their degree.
I believe our plan to ask students to contribute a small part of the cost of their tertiary education at UWI has more public support than we think. Talking to people from all walks of life, and ironically, particularly among low income earners, there is much support. Their comments run the gamut from: it makes sense; the country cannot afford 100% funding at this time; other countries that are better off than us don’t do it; and, it should have been implemented long ago; to, they have an attitude after graduation – forgetting who paid for their education; and they do not give back to society, especially the doctors and lawyers who charge the same benefactors (the taxpayers) very exorbitant fees.
Barbadians aren’t stupid.
However, over and above those sentiments, generally, most persons I spoke to agree with the percentage the students will have to pay. Even some, like Dr. Leonard Shorey, (a perennial BLP apologist) believe it should have been higher and was long in coming. And, the Sunday Sun poll surprisingly gave majority support to the Gov’t.
What value should we place in the word of a Prime Minister. Should we dismiss Prime Minister Stuart’s promise as election campaign rhetoric? Should we dismiss the promise the late Prime Minister David Thompson made to CLICO policyholders? Are we finally willing to say to politicians, ENOUGH!
Read Nation article PM’s Word
Globally, a greater proportion of privately educated pupils go on to higher education than those educated in the public education system. Not only does this simple empirical reality does not take a lot of analysis and can be explained in a way many of us will understand, its simplicity also hides a lot of generational advantages; for example, it is common knowledge that children from black and Hispanic backgrounds underperform when compared with their white counterparts. (For a greater and more technical argument, see: Joseph Stiglitz: “The demand for education in public and private school system”, Journal of Public Economics (1974); G. Brunello and L. Rocco: “Educational Standards in Privatew and Public Schools”, Economic Journal (2008).
One of the advantages of a private education is that pupils are often privately trained, in addition to their normal classroom experience, to take the key public exams, be they the 11plus, CXCs or final degrees, success in which brings enormous prestige. Such a privatised, exam-focused system does not necessarily produce young men and women with the skills and ability to think critically, indulge in team-working, or carry out complex research, all part of modern higher education and the best working environments. Increasingly, most post-graduate study is now inter-disciplinary and the knowledge-based workplace is an environment of collaborating with colleagues and ideas sharing.
Related Link: Notes From a Native Son: The Role of Education Policy in Development Part One
Submitted by Benny
Sir Hilary Beckles, Pro Vice-Chancellor, UWI
It has been repeatedly stated in the Press about the amount of money owed to the UWI by the Government. I would like it explained to the tax payers of Barbados how much the expansion at the University has cost the government in recent years. I am speaking of your philosophy of a graduate in each household. Since the Government pays the tuition for each first degree it is logical to conclude that more of the tax payers dollars are being pumped into your philosophy. Can it be explained to the people of Barbados if this was discussed with the government of the day when you conceptualise this philosophy as to how it will impact on the finances of this country?
I read again recently that you have decided to offer a part-time programme in law to persons with a first degree. This is no doubt an effort to enhance the income of the University because those who pursue this programme will have to pay. However, this programme has the potential to also impact on the finances of this country because the government pays for the tuition at the law schools. Is there really a market for this amount of lawyers? The profession is already under serious challenge with young attorneys starting in some law firms for as little as $1,500.00 per month until they generate their own income. What will be the benefits to the wider society?
Submitted by Looking Glass
UWI, Cave Hilll
Development in any language means change, a break with the past and is people oriented. National Development of which economic development is but a component is personal and qualitative. It depends on our ability to innovate, create and organize and requires an intellectual leap into the future. Resistance to such change is not so much a personal problem but a structural impediment created by the socio-economic system in general and the educational system in particular. In this context our educational system in its current manifestation becomes a repressive developmental factor.
In today’s world the foundation of economic growth and development is the function of human skill not foreign investment. In the world of technology fortunes are made not only in the manufacture off products but by inventing products and processes. Important factors include education and innovation. National development implies the power to create wealth which, in the final analysis depends on our ability to generate new ideas and to turn them into reality.
Here education is crucial. East Asian countries invested huge sums in education designed to facilitate economic growth and industrialisation; their forte product improvement and product creation. The Ivory Coast, a backward country at independence is today a wealthy country. Large sums were invested in education and agriculture rather than industrialisation, and government ensured the implementation and nurturing of programmes needed for development.