David Comissiong

DON’T AGONIZE! ORGANIZE! (Part 3)

Submitted by DAVID COMISSIONG, President, Clement Payne Movement
Ronald Jones, minister of education

Ronald Jones, minister of education

(A Revamped Education System)

The only sensible way forward for Barbados economically is for us […]– the citizens of Barbados – to assume the primary responsibility for establishing and running productive enterprises in our country,

and basing such enterprises squarely on the educational and human development that we have attained as a national population.

In other words, we need to jettison the backward and self-defeating idea that we must wait for so-called “foreign investors” to come to our rescue, or that we should opt for a model of “so-called” development that is based on increasing the number of Barbadians employed in unskilled, low technology, dead-end, manufacturing, tourism or other service jobs!

But if we are to successfully embark upon such an economic mission, we must first provide our nation with a revamped “Education System” that is designed to reproduce, preserve and root us in our distinctive Bajan/Caribbean national culture, and to foster a national propensity for self-confidence, initiative, high academic and technical achievement, social solidarity, cooperative work, independent thought, and self-reliance.

It is against this background, therefore, that I would like to propose the following reforms to our system of education:-

HIGHEST  INTERNATIONAL   STANDARDS

We must set out to achieve the highest international standards in every single Barbadian school!

Thus, we must scrap the currently existing practice of dumping all of the low academic achievers in five or six Secondary Schools at the bottom of the proverbial ladder, while at the same time placing all of the high academic achievers in the three or four Secondary School at the top of the ladder.

This educational structure is failing far too many of our students, and has led to a situation in which some 60 per cent of our children graduate from Secondary School without a single academic certificate to their name, and without having acquired any marketable technical or artistic skills.

My advice to our Government is that they should sit down with our educators and their professional organizations and work out a more just, sensible and educationally constructive system!

Furthermore, we must design a new educational system in which weaker students who need greater pedagogical assistance get it, in the form of smaller classes, more individual attention, and access to remedial education teachers and programmes.

EDUCATION   FOR   DOING   AND   SELF-RELIANCE

I am also proposing that we consciously set out to dismantle the false distinction between so-called “mental labour” (academic education) and “manual labour” (technical or vocational education) by exposing all students in our Secondary Schools to some basic instruction in such technical skills as carpentry, agronomy, electrical wiring, mechanics, plumbing, and masonry.  Indeed, we should aim to create a Barbadian population that possesses enough “technical literacy” to permit our families to be able to construct and maintain their own homes (if they so desire), and to engage in family or communal food production.

In addition, we should construct and graft on to our national system of education a new “Apprenticeship-based” component of the system!  In other words, let us create a national programme that gives our Secondary School students – at the age of, say, 15 years – the option of transitioning into an Apprenticeship scheme or programme.

NATIONAL IDENTITY FORMATION

The education that we impart to our young people should also be designed to “root” them in a profound understanding of and appreciation for their Bajan / Caribbean / Pan-African heritage and culture.

Thus, we must ensure that during the years of primary, secondary and tertiary education our youth are being systematically introduced to their own Barbadian / Caribbean / Pan-African history, music, poetry, literature, folklore, geography, dramatic plays, films, nation language, dance, visual arts, craft, and systems of philosophy and spirituality.

Indeed, we need to take to heart the notion that a people possessed of a distinctive and unique national culture have within their grasp an “inner wealth” that has the potential to imbue them with the invaluable characteristics of self-confidence, self-respect, and self-reliance: and we must therefore spare no effort to explore, preserve and transmit all important elements of our national culture!

VALUES  EDUCATION

Our education system also needs to be so redesigned that it becomes equipped to consciously and systematically respond to the cultural and ethical dissipation and nihilism that we see all around us in Barbados today.  And it must do so by providing our youth with Manhood / Womanhood training and preparation, and with education in “Civics” and in the practise of participatory citizenship.  This reform will require the entire educational establishment to come together in order to brainstorm a new and practical methodology for seamlessly inserting such instruction into the existing system.

Our aim must be to create a cohort of young adult citizens steeped in the ethos of a democratic, participatory political culture, and committed to such universal and / or national values as social equality, cooperative work and enterprise, national sovereignty, and respect for the civil and human rights of all members of the society.

EDUCATION AS AN INDUSTRY

And lastly, we must set out to establish “Education” as a foreign exchange earning industry in its own right, and a new addition to the productive engines of our economy!

The current Democratic Labour Party (DLP) government is extremely backward and unenlightened in their approach to Education.  Not only have they committed an unforgivable sin by dismantling our system of “free” tertiary education at the University of the West Indies, thereby causing the number of Barbadian students at UWI to decline by some 3,200!  But they also seem not to have grasped the idea that “Education” is a sphere in which Barbados enjoys a comparative advantage, and could be developed into a new foreign exchange earning industry!

Barbados – after all – already has an historical tradition of providing educational services for Caribbean and extra-regional students at such institutions as Codrington College, the Lodge School, Codrington High School and Erdiston Teachers Training College.

Furthermore, we currently possess a gem of a University campus in the form of our Cave Hill Campus and its associated Errol Barrow Centre For Creative Imagination, located in close proximity to the high-end tourism attractions of the West Coast.

In addition, Barbados possesses a reputation for order, stability and personal safety that would add to its attractiveness as a regional and international centre for education services!

Surely, with the application of just a little imagination we should be able to conceive of the possibility of establishing a foreign exchange earning education industry built around not only the afore-mentioned educational institutions, but also the Barbados Institute of Management and Productivity (BIMAP), the Barbados Community College, and such iconic Barbadian secondary schools as Harrison College, Combermere, Queens College and the Ursuline Convent, as well as a number of totally new, specially designed institutions.

EDUCATION TO THE RESCUE

My vision for the future development of Barbados is not only centred around the idea of establishing an education industry with a foreign exchange earning capacity, but also around the notion that there are at least nineteen other developmental initiatives that we can embark upon once we have as our foundation a revamped education system capable of producing a conscious, patriotic, culturally rooted, highly educated and trained population.

We will next turn our attention to these proposed developmental initiatives in the concluding parts of this extended essay.

(To be continued)

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96 Comments on “DON’T AGONIZE! ORGANIZE! (Part 3)”

  1. MoneyBrain November 13, 2015 at 2:43 PM #

    @Hants

    Chase nearly gave it away on that big drive with out keeping the bat snug to the pad and not properly getting to the pitch of the ball. Trust he cools down and make a century, good yute even though he went to Cawmere.

    Like

  2. MoneyBrain November 13, 2015 at 3:00 PM #

    @GP

    I hoping that the Aussies are so tired killing NZ bowling that they will still be suffering serious fatigue( Fibromyalgia or wussa ) when WI A Team arrives. Bdos Colts of 1950-60s was stronger.

    Like

  3. MoneyBrain November 13, 2015 at 3:16 PM #

    @Hants wrote hunt down people with drones and kill them.

    So Jihadi John was a sweet bread den? IS just killed 40+ and wounded 181+++ in Beirut, is that ok? They blew up 215+ innocents over Egypt, that is fine?

    Skippa the Russian’s were not focused on IS yet, they were more interested in the Rebels since Assad is their guy. IS has signed the IS EXTERMINATION WARRANT now, they better have Allah on their side, as pissing off Russia,America,Shiites,Iran, Hezbollah, Kurds et al is not clever at all.

    RIP IS

    Like

  4. David November 13, 2015 at 3:39 PM #

    @MB

    Bullshit!

    Isn’t better to attack weaken ISIS in Syria outside of Russia? Why wait until it tries to establish a caliphate in Russia.

    Like

  5. de Ingrunt Word November 13, 2015 at 4:19 PM #

    So David, that is your informed view on Putin’s decision to enter the Syrian mess: that he wants to stop ISIS before they reach his borders ?

    I have read and heard many other scenarios like desire to make Russia relevant in Mid East affairs; desire to establish stronger commercial links to Syria and beyond; to reestablish and burnish Russia’s image as a world power; to restate their position and gain bargaining chips to push back on the sanctions over the Ukraine annexation; to continue to bolster Putin’s image as a strongman domestically and too the greater extreme of pushing the US influence out of mid East…

    But, despite all previous Muslim ethnic purges in Russia’s area of concern I have heard not one suggestion that Putin fears ISIS in his country or its surroundings.

    Clearly Putin would put boots in their faces and bomb ISIS to oblivion if they threaten his country directly.

    Like

  6. David November 13, 2015 at 4:24 PM #

    @Dee Word

    We are so hypocritical and brainwashed when it comes to Russia and the West. We ascribe all kinds of geopolitical considerations to the actions of the West and neglect to do same with those awful cretins the Russians from the dark world.

    Like

  7. MoneyBrain November 13, 2015 at 5:11 PM #

    I heard that a couple weeks ago, Rick Santorum and Ted Cruz spent some time hunting pheasants in Iowa. When Donald Trump heard that, he was like, “Why wasn’t I invited? I love hunting peasants.”

    Like

  8. MoneyBrain November 13, 2015 at 5:15 PM #

    @David your 3.39pm point was unclear, please explain.

    Like

  9. David November 13, 2015 at 6:30 PM #

    Apology to you MB, misread your comment.

    Like

  10. pieceuhderockyeahright November 13, 2015 at 6:48 PM #

    In support of the Blogmaster, I recently saw a BBC article where the Russian Foreign Secretary was quoted as saying that they were supporting the action against IS for precisely the said issue, NO IS in Russia.

    Being the forever conspiracist I am led to wonder as to the wisdom of the bomb on the Russian flight and if it was not a plant by **, just asking since I am mindful of two things

    One. The fact that Russia flew out 11,000 visitors after the incident WITHOUT ANY REPEAT INCIDENT AND

    Two. The significant Investigation team they put on the ground immediately after the plane incident

    Like

  11. Hants November 13, 2015 at 7:00 PM #

    State of Emergency across France. Terror attacks in Paris.

    Like

  12. millertheanunnaki November 13, 2015 at 7:34 PM #

    @ Hants November 13, 2015 at 7:00 PM

    This latest terrorist attack with 40 dead so far has serious ramifications especially for those French residents of North African ethnic origins. Even the blacks from sub-Sahara are at serious risks from retaliatory measures from right-wing groups in France and across the wider Europe.

    The Charlie Hebdo attack and now this I S retaliation for its recent losses in Syria.
    North Americans will now be advised to stay away next Spring from Paris and other European cities.

    This latest attack would only put a feather in the political cap of Marine Le Pen, the now highly likely next President of France.

    Like

  13. Hants November 13, 2015 at 7:52 PM #

    @millertheanunnaki,

    This will now result in terror alerts around the world. Nobody seems to have a solution to these ramdom attacks.

    Like

  14. pieceuhderockyeahright November 13, 2015 at 8:10 PM #

    and the more troubling thing is that this is more than likely a clean skin enacted series of attacks.

    There was a solution 10 years ago but no one heeded that and we are here

    To all intents and purposes this cant be recalled so easily

    Like

  15. millertheanunnaki November 13, 2015 at 8:11 PM #

    @ Hants November 13, 2015 at 7:52 PM

    Our immediate concern ought to be the Caribbean where there is a high dependence on tourism involving visitors from Europe and North America.

    These islands are very vulnerable and- with a growing presence of Islamic fundamentalism in the region- governments ought to be on their guard and in the larger interest of safety and security must give no special dispensation to any particular group on the grounds of religious or other cultural behaviours.

    Like

  16. MoneyBrain November 13, 2015 at 8:20 PM #

    Evidently the head of MI6 stated recently that his info was showing extremely high risk levels.
    The conspiracy theory regarding the plane could be so, as giving the Russians reason to attack IS basically allows the US to accomplish some of their goals without risking conflicts in the air.

    Like

  17. Georgie Porgie November 13, 2015 at 8:21 PM #

    2 Timothy Chapter 3
    1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
    2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
    3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
    4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
    5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

    Like

  18. Hants November 13, 2015 at 8:23 PM #

    @ millertheanunnaki,

    I concur.

    Like

  19. de Ingrunt Word November 13, 2015 at 8:33 PM #

    @David at 4:24 PM…strong word ‘cretin’. The Russians are ‘gerry mandering’ boundaries and alliances in the same way as the US – as you noted. In THAT sense their behaviour is no more ‘cretinous’ than US.

    And re “hypocritical and brainwashed”, the only folks who are in that category are leftists ideologues. Any realist who grew into adulthood or lived through the ‘cold war’ can in NO WAY be conflicted on what Russia does.

    All that said one has to admire Putin’s geo-political movementations. He is bold and is wont to shove his muscled forearm & biceps in the West’s face (or otherwise) with seeming impunity.

    Journalists have been killed under his watch, critics silenced with esoteric radioactive tinged drugs, musical groups banned and imprisoned and the man just stays in control whether he is PM or President…so NO David there is no hypocrisy about Putin or Russia. It just what it is..a stark realism.

    @ Pieces, glad that the Comrade ‘impressed’ (?? or is it ‘depressed’) you with that verbiage. Surely, therefore George Bush also ‘impressed’ you when he said that WMD was the catalyst for his Iraq war.

    Oh, you may be on to something re that downed-plane. LOLLLL

    Like

  20. Dompey November 13, 2015 at 8:43 PM #

    I wonder if all of the attention Ben Carson is attracting nationally, is centered around the fact that he was this internationally acclaimed pediatric neurosurgent?

    I am rooting for the brother and hope he does win, but it would sure help if he had held political office; or had had some foreign policy experience, as well as to demonstrate a knowledge of the troubling immigration crisis in America,

    Like

  21. ac November 14, 2015 at 7:57 AM #

    how can any one root for Ben Carson he has lied and plagiarized stories in his best selling books,
    The man is an unrepentant liar as he tries to take the black community for fools using political language to sway blacks into believing that he can relate to their life stories with a hidden agenda of postulating life stories bolstered with thug “like” behaviour which is not true,
    The guy is another self serving politician making his way on the horizon by practicing half truth and uttering predictable political rhetoric .
    He should be banished into forgetfulness and only been seen or heard when matters of health interest needs his input,

    Like

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