This is how Minister of Education, Ronald Jones, described the contents of the Barbados Labour Party’s manifesto as it relates to education in Barbados.
Speaking at the Democratic Labour Party’s manifesto launch at the National Cultural Foundation’s car park in West Terrace in St. James tonight, he said “it saddens me that they are thieves”.
Explaining that in the BLP’s 84-page manifesto, which was launched last night, they proposed policies on education which were already embraced during his tenure in the ministry.
“It [BLP’s manifesto] said, ‘We will establish a teaching services commission’ – that paper already went to the Cabinet of Barbados. We talked about life-long learning, second chance opportunities well outlined in our human development strategy – they got it in here.
“We spoke about the establishment of a school of excellence for the creative arts and sports – they got it in here.
“All of this has already been espoused… This already has been talked about,” he said.
The incumbent for Christ Church East Central said, however, that they had not repeated any of their policies in the 2013 manifesto; rather they planned to further develop and reaffirm the strategies already established.
“In this globalised world,” he noted, “you have to stay competitive by exploding the minds, the talents of our young people. By developing their skills and their competencies and we are going big for technical and vocational education,” the former educator said.
“It is not only the mind and the heart, it is also the hands, all wrapped in one; and giving those persons who built this country infrastructurally an opportunity to get even better, so we said we will do that.
“We have been working to establish the agricultural training institute at Hope [Diary Farm in St. Lucy] on a 45-acres piece of land, not because we want people to come into a classroom with books but we want them to immerse themselves in agriculture.
“So we will deal with open field agriculture, green house technology, hydroponics…, so that they will get the feel for agriculture rather than just reading a book and feeling that you are an agronomist or some big agriculturist,” said Jones. (KC)