Redman baffled

President of the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) Mary Redman said she was having a hard time understanding why the authorities in Dominica would turn down Barbados’ offer to host Dominican tertiary students in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

What made the decision even more baffling for Redman, who returned home from Roseau yesterday, is the fact that the Dominica school system has been shut down almost entirely since the monstrous storm ravaged the island a month ago.

Minister of Education Ronald Jones told Barbados TODAY this week that plans for the Barbados Community College to accept close to 50 Dominican students had been abruptly scrapped by the Dominican authorities, who informed his ministry that the arrangement was no longer necessary.

The minister said he had not been given a reason by the Dominican authorities for cancelling the programme mid-way through final arrangements for the students’ accommodation, speculating that efforts to restore that island’s learning institutions could be proceeding better than initially anticipated.

However, speaking to Barbados TODAY at Solidarity House this morning as teachers here celebrated Teachers’ Professional Day, Redman said she too was surprised by the decision.

“We heard the Minister of Education speak about students coming here to Barbados and then all of a sudden we heard that the Dominican officials said that it wasn’t necessary; at least that is what our Minister of Education is reported to have said. However, from what I saw yesterday we have children out of schools in Dominica, so I don’t see the recovery in the school system that is referred to. The daughter of one of the persons that was taking me around is doing CAPE [Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination and] reads her books using the light from her father’s car,” said Redman, who noted that the situation was especially dire for the Kalinago settlement on the island.

The BSTU president was so moved by the plight of the indigenous students that she advised their chief to write to Jones to explore the possibility of taking up the offer. She also said that teachers in Barbados had already expressed a willingness to open their homes to the Dominican students. “The hurricanes came about two weeks after school opened and some children haven’t been to school since, so essentially the year is finished for them. I advised him to write as chief of the Carib territory to Ministry of Education here to take up the offer for the Kalinago and see to what extend we can get some of those students here. I know that there were some teachers like myself who will be willing to take those students into our homes,” Redman said.

6 Responses to Redman baffled

  1. Henderson Yarde
    Henderson Yarde October 21, 2017 at 1:32 am

    Maybe there heard about a woman called Redman! Maybe they didn’t like what they heard about her! Just saying.

    • O. Walrond October 21, 2017 at 10:24 am

      It ought to be clear by now that “the woman called REdman” doesn’t give a damn what you guys say about her. She will continue to fulfil her role as head of a union representing secondary school Teachers – and doing a very good job of it.
      How can people who are in church every week claiming to be Christians have so much hate in their hearts.

  2. Shelly Ross
    Shelly Ross October 21, 2017 at 1:58 am

    She returned from Dominica to Barbados to say that she had a hard time understanding. She was in the right place to get answers… guess she did not seek answers there….

  3. Sonia Brathwaite
    Sonia Brathwaite October 21, 2017 at 5:21 am

    Maybe got answers that are different from what was told to the public.

  4. DE October 21, 2017 at 8:58 am

    @Henderson Yarde, that is a senseless statement. You should have read the article publish before you publish your article.
    @Shelly Ross, she did not went there on behalf of the government, it would be out of place for her to go investigate a mater that is at government level.
    @Sonia Brathwaite, your statement might very well be true

  5. Helicopter(8P) October 21, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    All of Dominica’s indiginousness has been devestated the Carib (Kalinago people) and the mountain chickens. Mr.Skerett has to adress this situation expidiciously. Maybe these children can be sent to Belize for the mean time ! Their people exist there and it might be a more homely atmosphere there.


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