Time to chart the future

dlpsupporterslistenThe February 21 general election will determine what kind of Barbados people want in the 21st century.

Democratic Labour Party candidate for Christ Church West, Verla DePeiza, expressed this view last night while addressing a mass meeting at Paragon, Brittons Hill, St. Michael.

The former government senator argued that putting hard cash in a person’s pocket should not be the ultimate goal of an enlightened government, but the development of an entrepreneurial spirit among the island’s youth.

Arguing that Barbadians were being fed a steady diet of propaganda by Barbados Labour Party spokespersons, DePeiza lauded the work done by Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones.

Over the past five years Jones has built a number of schools, amalgamated some and renovated some, she maintained, further stating that he had ensured that every child between the ages of three and five years had access to pre-school education.

The attorney-at-law also pointed out that Jones had put plans in place to increase the number of sixth form schools from September this year and stressed that while it was not revolutionary in the cases of The St. Michael School, Foundation or Alexandra achieving this status, it was in the case of Springer Memorial School and St Leonard’s Boys’ School, two of the newer secondary schools.

DePeiza noted that there was not a whisper from the Opposition when plans were put in place to establish sixth forms at the older secondary schools, but they opposed the setting up of sixth forms at the two new secondary schools.

The Christ Church West candidate argued that the BLP was stuck in a rut with its face looking backwards. In defence of the establishment of a sixth form at Springer Memorial School, DePeiza argued that if students from that institution could excel on the international scene while on sports scholarships, why could they not then enjoy the privilege of having a sixth form at their school.

She pointed out that in the past St. Leonard’s Boys’ School had been seen in a bad light, but every year they had won awards in the technical exhibition, and had one of the finest school choirs in the island.

Advising the DLP to remain committed to the development of the island’s youth, she told the crowd that the Freundel Stuart Administration had increased the Student Revolving Fund loans from $50,000 to $100,000. Students accessing this fund were given the opportunity to interact with students of other countries, she said, adding that mothers were however thankful for the savings they have made with the introduction of free bus rides on Transport Board buses and the sense of security they enjoyed during the long summer holidays knowing that their children were in a secure environment at Summer Camps. (NC)

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