Education reform a must, says Adams

Independent Senator Alwyn Adams Wednesday urged the authorities to make meaningful reforms to the island’s education system as the country seeks to build on its achievements over the last 50 years.

In his contribution to debate on a resolution congratulating Barbados on its 50th anniversary of Independence, the educator told the Upper Chamber that the island owed much of its development and growth to the education sector, which he said had catapulted ordinary Barbadians into powerful positions.

Among the urgent changes proposed by Adams was a new funding model for the University of the West Indies to ensure that citizens had full access to tertiary education.

“We need a new funding model that while students ought to be asked to pay something because the cost of the expansion of education has outstripped the ability of the taxpayers to pay, we have a duty to come up with a new funding model which will be a win-win situation for the students, and for the Government and for the economy as a whole and I don’t think we have yet come up with that model,” he said.

The former principal of Coleridge & Parry also expressed concern that too many children were being left behind because they were not academically inclined. He made a case for authorities to place equal emphasis on technical subjects to ensure there was a level playing field in the classroom.

“Essentially what we want to do is to look at bringing the reforms in such a way that technical education will come on par and be given parity with academic education . . . and therefore in the next 50 years the thrust of our education would be to bring that parity of esteem to technical and vocational subjects so that students who are involved in that area of education are not to be looked down on and must be seen to be travelling on a parallel path as we go forward to grow and develop this economy,” Adams said.

2 Responses to Education reform a must, says Adams

  1. Tony Webster November 17, 2016 at 11:00 am

    While I agree in principle with this respected educator, I hope he is misquoted , as saying it will take “the next fifty years….to bring that parity of esteem to technical and vocational studies”. This span of time just does not equate with current pace of scientific knowledge, and its application to the daily grind.

    Quite apart from our Caribbean siblings, we are now competing with the best in the world. If we do not get real educational-and governmental- reforms going in the next 3-5 years, we will lose all relevance…stuck in first gear indefinitely.

    Doubt me?. Just ask Mr. Peter Boos how much time he thinks we have at our disposal to re-invent Barbados, in governance; in a sane fiscal and taxation policy; and in socio-economic terms which are relevant to the needs of the average Bajan Joe, Jean, and kids.

  2. Hal Austin November 20, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    We do badly need education reforms, but what ideas are you putting on the table? We can all talk and criticise, but workable proposals are a different ball game.
    The editor should invite you to write 1000 words on your ideas.


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