Category Archives: Education

Wycliffe Hall Oxford University looking for a portrait of Lodge School principal Harry Beaujon Gooding

Oxford Wycliffe Hall

Dear Barbados Free Press,

I am Clerk of Works at Wycliffe Hall, a theological college, part of Oxford University, England.

I am undertaking a project to have all our former principals portraits hung in our main foyer. I have been unable to locate any portrait of Harry Beaujon Gooding who I believe was a former principal at the Lodge School, Barbados.

I have been unable to contact the Lodge School, and would appreciate assistance.

Kind regards

Phil

Phil Chapman
Clerk of Works
Wycliffe Hall
52-54 Banbury Road
Oxford
OX2 6PW
Tel: 01865 274219
E-mail: maintenance (AT) wycliffe.ox.ac.uk

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Filed under Barbados, Education, History

Political bias undermines the integrity of the University of the West Indies

Open letter to Matthew Peters, President UWI Student Guild, St Augustine campus

“The fact that you could openly admit that there were persons with whom you surround yourself, who flagrantly scorned the inclusion of any government member in the panel, clearly reflects a bias in your organizing committee.”

Mr. Matthew Peters
President
Student Guild
The University of the West Indies – St. Augustine Campus

Dear Mr. Peters,

An Election Poster by any name! (click for large)

An Election Poster by any name! (click for large)

I do hope that this email does not intimidate you in any way, but as many of the persons copied can attest to, this style of ‘blogging’ has become a habit of mine in an effort to transport the art of debating into the 21st century. I would also like you to know that I have blind-copied government officials in this email as well, however, following the cause célèbre that was ’emailgate’ I feel it is now necessary to preserve the identity of these email addresses lest another unfortunate incident such as that should fabricate.

It is actually in keeping with this philosophy that I approached your good self that fateful evening, only yesterday, to convey my opinion of your planned forum on the proposed budget currently being debated in the august halls of Parliament. Now for those who may not already be aware, The Student Guild at The UWI St. Augustine Campus in conjunction with the ‘Heliconia Foundation for Young Professionals PNM Youth League’ (sic), will be hosting a Post Budget Forum on Wednesday 17th September, 2014. This forum, which is being held on campus, will feature the following panelists:

  • Dr. the Hon. Keith Rowley, Leader of the Opposition and Member of Parliament for Diego Martin West;
  • Dr. the Hon. Lester Henry – Opposition Senator;
  • Mr. Matthew Peters – President of the Student Guild; and
  • Ms. Melissa Pulchan – Youth Speaker.

I had previously been unaware of the event when I happened to glimpse the handbill fluttering upon the wall it was hastily stuck against, as if trying to escape its glue-bound confinement. Upon further inspection I experienced an agglomeration of emotion all attacking me at once, while simultaneously wondering if it was real. To my dread, indeed it was real, a printed notification announcing a political meeting to be held in the once hallowed and respected halls of The UWI campus under the guise of academic forum. One need only to examine any of the dozens of flyers currently littering the hallways on campus to arrive at this determination. For those unable to do so in person however, I submit a photo of the flyer, attached to this email, for your own perusal.

Why would the picture of Hon. Dr. Rowley, featured across a quarter of the face,  so glamorously display his balisier tie, given that it’s the PNM’s official logo? Why else would the panel consist of only members of the PNM? And why collaborate with the Heliconia Foundation, which is rooted firmly within the ambit of the PNM? If there was any doubt that the PNM propaganda machine had been stagnating, this clearly proves otherwise. Continue reading

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Filed under Corruption, Education, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Barbados government okays Communist Party of China to educate young Barbadians

china-barbados-flag-sm

Barbados’ Minister of Education Ronald Jones gushed with fawning excitement at the unveiling of a plaque to announce that the Communist Party of China will now be teaching our young people their version of China’s history, foreign affairs and human rights. Press release here

China’s Ambassador to Barbados, Wang Ke, was smiling too because he knows that the Chinese Communist Party’s access to our Bajan youth will be on an exclusive basis – with no opposition or human rights groups allowed to spoil the party at the new Confucius Institute to be established at UWI’s Cave Hill Campus.

Teaching adherence to the Chinese Communist party line is a basic requirement by the ChiComs if Barbados is to receive the construction funds and ongoing operational costs from China.

China has built hundreds of these institutions all over the world, that according to various news stories, act as propaganda and espionage centres for the communists.

Don’t expect too many discussions about Tibet, China’s harvesting of organs from executed political prisoners, China’s slave camp system, new African colonialism or government persecution of Christians.

Just take that money and run!

Because… when you’re broke and begging you have no independence left at all.

from Wikipedia Criticisms of Confucius Institutes

“The Confucius Institute (CI) program, which began establishing centers for Chinese language instruction in 2004, has been the subject of criticisms, concerns, and controversies during its international expansion.

Many such concerns stem from the CI’s relationship to Chinese Communist Party authorities, giving rise to criticisms about undermining academic freedom at host universities, engaging in industrial and military espionage, surveillance of Chinese students abroad, and attempts to advance the single-party state Chinese government’s political agendas on controversial issues such as Tibet and Taiwan. Additional concerns have arisen over the institutes’ financial and academic viability, teaching quality, and relations with Chinese partner universities.

Confucius Institutes have defended their establishments, comparing them with other cultural promotion organizations such as Alliance française and Goethe-Institut. However, unlike the Alliance francaise or Goethe-Institut, Confucius Institutes are managed by the Chinese government and operate directly on university campuses, thus giving rise to unique concerns related to academic freedom and political influence. Some observers have noted that CIs are largely limited to teaching cultural and language programs, and the institutes’ staff tend to self-censor with regards to political and controversial subjects as human rights and democracy.”

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Filed under Barbados, China, Education, Human Rights

A solution for financial problems dogging the University of the West Indies

cave-hill-barbados-uwi

“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

by Nevermind Kurt

by Nevermind Kurt

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?   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Consumer Issues, Education

E-readers a great idea for Bajan schools, but money isn’t the only problem

Barbados School Textbooks

Dear BFP,

There is a move afoot to equip all secondary school students with E-readers. This is a great idea because this technology actually cuts costs over the long run when compared with physical textbooks and provides the latest learning materials.

That’s the upside. The downside is that E-Readers are more fragile than textbooks, and are more likely to be stolen. We’re not even talking about the problems with procuring and supporting the technology.

I can’t think of one educational procurement programme that has actually turned out well with the current administration and I don’t see why we should have faith that this one will be any better. I hope we have some rules in place before we spend millions on these devices with no controls about bidding and conflicts of interest etc.

(name withheld upon request)

E-readers for all

A move is now on to provide all 23,000-plus secondary school children in Barbados with e-readers.

The initiative, which is being led by the heads of the island’s 22 secondary schools, is designed to eliminate the headaches of issuing each child with nearly two dozen textbooks annually, and eliminate the tens of thousands each institution spends of book replenishment each year.

One of the education administrators who expressed delight at the progress made on the project so far noted they were aiming to have the e-readers in students hands not later than September 2014, “but sooner than that if all goes according to plan.”

One principal explained that while the evolving of the Textbook Revolving Loan Scheme into an e-reader based programme started with principals who clearly understood the benefits such a shift would bring, they all recognised that before it becomes a reality the Ministry of Education would have to be brought on board as a major player.

In the meanwhile though, the principals explained that given the continued dramatic fall in the prices of e-readers versus the escalating cost of traditional textbook, the change would significantly enhance the mechanism for supplying students with reading material…

…continue reading this article at Barbados Today

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Filed under Barbados, Education, Technology

Barbados Chief Justice to meet with a man. Will consider maybe putting up website!!!!!

CHIEF Justice of Barbados Sir Marston Gibson is of the view that there should be greater use of technology in the Supreme Court of Barbados.

Yesterday, he revealed that he would be meeting with a visiting official who would assist in getting court decisions available via the World Wide Web, “so that you can be sitting in Germany and go onto our website or their website and see our decisions,” he said.

Barbados Advocate: Use Technology more!

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Filed under Education

Barbados Free Press article again used in school textbook

Practical English for the Caribbean

Back in 2010 we were pleased to receive a request from Nelson Thornes Ltd. to use one of our articles in a school textbook published for the Caribbean educational market.

BFP’s article ‘Should we restrict the sale of disposable plastic water bottles in Barbados?’ was used with our permission in ‘CCSLC English Students Book 1’ and enjoyed a print run of over 18,000 textbooks.

Now we’ve given our permission to include the same BFP article in a new school textbook by the same publisher: Practical English for the Caribbean. The book will be published in January 2013.

Naturally, we’ve had to refuse any fees for the use of our article. BFP is just happy to help out with the education of our young people throughout the Caribbean.

If you want to read our original article, here it is…

Should we restrict the sale of disposable plastic water bottles in Barbados?

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Filed under Education