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

Where will the money come from? Government to bail out University of the West Indies $150 million.

“Staggering debt” didn’t happen overnight

Pardon our cynicism, but we are headed into an election campaign in the next few weeks, aren’t we?

Promises fell like raindrops as Prime Minister Stuart and Finance Minister Sinckler assured SIR Hilary Beckles that the government will somehow shove some money to the UWI to stave off the creditors.

Free education is not so free, doan ya know?

A hundred million here, three hundred million there, seventy million over there… pretty soon you be talkin’ real money!

Further Reading

Dear readers: please go to the website of The Nation to read A hand for UWI – but you know we have to reprint the entire article here because The Nation has deleted and changed stories in the past to suit political agendas, and seeing as how our story is based upon their story, we have to reprint the whole thing… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Education

An Alien in my own Barbados

“I know there are many like myself who cannot find work (because we are over-educated). It’s really ironic. Tell me what do we do? Join the guys on the block? Put on ski mask and rob the banks? Turn to the world of prostitution?  Sell Cornwell? Tell me for I have run out of answers!”

Unemployment gets me down

by a BFP reader

For almost a year now I have been for lack of a better word ‘forced’ to listen to Down to Brass Tacks, although I must confess that at most times I do enjoy the lively exchanges between the public and moderators. I use the word forced because after almost a year I cannot find a decent job in my county Barbados and had to content myself with staying at home listening to Down To Brass Tacks.

I heard it was mentioned more that once on Down to Brass Tacks about persons complaining that they can’t find work. The moderator even suggests work is out there and persons really do not want to work.  I totally disagree with what is being said because there are some of us who would like to be given the opportunity to prove our worth.

Take my situation for instance; young ambitious, versatile and a self starter who studied up to tertiary level. I have vast work experience from banking to clerical officer and manager. I even owned my own business but due to the recession and problems I encountered was forced to close the doors on that.

After this I searched high and low for employment and even accepted one job that was not to my standards. A job is supposed to be a job or so they say, but I beg to differ. After some frustrations on the job I decided that Barbados seemed to have nothing to offer me. I left this island and spent some time in two other countries (Grand Caymans and Anguilla) seeking work. I did not receive work in these countries because of work permit issues. They said that due to the recession times they were offering the work to the locals first, which is understandable.  I must add that these countries saw me as highly qualified – unlike my own country. (I believe the saying, that you cannot be a king in your own country.)

I returned home and have been seeking work for months. I have been to about 50 interviews; I am not joking. I have written over 100 job applications, called around every day to places and still have had no success. At the interviews I attended I was told that I was over-qualified or I just had no response. This caused me to wonder what I had done incorrectly. I even wrote back to some of these companies asking for opinions as to why I did not get these jobs and some responded that I had no experience in those areas I applied for.

Allow me to read this letter to you. It is the latest response I received for a position I saw advertised in our newspaper. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Economy, Education

Attention UWI Cave Hill philosophy majors: Your country needs you!

 

Now this is funny, but probably not to half the folks at Cave Hill.

Not because they won’t get the joke, but because they will…

The only thing that can stop this asteroid is your Liberal Arts Degree

By now you’re probably wondering what this is all about, why FBI agents pulled you out of your barista job, threw you on a helicopter, and brought you to NASA headquarters. There’s no time, so I’ll shoot it to you straight. You’ve seen the news reports. What hit New York wasn’t some debris from an old satellite. There’s an asteroid the size of Montana heading toward Earth and if it hits us, the planet is over. But we’ve got one last-ditch plan. We need a team to land on the surface of the asteroid, drill a nuclear warhead one mile into its core, and get out before it explodes. And you’re just the liberal arts major we need to lead that team…

… continue reading The only thing that can stop this asteroid is your Liberal Arts Degree by Mike Lacher

 

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Filed under Barbados, Education

What Alexandra School students learned today…

Thirty Alexandra School teachers receive full pay for illegal 3 week strike

by One Who Knows

With the arrival of their regular pay yesterday, the 30 teachers at Alexandra School who abandoned their students for an illegal 3 week strike learned that the government, school authorities and the taxpayers will tolerate this behaviour. They learned that the DLP government is too frightened of the government workers to take the reasonable action of docking their pay for missed days.

The students learned that the equation ‘work = paycheque’ is as invalid as the concept of ‘basic standards’ in employer – employee relations. By now the students have learned that there is not a hope in hell that the lost 3 weeks will be made up in any meaningful way. The students are not worried because they know that the teachers will pass them on anyway at the end of term. They learned that they must be passed on or the teachers would have to admit that the strike harmed the students and that the lost time was not made up for. So the students know they will be successful at the end of term.

The non-striking teachers also learned a lesson: they should have gone with the mob. The mob are the heroes, the non-striking teachers are the villains and fools: villains for not showing solidarity with the others and fools because there was no penalty.

There were many lessons learned during the illegal strike, but the biggest lesson came yesterday: from the Stuart Government when it sent the regular pay to the striking teachers.

Nation News: Not docked

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Filed under Barbados, Education

A suggestion about the Alexandra School crisis

by Michele Robertson

I have been reading of the controversy regarding the Principal and teachers of the Alexandra School and the Ministry of Education.  I cannot understand why the people are not looking for a solution but seem to be divided along political lines. From reading the Nation newspaper online for the past three weeks I get the feeling that Mr Jeffrey Broomes is being backed by the Minister of Education, Mr Ronold Jones and the Democratic Labour Party .

There also seems to be inflexibility by some of the teachers at the Alexandria School. That inflexibility has been causing some educational problems for the students. I would suggest a possible solution to ensure that the students at Alexandra school do not suffer any longer.

I think that the powers that be can arrive at a solution along the following lines:

1.    The Principal be put on temporary leave for two weeks.
2.    The striking teachers are put on temporary leave for 2 weeks.
3.    Senior retired teachers like Mr Perry and teachers at other secondary schools give their time to Alexandra Secondary School to teach the classes affected by the dilemma.

That would give:

1. The student’s continuing education
2. A cooling off period for the striking teachers and the Principal
3. The Government, not the Minister of Education the chance to come up with a final solution.
I hope that these ideas could be considered by all of the parties involve and a solution reached.

Michele Robertson
(Barbadian)
Surrey, UK

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Filed under Education

How do grade school textbooks portray Islam? New study may shock you

ACT! for America Education releases alert about forthcoming study

Brigitte Gabriel - President, ACT! for America Education

Eighteen months ago ACT! for America Education launched an in-depth analysis of thirty-eight 6th through 12th grade textbooks, to see how they treated the subject of Islam.

The research has been completed, and what we have found will shock you. The historical falsehoods, bias and other misrepresentations of Islam in these textbooks are egregious and persistent.

We are currently completing the writing and final edits to the report, which will document over 245 errors in these various textbooks.

Here’s a small sample of what we found. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Education, Religion

Nigerian Islamic Sharia Court to hack off thieves’ hands – Barbados Muslim says that’s okay!

Why Barbados must fight against Islamic values and laws being taught in local schools

My Lord, Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury (obviously not an Islamic court because no women are allowed), I beg to introduce Fact #1…

“An Islamic sharia court in  Zamfara State has sentenced two men to amputation of their right wrists for stealing a bull, with the amputation to be carried out in public if it is given final approval.”

From the September 9, 2011 Vanguard News story: Sharia court sentences two to amputation for theft

And now for Fact #2, courtesy of a 14 year-old female student at Barbados Al-Falah Muslim School…

“Beheading..chopping off your hands, severe beatings,etc. Are strict Islamic rules and these are the things that were done during our prophets time and are continued till this day to follow the tradition, there is nothing wrong in it.”

Quoted in the November 26, 2010 BFP post Barbados Muslim Girls School, 14 year old student: “Nothing wrong with beheading, chopping off your hands, severe beatings”

Remember folks – nothing explains Islam better than ordinary Muslims talking about what they believe and what they are taught to believe.

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Education, Religion

Shan Bovell: “If we protect our environment, we protect our tourism.”

Shan Bovell of The Lodge School won Second Place and $500 in Ages 14-18 in the recent Canada-Barbados Environmental Essay Contest. Here is her excellent essay…

Why is the Environment Important to Barbados?

In an underdeveloped country, don’t drink the water; in a developed country, don’t breathe the air (Changing Times Magazine). The environment is the most fundamental unit of life for Barbados. It’s funny how the government only thinks about the environment when something drastic happens or when Mother Nature lays her hands on us. We have taken this key and unlocked a whole new world but haven’t been showing it the gratitude it deserves.

For too long we’ve been changing out environment to suit out needs or should we say “moving the earth to please” as the motto of C.O. Williams Construction Company says. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Education, Environment

Rhea Campbell: Journey Of The Corn Curl Wrapper

Rhea Campbell of The Ursuline Convent School won an Honorable Mention in Ages 9-13 in the recent Canada-Barbados Environmental Essay Contest. Here is her excellent essay…

Journey Of The Corn Curl Wrapper

The bell rang signalling the end of break. While Jenny and Kurt were walking back to class, she noticed that Kurt threw his corn curl wrapper on the ground without a second thought. Jenny scolded him about the harm the wrapper could cause; but Kurt just shrugged it off and continued walking to the classroom.

Now Kurt lived next door to his school. All that afternoon the wind was high: one gust blew the wrapper over the fence and into his mother’s garden bed of exotic Heliconia seedlings. A few days later, while Kurt’s mother was tending to her young plants, she noticed that a small bunch of seedling had withered. When she took a closer look, she saw the base of the stems smothered by a corn curl wrapper. On removing the wrapper, she realized the trapped heat had caused a scorching effect on the tiny stems. In her haste to save the little plants she forgot to discard the corn curl wrapper properly. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Education, Environment

Sulaimaan Ukadia of the Al Falah Primary School wins BNB Right Start speech competition

We missed this story back in February and thanks to one of our readers for bringing it to our attention.

Congratulations to Sulaimaan Ukadia. He obviously has some talent and we’ll be waiting to see his efforts in future contests.

Cricket is still king

He was first on stage and, after a clever take on the game of cricket in a speech entitled “Cricket – A game that incites passion”, Sulaimaan Ukadia of the Al Falah Primary School was first in the eyes of the judges at the inaugural Barbados National Bank (BNB) Right Start Primary School Speech Competition. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Cricket, Education

Tri Mart will not sell cigarettes to plumbers, carpenters…

… Or to Miners

Someone please tell me that this is a PhotoShop creation!

It must be, right? Here in Barbados we brags that we gots de highest litter I see rates in de Carib? Rights you is? Right?

Maybe they doesn’t not. Or do not. Or doesn’t nor do not or someting to de miners in de hole. Coulda happen!

Cha!

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Filed under Barbados, Education