Stumbling blocks

Minister of Education Ronald Jones.
Minister of Education Ronald Jones.

Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones, has argued that in recent times the educational system has run into some stumbling blocks.

Jones voiced this concern earlier today while speaking at the Democratic Labour Party’s lunch time lecture at party headquarters, George Street, St. Michael.

Referring apparently to the recent industrial dispute at the Alexandra School, Jones said: “Stumbling blocks relate to attitude. Some people are willing to shortchange the system. People are saying they are ‘A’ when they are ‘B’. They state in the presence of aggressive labour relations, wanting peace on the ground stepping back slowly and giving more ground, giving more room. The space you give becomes occupied.

“It is like a war — on the front you are fighting and the enemy retreats: What do you do? You try to cover the ground that they gave up. I understand the dynamics. Rather than relations based on understanding, respect, amiable behaviour, it is based on raw naked hostility based on one-upmanship. So you still get a lot of foolishness happening,” Jones added.

The Christ Church East Central MP recalled that the social partnership, which was established in the 1990s, was held up at times and manipulated to satisfy a particular pursuit by particular individuals.

Jones warned that “we have to dance in the same space and that space is Barbados”. He further warned that all of the people were doing some type of dance, but everyone must still be focused.

“Today the system is being undermined by attitude, by people who believe they have arrived and forgetting that when you take your foot off the accelerator the vehicle loses speed and too much of that has been happening,” Jones said.

The education minister added: “Too many people who should know better are encouraging foolishness. There are more stone houses now in Barbados than slave huts. That period has been swept away from the landscape, but it should be still kept in mind to urge forward at a quicker pace hitherto than we have been going. That is what we have to examine.”

Jones charge that there were too many parents who showed little concern if their children attended school or not. He acknowledged that they were a minority, but a minority could affect the majority.

Jones argued that education was a bulwark against ignorance and violence. He attributed the high rate of murder in two neighbouring countries to the populations’ inability to anticipate the consequences of the actions.†(NC)

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