The Teaching Profession

Submitted by the Mahogany Coconut Think Tank/Watchdog Group

Ronald Jones, Minister of Education

For some time, the society as a whole has been vehement in blaming our teachers for what many consider as deteriorating educational standards. Mahogany Coconut is of the view that such blame is unfounded and unfair. When we examine our educational system, we conclude that the vast majority of our teachers are competent and extremely professional. However, we do not subscribe to the view that they are poorly paid. Taking into consideration our resources, their salaries are comparable if not more attractive than those in many developing countries. We also suggest that our school plant, at all levels, is vastly superior to what obtains in many of our neighboring island states.

Since the mid 70’s, the collective DLP/BLP government, has systematically succeeded in damaging the image of our teachers and the general public has supported the DLP/BLP. As far back as the late 60’s and early 70’s, there have been clashes with prominent educators and our political leaders. The late and distinguished Dame Elsie Payne and Prime Minister Errol Barrow; the Glasgow affair at the Lodge School are two that stand out. Mr. Clyde Griffith, former BLP senator, once said that all teachers do is frequent rum shops. Former minister of Education Sir Louis Tull (BLP) lied on teachers by suggesting that they did not want to supervise the children during lunch. According to him, this lack of supervision meant that young children were eating lunch, after going to the “toilets”, without washing their hands thereby running the risk of spreading disease. This lie was told simply because teachers wanted their full lunch hour, after supervising the children.Mr.Tull was brilliant enough to take a simple trade union request(BUT) and turn it into a health issue.

We present these episodes to show that the BLP/DLP has always treated the teaching profession with little respect. Errol Barrow himself once told the leadership of the Secondary teachers union that he knew how to “deal with them” because he was a world war two bomber pilot .And according to him was skilled at dealing with the “enemy.”

Politics has also been used to promote teachers within schools and senior posts within the Ministry of Education. Some of the recent appointments to the posts education officers, have been deemed purely political by those within the profession. It was also done when Mia Mottley took over the Ministry of education and swiftly appointed teachers connected to her party to high ranking positions.

Teachers themselves have played the political card with great success. Some of our current parliamentarians were active unionists: Cynthia Forde (BLP); Rawle Eastmond, (BLP); Ronald Jones, (DLP) are examples. They know the difficult struggles and challenges of the profession. There are many highly professional teachers, who have refused to become heads and educational officers because of the political corruption that has plagued the profession. Many have opted for early retirement and in extreme cases left the profession. The Alexandra school fiasco is nothing more than a political sore bursting. Is it true that Broomes had applied for the post of Chief Education officer? Is it true that Matthew Farley, a highly respected principal had his eyes on the St. John constituency? Is it true that Farley also applied for the post of Chief Education Officer? The Ministry of Education is a glaring casualty of party and political opportunism. Distinguished Nationalist and Deputy Leader of the Peoples Empowerment Party (PEP), Comrade Robert “Bobby” Clarke, said at the recent Nation Newspaper sponsored town hall meeting: “Changing” BLP/DLP and vice versa really makes no difference!”

The Mahogany Coconut Group submits that it is nothing short of a modern day miracle, that the Ministry of Education and the competent public servants who run it have survived. The society is fortunate, that the majority of those with whom we entrust our children, are hardworking teachers dedicated to the profession. We salute them for escaping the contamination and poison that both the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party have unleashed in the Ministry of Education.

We firmly believe that progressive measures needed to reform our educational system are daily sabotaged by intellectual, professional and political yardfowlism, that are the trademarks of both the Democratic Labour Party and the Barbados Labour Party. The Ministry of Education and many of our truly professional teachers have been major victims.

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No Comments on “The Teaching Profession”

  1. ac October 17, 2012 at 8:41 AM #

    I listened to cynthia forde as she blame the teachers for some of the childres bad behaviour however iwould like to say that most teachers do their best to guide children in theright way but most of the time teachers are apprehensive because of of a real fear that children do not lie and might find themselves in a situation where they might have to defend themselves from salicious lies and scandals brought about by doing the right thing for a student times have changed and so has respect for authority


  2. austin October 17, 2012 at 8:53 AM #

    Please ….. Teachers the victims … Please … The real victims are our youth …. The entire education systems needs top to bottom reform if we to adequately prepare our youth for the future … We teach a ton of nonsense in our school that does not reflect the world we live in.


  3. Gabriel Tackle October 17, 2012 at 9:22 PM #

    As I recall EWB was a navigator during the war,not a pilot nor a bomber.As far as I am aware EWB learned to fly at the light aeroplane club and he had a light aeroplane that was dubbed Air Barrowbados.Any bombing would have been political bombings until he met his nemesis,the inimitable JMGM Tom Adams,the most brilliant Barbados scholar ever,equally at home in math as in the classics.Froon is a classical what?Scholar?You got to be joking.As Tom demolished Sandy in the house Froon would be treated with such contempt,he would think twice before he rose to speak in Tom’s presence.Tom would address him in Greek!


  4. millertheanunnaki October 17, 2012 at 10:00 PM #

    @ Gabriel Tackle | October 17, 2012 at 9:22 PM |

    So you knew the man JMGM (John Michael Gregory Manningham) Adams aka “Wuffless “Tom?
    One of the greatest minds that ever walked in this once fair and pleasant land. Now that is what you call intellect. A MIA but 20 times over. A giant of man that Freundel could not even tie his laces far less look Tom in the eye for a split second of intellectual parity.

    Not only was the man a mathematician and classicist but also a trained BBC broadcaster, effective communicator, prodigious administrator with a photographic memory, socialite, gambler, womanizer of repute with keen interest and outstanding collections in philately and numismatics but then a great VISIONARY and the best Minister of Finance and effective decision-maker this country ever had.

    Believe you me for I knew the man! The man was the consummate politician and executive.

    His biography would make fine reading. If only Tom had remained with us for another 10 years the economic landscape of Bim would have been close to Singapore but liberal as Hong Kong or Malta.

    RIP Tom. Your copycat for a superficial lookalike never made it and joined you rather recently. Look out for the little boy as he wanders the wild burning streets of Hades.


  5. Hants October 17, 2012 at 10:29 PM #

    @millertheanunnaki who wrote, “His biography would make fine reading.”

    But a tell all would be more interesting


  6. Simple Simon October 17, 2012 at 10:55 PM #

    @Miller Tom Worshipper “One of the greatest minds that ever walked in this once fair and pleasant land. Now that is what you call intellect…best Minister of Finance…this country ever had.”

    He was so great and yet could not keep himself alive for the 3 score and 10? And you know very well that Ritchie Haynes was our best finance Minister ever.


  7. David October 17, 2012 at 11:02 PM #

    Many may give Richie credit switching between science and classics the way he did but the measure of him is that he never achieved the pinnacle.

    Back to teaching, ig one listened to Mathew Farley’s explanation today why 200+ children were sent home it makes one wonder why those parents and the media would conspire to allow their children to be embarrassed by that frontpage picture.


  8. millertheanunnaki October 18, 2012 at 7:31 AM #

    @ Hants | October 17, 2012 at 10:29 PM |
    @millertheanunnaki who wrote, “His biography would make fine reading.”
    “But a tell all would be more interesting”

    The beatings, hose pipe flooding and cocaine warts and all should be revealed. Making him a ‘well-rounded’ individual.
    The intellectual difference between Tom and Freundel will still be the difference Earth and Jupiter. Ask Freundel’s tutor Cammie Tudor when next you attend a séance.


  9. David October 18, 2012 at 7:37 AM #


    By your last comment you have admitted that the quality of a man is not only defined by intellectual capacity.


  10. millertheanunnaki October 18, 2012 at 7:56 AM #

    @ Simple Simon | October 17, 2012 at 10:55 PM |
    “He was so great and yet could not keep himself alive for the 3 score and 10? And you know very well that Ritchie Haynes was our best finance Minister ever.”
    Tom was sickly from a child. His family were surprised he lived that long. Tom was quite aware of his frail health. Live fast and expect to die early certainly applied to him.

    So you simply conclude that Richie was the best MoF? A man that gave away the Treasury (backraise Bree) to win a government to become PM? He fancied himself to be the heir apparent to EWB. Richie knowing that EWB didn’t have long to go (EWB was a very sick man then) went to great lengths to win the 1986 elections. It was those income tax giveaways (there was no VAT then to cushion the fiscal blow and fallout) that brought fiscal cancer to this country and eventually landed the country in the hands of the IMF. It was not Sandi’s doings. Sandi’s stubbornness and arrogance like Stuart contributed to it. But Richie is the father of the fiscal strictures of the late 80’s early 90’s that delivered the country’s financial baby in the hands of the IMF.
    hat strategy of how to win a government by deceit by offering goodies and giveaways was reemployed by Thompson for the 2008 elections.

    Thanks must go to the gods that foetus was aborted by the international recession and the major loss was just the $34 million CLICO giveaways and not the Treasury so much or else we would have been in duck’s guts and already delivered to the international bailiffs.


  11. David October 18, 2012 at 9:50 AM #


    Would be interested in your explanation how Richie’s backraise is any different to what the BLP is proposing now i.e give back allowances to middleclass etc.


  12. millertheanunnaki October 18, 2012 at 8:37 AM #

    @David | October 18, 2012 at 7:37 AM |
    “By your last comment you have admitted that the quality of a man is not only defined by intellectual capacity.”

    Indeed! But the cost of great intellect is always a defective moral compass to guide the intellectually talented through a hypocritical sea of human designed morality.
    History is replete with such intellectual geniuses beset by a moral alter ego of a rebel and rogue and sexual deviant. Leonardo da Vinci readily springs to mind.

    We have our share right here in Bim. Any one missing in action with a seethru in hand?

    The god of man gives with one hand and takes back with the other just to keep us in our places of mere mortal morally defective humans.

    One only has to examine the true character of man who tried to emulate Tom in many ways and died even younger. When the CLICO veil was removed we saw the true character of the man who strode like a colossus in the DLP corridors of hero worship.

    “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”


  13. Observing (...) October 18, 2012 at 9:12 AM #

    “But the cost of great intellect is always a defective moral compass to guide the intellectually talented through a hypocritical sea of human designed morality.”

    Well said. Tom is a legend beyond compare in his own right. My recent research gained me new found admiration for him and a view that his contribution to national debate and development is underrated. EWB benefitted fromhis death in the same way OA benefitted from EWB’s death in the same way MAM will eventually benefit from DT’s death. History has a way of repeating itself until the infirmity is purged. Our infirmity is lack of leadership at all levels. Education is one way to stem the tide, but even then, leadership lacks and is lacklustre in or Ministry.

    True reform calls for vision, purpose, courage, communication, compassion and commitment to the cause. I have yet to see this combination in any of our current crop of leaders (DI being a debatable exception). Tom had it, EWB had it, Sandi had it (as education minister only), OA had it (in the early days) and DT gave a slight glimpse of maybe eventually developing it. Time is longer than twine, and much of our national twine is completely frayed and slowly popping.

    As I always ask, will the real leaders please stand up?

    Just observing


  14. ac October 18, 2012 at 9:30 AM #

    For once somebody got it right Mr Farley was absolutely correct by sending a quick message to the parents ofthose children who failed the required standards of proper schol attire also a message that he is control of the character and uniformity of the school and its attire.


  15. Dexter October 18, 2012 at 9:37 AM #

    @ simple simon

    And you know very well that Ritchie Haynes was our best finance Minister ever.
    Ha ha ha ha ha……I just had to ask WHERE ?


  16. millertheanunnaki October 18, 2012 at 9:52 AM #

    @ ac | October 18, 2012 at 9:30 AM |

    If only a similar degree of swiftness can apply to the enforcement of the traffic laws and regulations when it comes to PSV’s and polluting vehicles. Also the many uninsured and unlicensed vehicles on our roads.

    Now that we have the school children’s uniforms under control let’s move to our roads and litterbugs and owners of overgrown lots.


  17. David October 18, 2012 at 10:06 AM #

    Has anyone observed that our school children continue to take to school mobile devices? Has minister Jones cancel the ban? Indiscipline has become endemic.


  18. millertheanunnaki October 18, 2012 at 10:04 AM #

    @ David | October 18, 2012 at 9:50 AM |

    All from the same conjurer’s book of political tricks. Just like the duty-free cars and interest free house loans with reductions in COL and integrity legislation at page 100 of the DLP 2008 copyright version.

    You already are quite familiar wit he miller’s prognosis for Bim in the coming year. Both parties can promise the world; even promising to bring back David Thompson from St, John or the BLP good times of 1999-2003 enjoyed through maxing out the credit card and borrowing easy money.

    The reality is far from these sweet sounding promises just bitter corrective medicine whichever party conjurer is on stage performing the sleight of hand on the naive electorate.


  19. Observing (...) October 18, 2012 at 10:34 AM #

    @david re. Mobile devices

    Can we estop them? Can we realistically enforce the ban? Can we get parents to 100% not give their children? Can schools get the ministry’s policy and legal support? This “ban” was a lost cause from day one. Implemented as a not thought out knee jerk reaction.

    Just observing


  20. David October 18, 2012 at 11:09 AM #


    You are correct of course and reinforces the point. Implementing a rule which is unenforceable is the height of incompetence. What re the unions,teachers, principals and other stakeholders in civil society doing? So far nothing.


  21. ac October 18, 2012 at 11:14 AM #

    David there might be a concern for safety involved for not banning them but however they can enforced rules and guidlines as to when they can be used during school hours


  22. Observing(...) October 18, 2012 at 2:18 PM #

    that’s the stance that should have been taken. a more moderate approach given the impossiblity of properly enforcing such a blanket ban.

    Then again, not that I’m taking a pot shot at ya, but how many “policy decisions” have had to be reversed in the past 4 years?

    Just observing


  23. old onion bags October 18, 2012 at 2:29 PM #

    Mathew Farley now stealing the spotlight from Jeff Broomes. When will the MOE have their say on the matter? Letter or no letter Mathew…..suspension just so ? Majority of those children went straight to town to lime…..Mathew did you not think of this? To:MOE…. suppose one of those children were struck and killed by a car, while gallivanting near the Bus Stand…..what would be the outcome? We need answers MOE……have you not heard ..this is the Awaken Season… Who is holding the whip and who is taking orders? Was the $600,000 Waterman Commission just for sportage?….Time you all get your willow act together….


  24. Ping Pong October 18, 2012 at 2:50 PM #

    Why are students prohibited from having a cell phone at school but are allowed to have and use Ipads, Itouch devices, laptops, Kindles and other tablets at school? Many of these devices have cameras and communication facility.


  25. David October 18, 2012 at 2:55 PM #


    Did Farley act within the boundary of his job description? If yes why would the MOE have to get involved.


  26. old onion bags October 18, 2012 at 3:24 PM #

    @ David
    We all know the answer to that one …..
    The real question to be asked…. is does Mathew Farley (like Jeff) weal too much power….. vested in them by the system as Headmasters? Is it not a case of the cart leading the horse?…i.e.headmasters seemingly not accountable to MOE …..but to higher authority… PSC as in the case of dismissal? Is this not too much powers to be vested in ordinary men? We saw how Jeff abused these powers…. and the ‘Coney island’ made of big able ministers and men. Time we right the obvious wrongs…don’t you think? Next time we may no be so lucky…. one day one may go berserk……or even worse hold some children hostage believing himself to be a gran master or summin….


  27. old onion bags October 18, 2012 at 3:31 PM #

    Corr of those children was struck.


  28. Bush Tea October 18, 2012 at 3:41 PM #

    Bushie hopes that you are a full politician and not just a mendicant, lackie, yardfowl …cause you are such a deceitful, dishonest lier that you could be ministerial material.
    …..did you not wish us goodbye, and PROMISE that you were resigning from BU? mean you could not even stay away for two days?

    Good thing you are not a headmaster. The girls would all be wearing mini skirts and the little boys would be wukking up behind the teachers at your school nuh? ….which would be no problem since some of the female teachers would not be teaching for whole terms at a time…. :)
    …man ga-long nuh!!!!!


  29. Observing(...) October 18, 2012 at 3:43 PM #

    @ping pong
    because our policy is usually light years behind reality

    you seem to be lumping many issues in one basket.

    @david 11:09
    Alot of people that need to do things seem to be doing alot of nothing


  30. Observing(...) October 18, 2012 at 3:55 PM #

    you tek onions “promise” seriously fuh trute doh???

    Anything for a little attention and compassion. lol


  31. old onion bags October 18, 2012 at 4:00 PM #

    @ bush
    …..dawg….wha wrong wid you?…. besides,you name David?
    wha you frighten bout?…are u a headmaster?

    @ Observing(..)
    Just putting the facts….what lumping what?…headmasters’ powers need culling…..they don’t behave as the ole ones…. like Lester Vaughn, Tank or Pilgrim used to men of principle ad tact….instead we faced with phonetics with high paid egos..just doing bare shoite.


  32. Serious wood dove farmer October 18, 2012 at 4:07 PM #

    How comes no other school have done the same? Mathew ya want noticing that is all…shame on you to use the poor childrens’ education to accomplish this…..we all know when you Mathew had a big musty afro…and a $5 school bag and playing poe boy up dey, yeah mathewy….now you wanna be GG…shame ….cryin shame


  33. David October 18, 2012 at 4:08 PM #


    So you have given no credence to the fact the suspension was the end part of a process which started several weeks ago?

    Also note Farley’s explanation which confirmed that all of the parents who turned up to represent left with a Christian understanding of the problem and the five day suspension was adjusted accordingly.

    Why parade their weave toting daughters on the front page of the newspaper? Why not ask the PTA to mediate? We all know why, these are the parents who don’t know what the acronym PTA means.


  34. old onion bags October 18, 2012 at 4:19 PM #

    No sir…..David you got it wrong….the punishment does not suit the crime…SUSPENSION ?….back in the day 3 suspensions = dismissal..I don’t know of now….DETENTION on evening could have worked…but no ..some people see Jeff play tuff gong….and wanna play Joe Clarke..da is all…The crux of the matter…sending those child on the road to do what?….why did he not call their parents to come for them?…Go up Kollij now..I bet 87 % of 4th & 5th form girls skirt not 2 ‘ EXACT below the knee…ride wid me…Mr. gross wrong !


  35. David October 18, 2012 at 4:35 PM #

    A breach of the school rules is a breach of common sense, sounds familiar?

    How about train up a child in the way it should go and when it grows up what?

    It took drastic action to get these non interested parents to take notice. No saying we need to go Machiavellian but extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.

    Do you recall what Farley said yesterday? Out of nearly 1000 pupils less than 100 parents attended a recent PTA meeting.


  36. old onion bags October 18, 2012 at 4:42 PM #

    Just answer me this one and I leave….do you believe there are many many other offenders at other schools like Cawmere and AX and SMS ? So how comes those other principals not doing the rain dance? Ans:…simple Mathew is Jeff cousin…love the media…..


  37. Observing(...) October 18, 2012 at 5:00 PM #

    “How comes no other school have done the same? ”

    “there are many many other offenders at other schools like Cawmere and AX and SMS”

    different schools, different rules, different interpretations. Farley has laid down his law at his school. Now, I contend the punishment does on the surface seem harsh, but, I don’t know the 4-5 week background to nor the extent or facts of the “problem.”

    I’ll say this onions, what starts as a challenge of meeting the rules re. dress code, turns into challenges of meeting the rules generally. Also, every leader needs the room and rope to lead his troops. Some will lead with carrots, others will lead with sticks.

    School is about more than bookwork education. It’s about (or at least should be about) positive social education as well.

    Just observing


  38. David October 18, 2012 at 5:01 PM #

    Do you manage your household based on what Mr. Jones in the other avenue is doing?


  39. old onion bags October 18, 2012 at 5:11 PM #

    On a lighter side doa……Wickham revealed this on Brass Tacks today….Guess who went primary school with Wickham….and used to love Kung Fu movies?……They say he used to call im self..” Wang Yu ?….more like the KFC Pan da….whalosss !..LOL..I gone now Bushie ya louse


  40. millertheanunnaki October 18, 2012 at 5:47 PM #

    Heard on VOB 5.30 pm news the CEO King making a ground breaking statement that is bound to open up new vistas and opportunities by saying that ‘Education’ aka human resources development is key to our national development.

    What a brand new second hand piece of knowledge heard one billion times before.
    He could at least not have been so blatant and bold with his plagiarism and should have given the Mighty Sparrow his feathers (due).

    He also bragged that Barbados has the best educational system and the best teachers in the world since we spend approx. 20 % of government tax takings in this area.

    Any validity in these claims?


  41. Dexter October 18, 2012 at 6:54 PM #

    The Ministry of Education needs to break its silence on this Garrison Secondary Farley jettison. Leave it alone will fester and breed more cockroaches.


  42. Hants October 18, 2012 at 7:08 PM #

    Suspending children for uniform violations is absurd.

    Detentions and writing lines or writing an essay should be for first and second offenders.

    After that summon the parents to the school and try to resolve the problem.

    Why is this not happening at HC,QC,Cawmere or Lodge? Does this mean that Garrison children have a problem unique to them?


  43. ac October 18, 2012 at 7:23 PM #

    old onion bags | October 18, 2012 at 3:24 PM
    @ David
    We all know the answer to that one …..
    The real question to be asked…. is does Mathew Farley (like Jeff) weal too much power….. ….

    Ac @ onions

    hold them horses /when he becomes a clone of Jeff BRoomes we will brek he nek. but in this case he was absoluetly within the code of conduct to protect the character and integrity of the school. unlike Jeff Broomes who took a weed wacker to the boys head because of the haircut. good job Farley.


  44. old onion bags October 18, 2012 at 7:30 PM #

    Mathew Farley like Jeff Broomes loves hearing themselves. School children are just pawns. Both of them should consider resigning and pursue their true callings……CBC stunt men seeking publicity .
    Mathew needs Jeff to give him a ego hair cut……as both are colossal.


  45. Hants October 18, 2012 at 7:46 PM #

    I repeat Why is this not happening at HC,QC,Cawmere or Lodge?

    Is it that these children are so bright that they can take a few days off?

    The Teachers must be enjoying having smaller classes for a few days.


  46. ac October 18, 2012 at 7:49 PM #

    Suspending children for uniform violations is absurd.

    ac @ hants

    those kind of recommendations used to work when you were in school but today parents have lost respect for authority and haved passed on that thinking to the children farley did the right thing and killed two birds with one one.not only the chilfren were punished but the parents as well a masterful move ,good job farley,


  47. Hants October 18, 2012 at 7:57 PM #

    @ ac
    So the only resolution you can think of is punishing the children and the parents.

    That is a less than intellectually viable solution.

    I repeat Why is this not happening at HC,QC,Cawmere or Lodge?


  48. David October 18, 2012 at 8:17 PM #


    Have you been following this matter closely? Do you understand Farley has been trying to communicate with the parents concerned before suspension? It is only when a drastic decision was taken did the wufless parent run to the school. The sae ones who bought the weaves for their little girls.

    You other questions have been answered already. Parents of student at the older secondary schools are usually more supportive of the school system.


  49. ac October 18, 2012 at 8:25 PM #

    Hants | October 18, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    That is a less than intellectually viable solution.

    |ac @ hants
    but it worked beat all the other solutions where the parents and children thumbs their noses in disregard,


  50. STeUpSe October 18, 2012 at 8:27 PM #

    Matthew Farley is an irritating bore the man’s voice like a grater its annoying I am tired of Farley the man is an attention wh**re.


  51. Gabriel Tackle October 18, 2012 at 8:43 PM #

    Only a stupid person would boast of Barbados having the finest education system and the best teachers.Hogwash ! Thousands of them do not know how to speak standard English,their native tongue.Similarly,their pronunciation is absolutely rotten.One former teacher,branded an errant school teacher,on TV pronounced the word SECTOR…SEK’TAWRR.Who tell him say that.A current principal who likes to hear himself and who gave the Education Ministry a lot of trouble in the 80’s and was kicked upstairs,took the cue from the errant school teacher and regales the world with GOVER’NAWR, ADMINISTRA’TAWR, SEK’TAWR,FACILITA’TAWR,FAC’TAWR etc.So what’s wrong with GUV’NUH, UDMINISTRA’TUH, SEK’TUH,FACILITA’TUH,FAK’TUH.I am neither a teacher nor a radio/tv announcer,but I am so embarrassed by these two groups,I think we are wasting taxpayers’ funding on education.


  52. Hants October 18, 2012 at 8:45 PM #

    I just wrote how I really felt but it was too toxic for this blog so I erased it.

    I will accept that you all have better solutions to getting the “wufless parent (David’s words)” to be more responsible.


  53. David October 18, 2012 at 8:51 PM #


    We don’t have parental delinquency laws here.


  54. Simple Simon October 18, 2012 at 9:18 PM #

    The law says that children between the age of 5 an 16 must be educated. The government of Barbados has signed treaties in which it agrees that Barbados will comply with providing education to all its children between 5 and 16.

    These children are being unlawfully deprived of much needed teaching and much needed opportunities to learn

    I agree with Hants that it is absurd, absurd, absurd to deprive children of good quality teaching for an infraction that can be corrected in 15 minutes.

    When I went to school, in the good old days of English headmistresses, a child whose uniform was too short would be given a needle and thread and asked to correct the infraction during the morning break, this discipline (Note discipline not punishment) had good results, people of my generation can still take down and replace a hem by hand with a simple needle and thread. in 15 minutes or less. There is no need for a principal to be involved in such minor matters. The needlework teacher and or the guidance counsellor should be able to handle this non-issue. A single large spool of thread and $10 worth of ordinary sewing needles are al that is required to handle this non-problem

    The fact that Matthew Farley has spend years trying to solve this non-problem, and still the non-problem exists leads me be believe that he is an ineffective administrator

    That said both parents and children ought to comply with sensible school rules, and work to change silly rules; and parents ought to provide sensible leadership for their children.

    I am not seeing any good sense displayed at the Garrison School, as no good sense was displayed at Alexandra.

    Another question, since the mean on this blog will beat me up anyhow, but I can take my lashes:

    How come our female school principals are managing their schools without front page media (MIS) attention?

    Media attention is the oxygen that keeps attention seekers like Jeff Broomes and Matthew Farley alive.

    Maybe the media should withdraw the oxygen, and let those men wither into their previous obscurity.


  55. Simple Simon October 18, 2012 at 9:21 PM #

    “Mean” above is a Freudian slip. I of course meant men, but maybe it is the same thing.


  56. Observing(...) October 18, 2012 at 9:36 PM #

    The parents don’t come when summoned. That’s part of the problem.


  57. Observing(...) October 18, 2012 at 9:40 PM #

    @simple simon
    Before I judge or comment, pray tell us how these 15 minutes would go in your world……I’ll remain open minded


  58. Simple Simon October 18, 2012 at 9:44 PM #

    Dear Observing:

    Ask me a question in simple English, or simple Bajan and I’ll answer it.


  59. Observing(...) October 18, 2012 at 9:53 PM #

    How would you deal with 2mm hems? Or the needlework teacher who’s duty this does not fall under and eveen if she complies the same loss of teaching time and space occurs? Or the child who willingly and purposely goes through this process every morning and encourages others to do the same? Or the same teachinf/learning time lost because of the shear numbers?

    Farley’s action is extreme (maybe), but condemn the extremity and not the act itself…preferably buttressed by some semblance of fact and understanding of the specific culture and circumstance at the Garison. As for female principals…are you sure they are managing so much better than their male counterparts? Not being in the public eye does not a successful school make.

    If we’re going to flog this issue, let’s flog it with the rod of rules and obedience, roles and responsibility, parents and parenting, administration and ministerial support.

    We cuss Freundel and Laurie King for not doing anything…yet we cuss Farley for doing something to hold his ship together….go figure.

    Just observing


  60. Bush Tea October 18, 2012 at 9:59 PM #

    @ Simple Simon
    What men will beat you up what!?! …men ain’t got nothing better to beat at this time of night…? The men will just ignore your provocations…
    How can other principals avoid such tactics? Either they have parents who care, or they themselves don’t…. And discipline is dying at their school.

    …you stick to the fishing and leave the school management to Bushie, Broomes and Farley. :)
    Farley is loud, publicity focused and pushy….but in this instance, he is right to take drastic action if he wants to retain discipline at his school in future,


  61. old onion bags October 18, 2012 at 10:01 PM #

    We cuss Freundel and Laurie King for not doing anything…yet we cuss Farley for doing something to hold his ship together….go figure.
    Poor closing synopsis… lost the argument to simple by her clever gender deception.Point remains Farley is too harsh with his punishment. Is this to say a Heady now can do anything?Not good… they having all these endless powers to dispense discipline as see fit and legally. Too much power man !


  62. Simple Simon October 18, 2012 at 10:02 PM #

    @Observer “2mm hems” A child of 12 or 13 should be able to manage this with a parent’s or teachers; help. The parent will buy a piece of similar coloured fabric, cut it on the bias, and attach it to the 2mm hem. Then put up a new hem. It take about 10 minutes with a sewing machine, and about half an hour if doing by hand. It takes less time that writing a letter, or coming to a school. Any parent or needlework teacher who does not know how to do this is not worth his/her salt. It is not difficult to do.

    If we have lost these basic skills then we are truly lost.


  63. millertheanunnaki October 18, 2012 at 10:04 PM #

    @ Simple Simon | October 18, 2012 at 9:18 PM |

    The miller is on your side this time Simon.

    Matthew F is an attention seeker who believes he holds the keys to the nation’s moral standards that are locked away in some golden halcyon cabinet of 1950’s and 60’s Barbados when he was growing up stupid under a banner that read “Education shall set us free” and was the rallying cry of every poor black Bajan son and daughter of this fair land. Free of the social injustices and economic deprivation and exploitation of apartheid Barbados of earlier times. And he, like most of us of similar vintage, was right to believe that education of that time was a passport to success both social and economic.

    Alas, how things have change! Children today don’t know much of the social and economic difficulties of those times and view going to school in a different light.

    They just don’t see education in the same way earlier generations did and to some extent still do. Most children in Barbados today see school at the Secondary level as a waste of time and place more importance to having material things and the latest phone and gear bought by their parents than on anything to be read from a book.

    Forcing children to adhere to a Victorian age uniform might be a form of good discipline to many but what happens when they leave school and travel on our roads. What do they see right before their very eyes being practised by adults like ourselves or watch or hear politicians and other public officials speak and behave?

    Mr. Farley would make the ideal Commissioner of Police for our trying times in this country.
    Good luck, Sir!


  64. Observing(...) October 18, 2012 at 10:11 PM #

    Let’s add the time for buying the material (if the parent obliges) and sending it to school. We’ve now moved passed half hour and gone into to possible days. And that’s one uniform for one child.

    I agree, we’ve lost MANY basics in this country, hence the position we’re in. Let’s not judge too harshly those who try to reclaim some of those basics. Especially without the requisite facts and knowledge of what obtained leading up to this point.

    If you show me how I’ve lost the argument that I wasn’t in I’ll buy ya a virgin pina colada with a pretty red and yellow umbrella on the top :)

    By the way, is farley’s harshness based on the punishment, the numbers, or the warnings etc leading up to the eventual suspension??


  65. Simple Simon October 18, 2012 at 10:12 PM #

    Note that I was NOT suggesting that the teacher do it. But rather that the child is given the tools and instructed how to do it. each child does his or her own, in a group setting, the job done before morning break is finished.

    The teacher SHOULD NOT do it. And neither should the parent.

    All children 12 or older ought to be able to manage such a simple tasks as hemming a garment, cooking a meal, cleaning a room, washing their own dirty clothes.

    I may need to show up at the Garrison school as a volunteer how-to parent.

    Bajans have become foolish enough if we must turn every molehill into a mountain.

    It was only 2 generations ago that Bajan girls and boys went to the needlework and tailoring trades and were “sending out brides” and grooms by age 20.

    Now if a Chinese does not make our garments we would walk ’bout naked.


  66. Observing(...) October 18, 2012 at 10:28 PM #

    @miller and simon
    Reading you loud and clear. The problem is way far and beyond Farley and the Garrison or this incident. On that we have full agreement. Not sure if Commissioner Farley is the solution though. Lol.

    Simon, those days you refer too are loooong gone. As are many positive and productive norms and traditions. Sad but true.


  67. DavidB October 18, 2012 at 10:49 PM #

    There was a time in the sixties and seventies when girl’s uniforms were so short you had to avert your eyes when they stepped in the bus or even stepped up on the side walk. I can still find pictures of girls in those shockingly short uniforms. Boys went to schools with huge Afros, bell bottom pants, etc.

    Adults of this generation are too hypocritical and like to pretend that previous generations were angelic.

    To be measuring whether a uniform is 1½ inches below the knee instead of 2 inches is definitely going way overboard; letters and warnings notwithstanding.


  68. old onion bags October 18, 2012 at 10:52 PM #

    You headmasters are all alike….protect each other….we love our power.
    With power comes responsibility. That you all seem not to understand.
    Observer……how many times must I say the punishment was too harsh, or your ears just pricked to tune into what suits you….you keep ur yellow umbrella..


  69. Observing(...) October 18, 2012 at 11:56 PM #

    It was a red and yellow umbrella!

    Btw, what punishment would you reccomend? And by the way, are you fully apprised of the circumstances surrounding the crime?


  70. David October 19, 2012 at 2:03 AM #

    We say our children need discipline which if true implies many of our principals and teachers are not effectively doing a job.

    Logically it means that Farley would be in the minority of principals doing the job.

    In is interesting that most of the BLpites are against Farley’s action and DLPites for.

    Could it be because is wears DLP stripes?

    We seem to distil any and all issues through partisan lens.


  71. David October 19, 2012 at 6:47 PM #


    Do you understand there is a dress code in position at the school which the headmaster has a duty to enforce? If as a country we want to do away with uniforms that is a different argument. Bear in mind companies have dress codes. Are we not training our children to be comfortable with the disciplines life brings?


  72. Dexter October 19, 2012 at 10:22 AM #


  73. ac October 19, 2012 at 10:40 AM #

    What “paristian” it is more like principle and not letting the inmates steer the shiop in several direction farley has demonstrated good leadership in this area and for that he shiould be commended.


  74. Dexter October 19, 2012 at 10:48 AM #

    You know what I love to see Mathew Farley Chairman of the ZR transport utility (what ever the name)…Let us see how Mr.Farley will deal with them. For how long now we had transport issues with them. Time to put powerhouse Farley where he can show grownups spunk instead of kiddyrama diddle dung.What you say Mathew ? In for a penny, in for a crown.


  75. Dexter October 19, 2012 at 11:17 AM #

    You know what i would love to see, Mathew Farley Chairman of the regulatory body ZR Transport Utility Board ( what ever the name).. Let us see how Mr. Farley will deal with them. For how long now we had transport issue and problems. Time to put powerhouse Farley where he can show his spunk dealing with grownups, instead of kiddyrama diddle dung. What you say Mathew? In for a penny, in for a crown.


  76. Snich October 19, 2012 at 12:40 PM #

    To be measuring whether a uniform is 1½ inches below the knee instead of 2 inches is definitely going way overboard; letters and warnings notwithstanding.
    Nothing better to do….its not about being a disciplinarian but petty. Go home for 5 days and lower your helm..


  77. Clone October 19, 2012 at 4:14 PM #

    All those who oppose schools trying to teach children that uniforms must be worn as a uniform and not as a stylist garment.

    Must go further and tell them when they get a job in certain private companies in Barbados to disrespect the dress code of the organization and see if they will retain their jobs.

    If you get a job in any of the banks you cannot wear shoes with your toes showing
    If you have a tattoo in must not be seen.
    Your cleavage must not be seen.
    Call the managers old fashion.

    Onions I pity this country under the BLP. Your moral compass seems broken.


  78. millertheanunnaki October 19, 2012 at 5:56 PM #

    @ Clone | October 19, 2012 at 4:14 PM |
    “Onions I pity this country under the BLP. Your moral compass seems broken.”

    If you can get the DLP administration to sort out the following before the elections I will be the first to advise people to reelect the DLP as a party of action and not just sleeping on the job:

    Get the ZR vehicles and other PSV’s to obey the law and bring some discipline to our roads.
    Get those offending vehicles to stop polluting the air with the black smoke emitted full of toxins and cancer causing chemicals from the inferior fuels imported from Trinidad.

    Get the many unlicensed and uninsured vehicles of the road.

    Remove those old derelict vehicles dilapidated buildings and overgrown lots that are now part and parcel of our neigbourhoods and landscape especially in the St. Michael area breeding mosquitoes and rats and other vermin.

    A general clean up of Bim will be most welcomed especially in our City and its adjacent growing shanty town.

    Get those crooked business owners who collected millions in VAT from consumers to pay it over to the VAT office and into the Treasury to help reduce the fiscal deficit and to help pay our public sector workers on time and to purchase supplies and equipment for them to work with.

    The QEH will certainly do with a good few millions to pay its bills especially those in significant arrears and running into the millions.

    Clone, I guarantee you that if you guys can achieve such you will have my vote along with those thousand undecided voters at this stage. Go for it, Clone!


  79. ac October 19, 2012 at 6:14 PM #

    miller all them suggestions to clone. maybe you can forwarded them to OSA starting.with the word “WHY”


  80. Enuff October 19, 2012 at 6:32 PM #

    Anyone with EVIDENCE to show the impact skirt length has on the educational and professional success of girls at the Garrison or any other secondary school? Isn’t Farley’s perception of what is decent arbitrary? What if Principal Barley thinks the showing of girls’ calves are unsuitable for school? We are trapped in a time warp!!


  81. millertheanunnaki October 19, 2012 at 6:43 PM #

    @ ac | October 19, 2012 at 6:14 PM |
    “miller all them suggestions to clone. maybe you can forwarded them to OSA starting with the word “WHY”..”

    That is why the electorate fired the other lot in January 2008.
    Or haven’t you noticed for the last 58 months? Where were you? Asleep like Fruendel?
    Seems we made a big mistake that can be corrected in a few weeks. What a nightmare we have been having for 3 years now!


  82. Enuff October 19, 2012 at 8:08 PM #

    @ David
    Funny coming from someone who so often questions the effectiveness/results of laws, policies and procedures. Remember that ‘code’ that was in place for appointing the Chief Justice? If (note I said IF) the premise of Farley’s skirt length policy is flawed you are saying continue with it because it is the ‘code’?


  83. David October 20, 2012 at 12:28 AM #


    You missed the point. Is Farley operating within the rules or not? If he isn’t or his bosses believe the rule is irrelevant it can be changed. You can’t blame Farley if he is operating within the rules.


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