Opposition slams “11th hour” approval of bursaries
That is what the Opposition is saying in response to yesterday’s announcement that Cabinet had approved $3 million for bursaries.
In a release issued today, Shadow Minister of Education Edmund Hinkson said approval of the funds for university students had been given at the eleventh hour when the academic year was already more than half way completed and thousands of students had dropped out due to money problems.
“While the BLP welcomes this news, the sad reality is that over 4,000 students have already dropped out of the University of the West Indies this academic year as a direct result of their inability to pay the harsh tuition fees, which this Government has misguidedly imposed on them,” the Barbados Labour Party Member of Parliament said.
He accused the Freundel Stuart administration of “spasmodic handling” of the matter, which he described as a “disaster and a fiasco”.
“We, in the BLP, are convinced that means could have been found whereby the children of poor, unemployed and working class Barbadians could have continued to have their tuition fees fully funded by the Government, just as all of our present political leaders received free education,” Hinkson said.
“Sadly, the lack of communication from the authorities to the public over the last five months and the failure of accountability to the student body has resulted in qualified Barbadians now being denied, perhaps forever in some cases, the chance to receive or complete a university education.”