BU wishes to express disappointment no Barbadian teacher was nominated to be considered for the 2016 Global Teacher Prize. Thousands of nominations, with a capital T, were submitted from 148 countries.
The objective of the Varkey Foundation by supporting the prize is to engender discussion about the critical role of the teacher. If there is no pride felt by the teaching profession to motivate a nomination of a local teacher surely the USD one million dollar prize should have been enough to motivate the most lethargic of manager in the education sector in Barbados?
Teacher’s Professional Day is celebrated annually in Barbados. Billions of dollars have been allocated to the national budget ‘to produce citizens who are well-balanced, disciplined, industrious, creative, self-reliant persons who can think critically and function effectively in a modern society.’ – Ministry of Education Website. The foregoing begs the question, why were there no applications submitted from Barbados based the postings on the Global Teacher Prize website?
What metric should Barbados implement to ensure a fair ROI is received from the investment taxpayers continue to plough into education? The inability of the leadership in Barbados to be motivated to submit an application for one or two teachers to the 2016 Global Teacher Prize is a worrying indicator any way it is viewed. From all reports this prize, in its second year, is considered by many as the Nobel Prize of teaching.
If sceptics on the blog believe this is a harsh critique about the level of intelligence at play in Barbados – BU understands from a reliable source that a conscientious Barbadian was able to secure sponsorship of $30,000 to develop and deliver a customized course about Telecoms and Internet Regulations targeting the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) and the Telecommunications Unit. The Human Resources Manager at the FTC indicated they were not interested. Have we not heard public lamentation by FTC senior managers about the lack of training?
Why Barbadians should be more worried?
Twenty five FTC, Telecoms Unit and other ICT related organizations employees were encouraged to signup for the course, only seven finished the course, 18 dropped out claiming they were too busy or the course was too difficult. On a positive note, one young lady from the Telecoms Unit who finished the course was awarded an Ambassadorship by the sponsor, and represented them in Brazil at a global conference on policy regulation.
We need to have a critical look at the education schema. There is something not right with the finished product. We need to up our game IF we want to produce a nucleus of the workforce who are ready for the global market.