Tag Archives: 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

36 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Education, Technology

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

 

15 Comments

Filed under Barbados, 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

26 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Education, Religion

Barbados Muslim Girls School, 14 year old student: “Nothing wrong with beheading, chopping off your hands, severe beatings”

What values are taught at Al-Falah Muslim School?

“Hijab is compulsory… hide woman’s beauty as protection from rape.”

“Beheading, chopping off your hands, severe beatings are Islamic rules, nothing wrong in it.”

When a dozen or so girls from the Al-Falah Islamic School recently participated in the Long Beach clean-up while wearing Muslim dress and veils, Barbados Free Press wrote The Muslim vision of the future for all Barbadian women and republished a photo of the group. (shown above, courtesy of The Nation)

Three of the students in the photo placed comments on our article – and what they have to say is most disturbing.

Naively, the 14 to 16 year old girl students of the Al-Falah Muslim School simply wrote the truth as they see it and revealed values and standards that are totally at odds with our society.

No person in Barbados, and especially in the Ministry of Education, can read their comments and not be concerned about what is being taught at the Al-Falah Muslim School.

In the past, Barbados Free Press questioned the text books used and the lessons taught at our Muslim schools. BFP asked what the Ministry of Education is doing to supervise a curriculum that is largely created and sometimes directly delivered (electronically and via publications) from Saudi Arabia.

This concern about Muslim schools is worldwide as advances in technology allow Saudi Arabia to export their values and standards to children in Muslim schools everywhere.

“PUPILS at Islamic schools across Britain are being taught how to chop off a criminal’s hand and that Jews are conspiring to take over the world, a BBC investigation has found.”

… from The Australian British pupils taught how to carry out Sharia punishments at Islamic schools

(Give thanks and a Banks beer to Jihad Watch for the link)

Barbados is not immune from the same type of problems being experienced in the UK.

Posted below is the full comment written by the teenage girl student from the Barbados Al-Falah Muslim School. You’ll find a link to the other two comments as well.

Are the values and standards shown in the comments an acceptable result for a school in Barbados?

Is teaching that that there is nothing wrong in mutilation and beheading for offences against Muslim Sharia law acceptable in our country’s schools?

Is it proper to teach that the onus is on women to prevent rape by “covering their beauty”?

You want to know what is taught at the Barbados Al-Falah Muslim School?

Here it is… Continue reading

167 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Education, Human Rights, Religion

Discipline, Punishment and the Lack Of Standards in Barbados Schools

A Commentary on the Ministry of Education’s ‘Code of Discipline’

During a recent visit to the Ministry of Education’s website, I came across a document entitled ‘Code of Discipline’. As an avid supporter of meaningful discipline within schools, I was immediately interested in the potential of this document to impact the social and moral climate of our future (our children). However, after I read the document I became deeply concerned about the approaches we are taking to instil discipline in our youth.

As a pseudo-intellectual I sometimes pretend that I can analyse the philosophical nature of various issues. What struck me philosophically about this document was the failure to recognize that effective discipline should support the reduction of future wrongdoings rather than just penalise students for their current moral failures. Students’ development and growth is just as important as the punishment for their present misconduct. Neglecting to address this developmental requirement also creates the perception in students’ minds that the administration does not care for students’ personal growth. This creates animosity and an adversarial environment when we should really be striving for an environment of mutual respect and positive collaboration. While the document recognizes that we should create “responsible citizens”, it fails to address the transformational processes required to create such citizens. Furthermore, if the only thing guiding moral standard is fear of punishment by school officials, then once a student graduates what can they depend on to direct their moral compass?

Another major disappointment of this document is the lack of a corresponding Code of Conduct for students. It is common for disciplinary procedures to refer to a list of agreed upon moral standards. The document recognizes this by stating, “…students will be made aware of what their responsibilities are,” but then failing to identify those responsibilities. A Code of Conduct would be a simple and powerful mechanism through which students could agree to individually and collectively abide by a set of moral guidelines. The collaboration between students and administration in the creation of such a Code of Conduct will generate a sense of moral obligation within the student body, and will also act as a vehicle for further collaboration between the administration and students.

Spoil The Child

Spoil The Child

A further disturbing component of this document is the support for corporal punishment as a means of discipline. Even more striking is the disproportionate support for corporal punishment for violations like “Failure to do homework” or “Failure to bring required materials/equipment to class”. We have to ask ourselves what the reasons are for making corporal punishment an option for such morally inconsequential matters. We must also question whether or not corporal punishment should even be an option for any issue, regardless of the severity. Countless organizations and socially aware groups around the world have demonstrated through studies and research that the potentially devastating impacts of corporal punishment in schools far outweigh any conceivable benefit. In fact many governments have made this form of punishment illegal, demonstrating its inhumane and disturbing nature. Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Ethics

Administration Problems At UWI – University of the West Indies?

Dear BFP.

I would love to see some sort of poll and subsequent article on the administrative problems in the University of the West Indies.

Wouldn’t current and former students love to report on them? I am almost certain that they would and they need to be exposed!

Currently, graduates leave this rock and go overseas to other tertiary institutions and have to apply to send their UWI transcripts to their new place of study – only to find their new institution asking them for the transcript and to contact UWI. When the student checks they find out that the transcript is “waiting for so-and-so” to send it or “so-and-so pun vacation”….

Inevitably, they are left in a rock and a hard place waiting for such a simple matter to be resolved. Why does it take so long?? Why do these helpless students have to lose scholarships, grants and approved placements?? I know of cases where students have lost MORE than one scholarship AND placement at universities because of the foolishness in the administrative department.

Even Masters students are at the mercy of these few backward thinking people at UWI; There are cases where masters students have completed their dissertation and then had to wait YEARS for the professor to publish their work. In one case it actually cost them their grant, scholarship and further funding. It ended up with him having to settle with another masters degree no PhD… in another Uni…. and with a huge amount of debt to boot! Complaints are made with no affect of the process or status quo. This same professor has gotten a promotion and no warnings. What will it take to correct these problems???

I understand that that same professor is doing the exact same thing to other students at UWI.

Please see if you can find others that have been through this torment and put together and artlicle to pressure UWI to change their backward ways.

I would love to hear from you.
Best Regards,

(a BFP reader – name withheld)

13 Comments

Filed under Barbados