More school

There’s a suggestion that Barbados should extend the age limit from 16 to 18 years for students attending secondary schools.

The idea was put forward by Victor Gooding, senior satellite systems scientist with Telesat, who said that the education system here was in need of a major transformation to remain relevant and create innovative entrepreneurs.

The Barbadian Olympian, who has been living in Canada for the past 45 years, made the comments on Monday night to a packed audience at Frank Collymore Hall that included Minister of Education Ronald Jones. Gooding was delivering the 38th Annual Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecture on the topic View From 45 Years North: A Barbadian In Canada.

Speaking on a range of economic and social issues, Gooding said the positive advancement of the island was linked inextricably to education “bolstered by the increased access provided by the late Errol Barrow back

However,” he said, “to sustain and support innovation and entrepreneurship, transformation to the Barbados educational system as it stands now is required.”

He said the current approach to education needed to move away from teaching students to pass an exam to helping them develop more “application and thinking skills”, adding that problem solving, resourcefulness and creativity were also critical.

This approach doesn’t apply only to science, because it is important that we develop well-rounded individuals. So you want programmes that involve fine arts, business and you also want a variety of sports,” said Gooding, adding that it should start from the nursary school level.

He said teachers should also be given specialized training and special programmes should be designed for “gifted children in order to make sure they fully develop their potential”.

To accomplish all of this and to make sure it was age to 18. That would allow you to finish that and it would take some of these kids out of the cycle of unemployability and crime at the same time,” suggested Gooding.

He also called on the private sector to offer more support in the form of mentorship and job attachments.

Addressing the issue of students paying their own tuition fees for the University of the West Indies as of September next year, Gooding said the decision was “a constructive damage” that was necessary.

He suggested, however, that a system be put in place for the less fortunate, adding that those currently attending the learning institution should not have the fees “imposed” on them. 

10 Responses to More school

  1. Ras Rika Inniss
    Ras Rika Inniss November 27, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    nice…wish i had that

  2. Ras Rika Inniss
    Ras Rika Inniss November 27, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    nice…wish i had that

  3. Ronald Hazell
    Ronald Hazell November 27, 2013 at 1:43 pm


  4. Doria Alleyne
    Doria Alleyne November 27, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Well it about time.I been back to school when I came over here and I was 28 years old.

  5. Prince Nick
    Prince Nick November 27, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    and how is the govt going to pay for that ????

  6. Wavne Bovell
    Wavne Bovell November 27, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    not bad two more years of knowledge

  7. Allan B Love
    Allan B Love November 28, 2013 at 8:24 am


  8. Victoria Lily
    Victoria Lily November 28, 2013 at 10:33 am

    isn’t that already happening

  9. Petra Gooding
    Petra Gooding November 28, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I like that idea, although I wouldn’t make education compulsory until 18. Keep it compulsory till 16 and give those who want to advance their education via sixth form the opportunity to do so. There are a lot of students who are just waiting until their 16th birthday to drop out of school and they are usually the disruptive ones.

  10. Mac10 November 28, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    How about just ensuring the transport board get children to school on time every day, that would make their education time far more effective than constantly being late & disrupting learning on a daily basis. Also going to school in you own parish would be a greater advantage than extending school by 2yrs.


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