‘Our children must be taught History’, argues Farmer

A call has gone out for History to be returned as one of the core subjects on this island’s schools curriculum.

Deputy Director of the Museum and Historical Society Kevin Farmer made the call today while delivering the ruling Democratic Labour Party’s lunchtime lecture at the party’s George Street,
St Michael headquarters.

Speaking on the topic Museums and Cultural Identity in the 21st Century, Farmer argued that such a move was necessary to assist Barbadians in understanding their roots.

“I am aware that I am going to get ripped for this. Social Studies is a wonderful subject, but . . . if we want people to understand who they are and where they are within a larger global world, then History needs to be taught from first form . . . as History  . . . is the foundation upon which those critical thinking skills and understanding of self must begin,” the historian said, while acknowledging that while some children may want to shy away from the study of History because they think it involves a lot of reading.

However, he maintained that the study of History was fundamentally important for there to be an appreciation of Barbados’ development.

“ We have got the opportunity now to ensure that when we look 30, 40, 50, 100 years down the line we have robust institutions that can tell us who we are. These institutions can tell us about those interesting stories about intrepid Barbadians migrations to places as far-flung as Cuba and Panama, but further afield to countries like India, Alaska, the deeper north of Canada, all the way to Australia and New Zealand.

“Wherever you go in this world you will find Barbadians. Those stories no matter how small are there to be told. You have got thousands of returning nationals who have fantastic stories in their heads. They are stories about overcoming adversities,” he said, pointing out that the first Barbadians who would have gone to the United Kingdom in the 1950s, though met with racism, had been able make a way for themselves.

16 Responses to ‘Our children must be taught History’, argues Farmer

  1. Lee October 14, 2017 at 7:21 am

    Authoritative historians is what we need – not demagogues and tour guides bent on reinventing Barbados’ amazing developments.
    In 2025 we will be celebrating the Quadricentennial of the nation – a huge opportunity lies there for the exploration and exposition of a genuine trajectory of our growth.

  2. luther thorne October 14, 2017 at 10:43 am

    When people want to keep yuh brainwashed and ignorant they does hide yuh history. History is not only ancient , it is also recent. So people should also be taught recent history. There is History in everything, every subject. Maths have a history attached, Medicine has history. Whatever activity you engage in has a history. Cricket has histiry. History is most important and should not be downplayed. It is everywhere.

  3. F.A.Rudder October 14, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    I just remembered this bit of history of the top of my head! Barbados had once a whaling industry and this was a joint venture with the NovaScotia whalers. Owen to this Barbadian whaling; crewmembers would sail north and rest off at their Canadian port of call. Many of these crewmen took residence there and raised families. I have read that there is or was a town up there in NovaScotia christened Bridgetown!

  4. Jennifer October 14, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    I agree that history MUST be thought in schools to bring this people into the understanding of who they are as a people and once great nation, which was FULLY down trodden by other races of people for their use and purposes. This should have been done since the time of so called emancipation. However this will not be by any means SIMPLE since the same forces of degradation exist.

  5. Jennifer October 14, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Our people is so beat down that they cannot even stand up and be a VOICE for their brothers who is being disenfranchised all over the earth. And this is because when a people have been ROBBED of their NAMES, NATIONALITY, LANDS, GOD, HAIR, CULTURE, FOODS, NORMS ETC they have no choice but to follow the persona of the oppressive entity. As they do today. It is like being a drone – only good for producing offspring to wear their SHOES.

  6. Jennifer October 14, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    Our leaders should have reclaimed this knowledge long time ago. Major problem alert is that teaching history without attachment will be like these priest are teaching the Bible – no connectivity. If there is not a CONNECTION then it is pointless teaching it at all. The people must be empowered with truth. E.g this history must go before slavery occurred and must encompass the why factor. The books of whites must be trimmed and more black written books must be injected. The Bible too must be dissected as this HISTORY book is vital to this people. I wish you people luck, but it makes no sense now with the history thing as i am overwhelmed and happy to say that we are approaching the destruction of one KINGDOM as another one is ushered in. We served them well for nearly 400yrs.

  7. Jennifer October 15, 2017 at 4:42 am

    The fact that only a few comments were made on this area of education says a lot. Now questions should be asked, do this majority people understand the significance of their history, do this people even value or want to know their history. Can a people be so brain washed and torn that total dis-interest occurs. Sad to say to the powers that be, who are withholding and omit this people hystory and truth, will cause great judgement to occur. Not only on this people but for all other peoples (races).

  8. seagul October 15, 2017 at 7:06 am

    We know and we now understand,
    The mighty God is a living man…you can fool the people sometime, but not all the time…
    A people without the knowledge of their past is like a tree without root…can you imagine a tree without a root my people ?–Word.
    Hollywood violence and hate destroys all dignity and conscience.
    Sharpen your vision.Develop your imagination. Strengthen your confidence. Just Read your History.
    In the name of our common values we must never accept intolerance on the basis of class, color, religion or spiritual affiliation. On the path you must be true to your humanity—And the place from where you came. For everyday we pay the price with a little sacrifice.

    • Jennifer October 15, 2017 at 9:40 am

      @Seagul – bring it down. Correct. But we people have also had hand in glove and allowed all of this to occur, hence we as a people remain at the bottom of all societies.

  9. Sheron Inniss October 15, 2017 at 7:09 am

    I agree that History should be taught; our real story. I had to do further research to get a better understanding and it’s an ungoing journey.

    What bothers me even more is that History is no longer taught from 1st form. The children start in 3rd form now I believe, which makes no sense whatsoever. And they must pass it to move on to 4th (I stand corrected on that point).

    I learnt all of this at the bus stop one morning whilst talking to a school boy from AX, my former school. It was one of those days of where the bus, where the bus, where the bus to…..? It was late and he had absolutely no interest in getting to school on time because he hated the subject and the teacher.

    The explanation above was a part of what he gave me. I won’t bother to tell you the not so nice things he said about the teacher. I was shocked to say the least. History is a subject you never stop learning so how can you start teaching it at 3rd form? Absolute madness; but then again it name the Ministry of Education which I have renamed the Ministry of Follycation.

    • Jennifer October 15, 2017 at 9:56 am

      @Sheron – I see what you are saying, however, the problems with history and religious education which we are facing is that the powers that be is not allowing these two subjects to be taught to mentally free this people. If that a subject is taught to show the people how they fit in or how it pertains to them then they will have interest and pay much attention. It is the same thing if you only teach how whites conquered the world by terror – what mind set will whites have and blacks have. This makes the teaching misconstrued and purposeful for the intended purposes of both sides. The history books used is also important. Mis-education of the negro, From Babylon to Timbuktu, into Egypt again with ships is just some examples, also Lost tribes and promise lands. But them keeping the white man books up in there only. So all of this will offset the mind of the black child who is already disenfranchised. FEAR OF BACKLASH IS THE PROBLEM AT WORK HERE.

    • Jennifer October 15, 2017 at 10:37 am

      @Sheron – no disrespect meant in anyway sis. I read you said in another post last week that you got an “A” in history. Can you say that you know your true IDENTITY from what you have been taught in your history class???? If you say no. Then you would have proved my point. I do not mean “bajan” either.

  10. seagul October 15, 2017 at 7:21 am

    Historical Language is the whole thing. My soul is all cultural appropriation…it’s my experience, the degree to what it is and it’s all me. It’s not just about things on the- ‘Frisbee’ home shelf. It’s universal. Have we stopped questioning the stereotyping and the stigmatizing of individual communities…we must asked ourselves.
    We’re speaking in the aftermath of rather dramatic circumstances. Slavery–Part of the book ‘Deeper Soul’ spoke to the need to talk about the relationship between Islam and western democracy-Christianity and Rastafari. All western socities are questioning how you achieve integration…One of the appeals I have in this book is to say let’s not define each other through the lens of conflict. What is it good for ? read History.

  11. Jennifer October 15, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Where there is no history the people will perish on varying levels. And integration is a misfit that should NEVER have occurred. believe it or not. So sad that few can see this or take it for granted.

  12. Sheron Inniss October 15, 2017 at 10:46 am

    There is a song on Stevie Wonder’s album The Keys of Life which documents almost every invention that was and the majority are by black people. I seldom hear that song and I can’t remember the name because I saw the song in a book I own.

    The other thing is that the Europeans came and found, not discovered. The Africans, the aboriginals of the Caribbean, Australia and the Americas, the gypsies, etc were already inhabiting the world and were decimated by the so called whites who brought diseases and superior weapons.

    The cradle of civilization can never be changed whether you call it Cush, Africa, Ancient Egypt or Ethiopia that much I know. We blacks are a power house and I wish to see us take up that mantle again.

    Sometimes I wonder if the brainwashing will ever stop. I live in hope.

    • Jennifer October 15, 2017 at 11:07 am

      Well said sis. This is why the said people had to be divided into pieces all over the earth and RENAMED, i.e American blacks, st Lucian, Haitian, Grenadian, Dominican, Antiguan Guyanese etc. blacks only of course. Just look at the face and hair. To prevent resurfacing to any kid of power UNIT.


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