Time for students to give back

This letter is to Minister of Education Ronald Jones, on the matter of 50 years of free education in Barbados.

Dear Sir,

As you are well aware, we are currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of free education in my beloved country, Barbados. I am an appreciative beneficiary of that free education system and am now in what I call “the give-back mode of my life”.

As I look back at the sociological impact and consequences of that period I discover that we have created an educated middle class sandwiched between the plantocracy and the proletariat. Concomitant with this discovery is the undeniable fact that there is direct correlation between level of education and standard of living thereby affording us the opportunity to enjoy an enviable lifestyle.

As a result of the perspicacity of our late Prime Minister Errol Walton Barrow and other like-minded sagacious individuals of the time, we can now boast of a well deserved reputation internationally in terms of education, health, standard of living and quality of life.

The time has come for those students who so greatly benefited from our superb educational system to give back monetarily to their respective primary, secondary and tertiary level schools. A minimum of $10 should be earmarked for their primary school, $20 for their secondary school and $30 for the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus on a yearly basis.

I am fully aware that some alumni associations are contributing to their alma mater in meaningful ways but what I propose is a national effort, spearheaded by the Ministry of Education, the Government Information Service and the Oistins Charitable Organisation of Barbados, to reach out to all Barbadians who received their education in Barbados to come to the aid of their country in these tough economic times.

We should not stop at the 50th anniversary. This should be a continuous commitment that lasts as long as there is a Barbados. We cannot become the greatest economic power in the world but we can certainly achieve the status of the most charitable nation on the planet!!

— Ronald S Marshall

Chairman, Board of Trustees, OCOB

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