Barbados Cricket World Cup 2007 – “Nothing Else Matters To The Powers That Be”

It doesn't matter whether you are a DLP, PEP or BLP supporter. I don't care if you are for or against Barbados hosting the Cricket World Cup, or whether you are monied, poor, old or young…

You simply must read in full Hartley Henry's article "Under the Microscope – Living for CWC" in today's Nation News online.

School About To Close For Lack of Funds – But Cricket Money Keeps On Coming

Challenor School for challenged children is about to close for lack of Government funding, and in the midst of this debate, Mr. Henry makes a number of points that ring of truth – whether inconvenient or not…

All of a sudden, it would appear that all Barbadians are working for and paying their taxes towards is the hosting of Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2007. Nothing or no one else matters to the powers that be. We are all now living for the hosting of a cricket game.

On one evening a Prime Minister is on state television telling us of $135 million that has been spent on readying Kensington Oval for the hosting of a few cricket matches. Then, a few days later, a frustrated administrator of the Challenor School is almost tearfully telling us of how 60 gifted, but slightly challenged children will have their hopes of a brighter tomorrow dashed, because Government either refuses or is not in a position to give them the subvention that they require to keep the doors to that institution open.

Barbados Free Press has stated in the past – the costs for Cricket World Cup are out of control and it is not going to get any better. Spending priorities are upside down. School, health, water, sewage and other infrastructures are in crisis, but by God the elites will have their gin & tonics while they watch cricket at their new stadium.

As we wrote in our recent article "Barbados Government Triumph! – Plastic Water Drums Are Blue, With Faucet!"

Sometimes I get so angry, but other times I just want to weep – for the tragedy of Barbados citizens whose expectations have been driven so low that they are reduced to being grateful for a plastic water drum.

Scraps tossed from the table of those who are spending a third of a billion dollars on a few weeks of cricket.

We will leave you with a few more excerpts from Mr. Henry's article…

…There is no way under the sun that the Challenor School should be closing because of a lack of funds in a country that is forking out I predict, no less than 175 million hard- earned taxpayers' dollars to ready a cricket stadium for the hosting of a cricket match.

There is no way that the Queen Elizabeth Hospital should be going without adequate professional staff, amenities and medications, while $175 million is set aside for a cricket game, that will be witnessed live, by less than two per cent of our population.

There is no way that over 7 000 Barbadians should be on a waiting list at the National Housing Corporation for a house spot or rented unit, while $175 million is found to support the hosting of a cricket game.

Read all of "Under the Microscope – Living for CWC"

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8 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Island Life, Politics & Corruption

8 responses to “Barbados Cricket World Cup 2007 – “Nothing Else Matters To The Powers That Be”

  1. Jane

    What a sad state of affairs. Mr. Henry has only touched on a few of the major problems in our country which need urgent attention.
    But is anybody listening? Will anything change now or will we stay on the path which has been chosen for all of us by our leaders without opposition?

  2. It is indeed sad that Government will allow Hartley Henry’s to pluck at the country’s emotional strings in this manner. GoB have you not anything to say on this matter? I certainly don’t believe that Government alone should be contributing to the school. You mean that we are so hurt by this that we will stop short of rising up and doing for ourselves only to point to government? are we afraid that we could show up the government in a big way, and by so doing we will be ask to more for ourselves? Pray tell what is wrong with that? How much is the subvention? and what can I as a citizen do? As one out of 270,000.000 who can i send my 10-100.00 dollars too? How can i adopt the school with a monthly, yearly or life-time pledge? why can we via the radio programs host a telethon and raise millions of dollars to send to grenada and New Orleans and cannot do the same for our own? Are we this powerless that we must always defer to a Government system and political practioners that are looking out for themselves first?

    Hartley Henry’s rant as truthfull as it is helps him more than it does the school. I ask you to hold the GoB responsible while doing what we need to do to help this school.

  3. BFP

    And there is another entire perspective by Adrian – one, I might add, that is the subject of hot debate in the USA right now….

    How much should the state be involved in primary education? How much should the state be involved in the education or care of the physically and mentally disabled?

    Surely Adrian is not saying that the state should abandon public funds for education of the disabled?

  4. Your last question first. I will repeat

    I ASK YOU TO HOLD THE GOB RESPONSIBLE WHILE DOING WHAT WE NEED TO DO TO HELP THIS SCHOOL.

    ….you see unlike you I am focus on an outcome, and i am doing so in light of the realities on the ground. A reality that has seen our Government not proactivly dealing or treating to several concerns, and i have a feeling that this school will not fear any better, so that if the the GoB does nothing then the school closes, I wish for the school to remain open, what should we do? your approach and that of Hartley Henry’s isn’t going to work in time to save the school if at all.

    It is really sad that what i am advocating (citizens self-help) is concidered “another entire perspective” It should be all of our perspectives. What better way to demonstrate to the GoB that they need us more than we need them, than by doing for ourselves that which we would normaly look to them for? Such would encourage us to kick their asses out without fear or concern, whenever the need arises.

    ….what is the hot debate in the USA????

  5. BFP

    Hi Adrian

    The hot debate is over the entire subject of public funds for schools vs. an education voucher system. Another hot debate is the pretty-well total abandonment of families with crippled children – with government funding being slashed and the entire financial burden being transferred back to the families. The ultimate question being “How much am I to be my brother’s keeper?” both individually and societally.

    But if the government are simply going to walk away from public education and support of the disabled, then they had better adjust the tax numbers so families and communities can do it for themselves.

  6. People in Barbados need to get creative, and Hartley Henry isn’t any help in that regard. This guy is a joke if i have ever seen one.

    The school voucher program is very dear to me, as i have abandon the public schools in my neck of the woods, and want the head-count dollars they get for my son to be given to me in the form of a voucher so that i can more control over his education. We are currently homeschooling. I see the Rock christian school gaining some of the highest marks in the 11+, it would be a sad day if Barbadians allow their public schools to slide into the chasm that characterize way to many public schools in America, and since i believe the promblem in America is the unwillingness of the Teachers Union by way of their teachers to teach our children and the fact that many Barbadian Teachers are now attenting Teacher conferences in the US, it is only a matter of time before they start changing things for all the wrong reasons and breaking what is still a very good system.

  7. BFP

    Good for you on the home-schooling, Adrian! You, your wife and your children will never regret it.

    The US schools? Let me illustrate them with a story…

    A friend of mine runs a business in New York city. When prospective employees apply for a job, he asks first “Do you have a high (secondary) school diploma”, and secondly “Can you read and write?”

    … because the first is no guarantee of the second.

  8. william duguid

    From the Nation Newspaper June 2005

    THE CHALLENOR ADULT TRAINING FACILITY has received a life-line from Government.

    Last week project manager June Blackman, announced that the St Thomas institution, which provides skills training for mentally challenged adults, was in deep financial problems and may be forced to close its doors come September.

    However, Minister of Social Transformation Hamilton Lashley told WEEKEND NATION yesterday that Government would be providing financial assistance to the school.

    Edison Alleyne, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Transformation, met with Blackman and other officials last week to discuss the problems at the centre.

    He explained that the Challenor Creative Arts and Training Centre had received a loan of $1 million in 2002 from the Social Investment Fund to cover its start-up cost when it opened in 2002. However it was revealed that the bulk of the money went towards paying administrative costs which is estimated at $300 000 annually.

    In addition, the Ministry of Education increased its subvention to the centre by $126 000 to $600 000 annually from April 1 this year. But, it was also revealed that despite this, there was a shortfall in funding of $300 000.

    To solve these problems the centre was requested to write the Ministry of Education seeking supplemental funds in the amount of $255 000 to cover this shortfall and to write the Ministry of Social Transformation for financial assistance to cover two months of operations.

    In addition, it will receive $75 000 from the Rural Development Commission to cover its expenditure until the end of September 2005 and was asked to write the RDC requesting that the loan of $1 million be converted into a grant.

    It is obvious from this article that Government has been offerring significant assistance to the school for along time. And we also have the children,s Development Center which is funded by the Government and other schools for these kids.

    It is unfair for Mr Henry to even suggest that Government has done nothing to help this private facility eventhough we also have other Government Owned facilities which continue to provide an excellent service.

    Maybe this is just him Grand Standing to score sorry get Political Points.