The dysfunction in our schools

While typing this, tears are building. I didn’t want to comment but this is too heavy on my heart to stay silent. As a husband, father, Barbadian and educator, my heart grieves for my country.

What Barbados and the world saw of the recent beating of the female student was shocking to many but those in the teaching service can testify this occurs weekly in many and in a few cases daily in our public secondary schools.

Most have condemned the gang of girls and the few boys who physically abused the girl but very few have condemned the scores of students who cheered on the beating, seeing it as entertaining. They are equally as guilty.

We are failing our young people and, as a result, have been consistently setting up the failure and destruction of Barbados’ future. The culture of a nation is shaped within the home and within the school; as a result, we need to be very careful and deliberate with what is established, taught and practiced in each of these “wombs”.

The Bible says that people will perish because they are “ingrunt” (lacking knowledge). The Ministry and the Minister refuse to reveal to the public what happens in our schools. I do not understand why there is a need to cover up and not to name schools when serious occurrences take place.

Since schools are funded by taxpayers, it means Barbadians are shareholders in the education system and despite not receiving any annual dividends, we should at least receive annual reports.

I guarantee you that NOT ONE SINGLE secondary teacher was in any way shocked by the recent events. Some teachers have become so numb to these recordings due to dealing with situations like these DAILY. Oh, and there are many more videos like these. These fights, brawls and disturbances aren’t limited to only schools but are frequent at bus stops, in Bridgetown, Speightstown, in the van stands, bus terminals and on the public transportation.

I am praying for the day when teachers as well as students are bold enough to openly reveal ALL that occurs in schools – even if it is anonymously. Unless we tell the truth and are humble to share the good, bad and ugly, we will never be in a position to truly make a change. When the truth is revealed, we will then understand how ALL, yes ALL of US are contributing to the problem and as a result how ALL, yes ALL of us, can play a part in the solution.

The problem with our young people is multi-dimensional but here are the main six (not in any specific order):

1. Home (Parents)

2. Community (adults)

3. Church (spirituality)

4. Government (leadership)

5. Education (cognitive, emotional, intellectual, relational development)

6. Media & Technology (serious threat)

Man (Woman) is three dimensional – Body (flesh), Soul (emotions, mind, will) and Spirit. We as a society only focus on two; the soul and the flesh. We are an unbalanced people, living in an unbalanced society, producing an unbalanced offspring. Anytime a tripod stand has one leg that is weak, ignored or missing, whatever that stand is supporting will ALWAYS fall over.

What people fail to realize is that all this anger, rejection, violence, abuse, selfishness, greed, ungratefulness, shame, guilt et cetera bound up in the hearts of our children, will be magnified in the adults of society in 10 years.

If this is our youth generation today, seriously think about what the adults of the future will look like.

These are the adults who will teach our children, be the politicians, the civil service, the business community, the tradesmen, the barristers and legislators and the list goes on. We adults are a bunch of hypocrites. Our children mimic the standards we set and then we seek to condemn them – that makes no sense at all.

All the violence, robbery, theft, shooting and drug abuse we are complaining about in today’s society are as a result of the homes and community environments children are a part of and the music and entertainment we allow them to partake of, which encourages them in the same behaviour. All those young men on the court pages every day, were school children. Many are just a product of their upbringing, community, educational system and system of governance and leadership.

1. When female students can tell you if they done school with no CXCs, they will be like Natalie (the Bush Hill prostitute of social media ‘fame’) and mek nuff money, you know what time it is.

2. When you have young ladies who gladly broadcast and are proud to be a “rat-boxy” (‘a girl who does sex she best friend man’ – as they explained to me), you know what time it is.

3. When you call a parent to a school because their 1st form child has been reported to be involved in inappropriate activities of a sexual nature and the parent tells you, “well she got to learn sometime”, you know what time it is

4. When you call a parent to ask them to come to the school because their daughter made a sexual pass at a male teacher and opened her legs and said “Sir, I got this for you” and the parent responds “wuh I got to come up by the school cause if my daughter mek moves pun you, you got tuh look real good”, you know what time it is.

5. When a fourth former can tell you her boyfriend was beating her from second form and she accustomed and after talking with her some more and you find out that her father used to beat her mother, then they separated and now her father beats his girlfriend and her mother gets beaten by her new boyfriend, you know what time it is.

6. When you ask over four classes with at least 30 students each at different schools, how many children live with both mummy and daddy and in all the classes, less than five hands are raised, you know what time it is.

7. When you have lesbians in a school who control the female bathrooms and junior girls hold their urine until they get home because the lesbians hold down any girls who enter the bathroom and sexually assault them, you know what time it is.

8. When you have a primary school girl caught in a bathroom with four primary school boys and the girl charging five cents to see and 10 cents to touch, you know what time it is.

9. When you have a boy coming to school with his books in a ladies clutch bag and a junior boy bragging how much man he does take, you know what time it is.

10. When you have students who don’t know the Lord’s Prayer, Psalm 23 or have NEVER been to Sunday School, you know what time it is.

11. When you have a first former coming to school every day around 10:30am, falling asleep in class, always depressed and you sit with him during lunch to talk and he says he doesn’t sleep at night because the police are always at his house because cause his mother and father fight every night like dogs – you know what time it is

12. When a fourth former tells you her mother has a pastor who is married and on more than one occasion she and her primary school sister have seen them having sex on the ground in the living room – you know what time it is

These are but a few of the situations I have encountered and heard directly from students and other teachers; and these aren’t the worse. I don’t know if you can handle the worse. It is time to LEAD. It is time to pray. It is time to support teachers and listen to their concerns. It is time for parents to be held accountable for failing as parents and incorporated into programmes to help them. It is time for adults to accept responsibility and recognize what they do have a direct effect on what Barbados is and becomes. It is time to tell the truth and reveal the facts so we can work on adequate solutions.

(The author is a former teacher)

27 Responses to The dysfunction in our schools

  1. Ifiya Cummins
    Ifiya Cummins May 23, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Thank you corey

  2. Jay Manny
    Jay Manny May 23, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Same actions, same reactions, same old talk.

  3. Francis May 23, 2017 at 11:57 am

    You comments show you are seeking real solutions to the ongoing rise in our children’s bad behaviour. It is very hard for parents to be responsible when they themselves cannot demonstrate consistent responsible behaviour in and outside the home. Just look at the way most parents raise their children on food with poor nutritional content. Who is to blame, the schools, the supermarkets, the media? You cannot teach what you don’t know. Those parents and adults who are more knowledgeable and consistent with better behaviours that nourish body and soul must practice the ways of the village, which states “if one house is broken all our homes are broken”. Hence each one must teach/help one. Too many parents lives for the most part have become occupied with materialism and selfishness. It is no longer about “we” but instead the “I” is more important. Finally, praying without action is meaningless. Our pastors and church leaders spend way to much time preaching, while doing very little outreaching. All humans are social beings, so without meaningful interaction very little will/can be accomplished. We must face reality, organise for action or perish.

  4. Bonita Weekes
    Bonita Weekes May 23, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Corey I feel the same way you do, this thing has been festering for a long time but people refused to acknowledge it. I noticed a significant change in behaviours in the early 90’s. I lived in another Caribbean island and after coming back here I felt so out of place. The first thing I noticed was that children were louder, the I realised why, the music was so loud that it affected how they spoke. Since then I have seen a steady decline, I have had friends say to me that I bother too much and it does something to me when zip hear that, how can they not care. My children are adults, I have a 13 yr old grand daughter who fortunately has sensible parents. Recently her mother said to me that she is a joy to have as a daughter, my son is her father. She and I have a good relationship and I pray for her, you have to keep the before God. When I mention any thing about God on FB there is a young woman who always attacks me. She think she is so bright but she is a fool. They have forgotten to look after the spirit and that’s why there is such a void. An empty space is going to be filled with something. Some parents try their best but the others just don’t care and are forcing the children into adulthood too soon. It pains me when I see the behaviours of our girls. My grandaughter told me last week about 2 first formers at her school who were fighting about 1 taking away the other one’s man, man is the word they used, 12 yrs old and look what they are doing. It would be interesting to know the kind of females these girls are growing up around. My heart bleeds for them, how can some people not be concerned. One mother tells me that she ain’t got nothing to tell no body children, what dey do dey do. I think that attitude is so stupid because what they do, comes back to haunt all of us. It’s such a sad, sad situation. When Mr Jones talked about demons he was condemned, in 2005 another pastor prophysied about what was going to happen to the children but few wanted to listen. They want to solve these problems without including the creator because as one person told me all that is Nancy stories. God help us all.

  5. Bonita Weekes
    Bonita Weekes May 23, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Correction. …When I hear that

  6. Bonita Weekes
    Bonita Weekes May 23, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Same talk, well why don’t you come up with solutions or are you the typical Bajan, you just criticise for the sake of doing so.

    • Gail Agard Wallace
      Gail Agard Wallace May 23, 2017 at 2:33 pm

      Bonita, we can’t alll save the world. But if each family actually tired, it may help. One “solution” does work for everyone. Everyone is responsible for their own children. The main thing people are lacking these days is a small thing called RESPECT.

  7. Sheron Inniss May 23, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Corey as usual you are on the ball. You know the minister is quoted in the new paper as saying that cell phones are not a part of the problem? Two reasons: 1. Children are fighting over them at school and elsewhere; 2. The phones have the internet and the internet has about anything on it – the good, bad and indifferent. When one signs on it does not ask you if you are a responsible person; what you type in it will give you as long as it can be found whether it be gospel music, porn, etc. If all you imbibe is negativity that is all you will reflect. You LIVE WHAT YOU LEARN and children’s minds are easily influenced.

  8. Dave Person
    Dave Person May 23, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    The only thing we can change and get measurable results is the schooling system…… stop batching children by age and batch them by ability…..stop teaching irrelevent stupidness and you will have the attention…. school teachers point fingers every where but at them self.

    • Cherylann Bourne-Hayes
      Cherylann Bourne-Hayes May 23, 2017 at 4:06 pm

      There is a lot of baggage that comes with students that people expect teachers to deal with. That takes a tol on you. Teachers wear a lot of hats, social worker, teacher, psychologist, to name a few. Parents can at least step up do their part and help.

    • Dave Person
      Dave Person May 23, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      Ok regardless of the baggage the teaching systems need to be made relevant. If you are correct and children have problems then we should not add to them by teaching nonrelevant things.

    • Dave Person
      Dave Person May 23, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      No one expects a teacher to do anything but teach and respect and love the children they are teaching. This mean makeing sure you do the best job possable. As in teach relevant subjets and point out flaws in the system….

    • Rebellious Kelly
      Rebellious Kelly May 23, 2017 at 5:11 pm

      You obviously now came out from under a rock. Every single time teachers try to address the issues within the system, the general public has lambasted them over and over. You all ppl can only talk crap when things really come to light.

    • Dave Person
      Dave Person May 23, 2017 at 6:52 pm

      Striking for more money is not addressing issues affecting our children.

    • Rebellious Kelly
      Rebellious Kelly May 23, 2017 at 7:15 pm


  9. Gloria Wiggins
    Gloria Wiggins May 23, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    The dysfunctions in schools are caused by the dysfunctions in homes and the dysfunctional parents and their dysfunctional demon spawns.This was happening through out generations and the only thing new is social medial and smart phones.It always start with the adults and the home,that’s where to look instead of talking talking talking

    • Gail Agard Wallace
      Gail Agard Wallace May 23, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      Amen. Agree

    • Yvonne Sealy
      Yvonne Sealy May 23, 2017 at 4:50 pm

      U said it all for me; no need to elaborate; thank u Wiggins……….Only thing to add is that there’s a breakdown in the society on the whole and by that; there’s always going to be a ripple effect…………sad but true

    • Dave Person
      Dave Person May 23, 2017 at 6:56 pm

      We know the problem is the parents but what should the teachers do? You saying that teachers and the school system should stay how it is.

  10. Mark Rudder
    Mark Rudder May 23, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    You just identified a people without a culture. A unsocial society.

  11. Kaiser Sose
    Kaiser Sose May 23, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Beat their ass like it used to be with that strap in front of the whole school thats whats missing, no deterents. The advent of the American corupt cabal with the world star generation is fostering copy cats on BIM .Beat their ass parents dont spare the rod.

  12. E Jerome Davis
    E Jerome Davis May 23, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    Your number 7 was shown today on VOB where an announcer stated that he played whatever the management put before him. That it was not up to him to impose his standards. These adults really have me shaking my head. These same adults are condemning the young people for their behaviour but are feeding them the filth.

  13. Samud Ali
    Samud Ali May 23, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    How do we continue to only look at the surface?

  14. Amarilis Lily
    Amarilis Lily May 23, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    Jesus is the answer for the world today with out him there is no other jesus is the way

  15. Mikey May 23, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    @Corey, What did You do before making these REVELATIONS ?
    Good that you have made a Public disclosure, BUT WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE ? HAS THERE BEEN A COVER-UP ?
    The MOE has a elephantic job on its hands. Hope the Minister has read this Article. Awaiting a response from the MOE (Ministry Of Education, PLEASE.

  16. Corey Worrell May 23, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    Talk talk talk and no solutions?

    God in his wisdom decided to make each person with various gifts and strengths – some have more than others. There are some people who are strong at analyzing and identifying problems; there are some who are strong at thinking and offering solutions; there are some who are strong at developing those solutions to make them practical for implementation; there are some who can neither see the problem nor formulate a solution but are experts at implementation; then there are those whose strengths are in monitoring and evaluation; then there are those who are strong in leadership, motivating and mobilizing people to do the job; there are those whose strengths are communication, marketing and selling the solution; then there are those who are gifted in raising finances for the solution.

    Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Sir Richard Branson are all visionary leaders. They are creatives and their strength is to think and they do it well. They hire people to bring their ideas and thoughts to reality and find solutions and methods to make them work.

    I hope you get the drift. We are all gifted differently and because someone’s strength is different to yours, does not mean theirs is insignificant. There is a place for people who ‘talk’.

    Additionally, I have observed those who are saying that others are just talking and offering no solutions or not taking any action, they themselves have offered no solutions nor have they shown what action they have took to contribute to solving the problem.

    To those who say I have offered no solutions or taken no action, just take a look at my column Awright Den to see what solutions I have offered over the past 6 years and also my NGO, C2J Foundation Inc. to see the actions I have taken.

    I have also done scores of motivational talks and workshops to hundreds of students and in many secondary schools.


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