“Acknowledging how WORTHLESS most of the UWI degree programmes are to society and to the earning power of individual students would be a good start.”
UWI is sinking financially, but that might be a good thing
The Government of Barbados is behind in promised payments to the University of the West Indies by over US$100 million dollars.
Tongue in cheek as a taxpayer (and not a tax-vampire like so many of my fellow Bajans) I say that you can look at it as BDS$200 million and hope the currency will be devalued. Or you can value the debt in Jamaican dollars (11,190,083,000.00 JMD). Or Mexican pesos. Or Japanese Yen…
It really doesn’t matter how it’s counted it if Barbados can’t honour it…
And Barbados cannot make the promised payments to UWI. We are making thousands redundant in the civil service, cutting infrastructure development and maintenance, and still the government can’t meet continuing payrolls without further borrowing. There is no money for UWI.
For all his book-learning, Sir Hilary Beckles can be pretty thick at times, but at least he had the courage to speak the truth yesterday talking to Barbados Today, saying “In my own judgment I think if the Government had the resources they would have made them available to us, but the fact is that they don’t have them”.
That’s correct, Sir Hilary: no money, no honey. The coin jar is empty.
Sir Hilary’s solution, however, is to forgive tuition to students this September and hope that Barbados somehow comes up with the money.
Sir Hilary, PAY ATTENTION!
Here is where the academic world and the real world collide…
HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY.
A better idea: Shut down UWI at Cave Hill. Teach young people to install toilets, mix concrete, grow crops.
How many degree-holding sales clerks can Bridgetown support? How many useless BAs in Linguistics, French, Fine Arts, Creative Thinking, Philosophy and Social Studies can a small island nation of 250,000 citizens support?
How many lawyers do we need on this island? How many mathematicians with a BSc in pure mathematics?
Why do we continue to educate a huge proportion of our young people with degrees that they will never be able to profit from unless they leave not only Barbados, but the Caribbean?
What are we thinking to continue with this plan for failure? We take our brightest and our best and program them to take their education from Barbados the moment they graduate.
In his book “Worthless – The young person’s indispensable guide to Choosing the Right Major“, Aaron Clarey postulates that “the lowly plumber has more in common with the bio-engineer than does a doctorate in philosophy because the plumber, like the bio-engineer, produces something of value.”
And that is the answer to a whining Sir Hilary Beckles: Shut down UWI for a few years and rethink how the academic world can best SERVE Barbados and Bajans. Open a school for plumbers and mechanics. Take the lowest ranking five hundred Fine Arts undergraduates who won’t be able to find jobs anyway in their chosen degrees and teach them skills that the market demands.
Hope is not a strategy.
Acknowledging how WORTHLESS most of the UWI degree programmes are to society and to the earning power of individual students would be a good start.